Champions Crawley Wasps celebrate an unbeaten season

Crawley Wasps skipper Skipper Naomi Cole sprays the champagne as Crawley Wasps get the title party started'Picture: Ben Davidson ' www.bendavidsonphotography.com SUS-180424-122058002
Crawley Wasps skipper Skipper Naomi Cole sprays the champagne as Crawley Wasps get the title party started'Picture: Ben Davidson ' www.bendavidsonphotography.com SUS-180424-122058002

Crawley Wasps popped the champagne corks and completed an unbeaten league season as they beat London Kent Football United 5-1 on Sunday to set the seal on promotion.

Wasps had already secured their place in the FA Women’s Premier League for next season but finished with a flourish at The Haven.

Thales player of the match Faye Rabson celebrates her goal for Crawley Wasps with (from left) Ariana Fleischman, Naomi Cole and Suzanne Davies.'Picture by Picture: Ben Davidson ' www.bendavidsonphotography.com SUS-180424-122039002

Thales player of the match Faye Rabson celebrates her goal for Crawley Wasps with (from left) Ariana Fleischman, Naomi Cole and Suzanne Davies.'Picture by Picture: Ben Davidson ' www.bendavidsonphotography.com SUS-180424-122039002

Faye Rabson hit a hat-trick in the space of 24 first half minutes, the first two coming from spectacular individual runs as her pace caused the visitors no end of problems.

Rachel Palmer drilled in the third after Rabson and Ariana Fleischman had combined well just inside the box and Rabson completed her treble from Fleischman’s through ball.

Cole then guided a lob beyond the keeper to make it 5-0, before London KFU pulled one back from a penalty, harshly awarded against goalkeeper Frankie Gibbs.

As celebration ensued, boss Paul Walker said: “To finish the season undefeated and champions is a fantastic feeling.

“I can’t say enough about the squad and the coaching staff. They’ve been absolutely superb with application, effort and focus.”

Skipper Cole admitted that while Wasps had dominated the league, dropping points only once in 16 games, they had never underestimated any opponent.

She said: “You have to work hard in every game to make sure you get results and we’ve built the squad this year that has been capable of doing that.

“I’ve got the belief that this team can go very far. Hopefully we can go in to the Premier League as underdogs, see what we can do next season.”

Left-back Michelle Ward, the club’s longest-serving played having joined as an eight-year-old in 1997, added: “We’ve been trying to push on for eight seasons and I think we’ve deserved it this season.

“Fingers crossed we can compete really well in the league above.”

Wasps: Gibbs; Duncan, Niamh Stephenson, Carter, Ward; Elphick, Cole; Davies, Fleischman, Palmer;

Rabson Subs: James, Drury, Webber.