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Lewes 4 Crawley Wasps 0
Lewes won the Sussex FA Challenge Cup Final for the first time since 2011 with a 4-0 victory over Crawley Wasps at Sussex FA Headquarters at Lancing.
The two tier-gap between the clubs was too much for Wasps to bridge and the Rookettes created a host of chances throughout the match despite a determined display by the London & South East Regional League underdogs.
Georgia Bridges was the most threatening attacker for Lewes early on, being denied the opening goal on five minutes by a good save from Frankie Gibbs and again on 11 minutes when the Wasps keeper tipped a close range shot wide of goal. Bridges then placed a 17th minute header over the bar before opening the scoring with a superb 20-yard effort on 23 minutes.
Crawley were competing well, several times getting into threatening areas without ever finding the right ball to open up the Lewes defence.
The only save Faye Baker had to make was from a free kick by former Rookettes player Naomi Cole on 44 minutes At the other end, the pace of Danielle Lane was a threat, Gibbs again shining to deny her a goal, whilst Hannah Duncan made a crucial block which kept Wasps just one goal in arrears at the break.
Any hopes of a Crawley second half revival were hit within a minute of the restart when Rebecca Carter scored a fine goal, lobbing Gibbs from distance. Faye Rabson nearly pulled a goal back on 50 minutes with a solo effort but Natasha Wells made a fine tackle to foil her.
Avilla Bergin twice went close to adding to the Lewes tally but it was Bridges who added the third on 67 minutes, sent clear by a perfect through ball from Carter. Chances continued to come for Lewes in a fine sustained display of attacking invention. The fourth goal came on 74 minutes, Lane converting a right wing cross.
There was time for a cameo appearance for Tammy Waine returning from injury as Lewes saw out the match comfortably, despite some more pressure from a determined Crawley side looking for a consolation.
Wasps fell to their third Sussex FA Cup final defeat but still have plenty to aim for, with promotion to the FA Women's Premier League the biggest target. Lewes claimed their third Cup victory in their history with a dominant display.
Lewes: Faye Baker, Natasha Wells, Rebecca Thompson, Kylie McCarthy, Vicky Carleton, Katie McIntyre, Leeta Rutherford, Sarah Kempson, Georgia Bridges, Rebecca Carter, Danielle Lane. Subs: Jacqui-Anne Goldsmit, Tammy Waine, Avilla Bergin, Charlotte Owen, Kelly Newton.
Crawley Wasps: Frankie Gibbs, Charlie Carter, Naomi Cole, Hannah Duncan, Niamh Stephenson, Jade Elphick, Michelle Ward, Kemina Webber, Ariana Fleischman, Jenny Drury, Faye Rabson. Subs: Rachel Hillman, Toni Smith, Nicolle Smith, Suzanne Davies, Lauren Callaghan.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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