The Bees were knocked out of the FA Cup First Round after suffering late heartbreak in a 3-2 defeat at Crawley Wasps, having been 2-0 up at half-time.

The match started evenly, with Sian Osmond’s side having the first chance of the afternoon when Megan Wood’s low driven cross nearly found the path of striker Jo Wilson, but she couldn’t quite get on the end of it.

In the 21st minute, Wilson picked out her teammate Jancey with a perfectly timed through ball but she could only shoot narrowly wide of Jaqui Goldsmith’s left post.

Five minutes later and the breakthrough came when the Bees were awarded a penalty after Jancey was taken down in the box. 

Danielle Puddefoot stepped up and slammed her penalty to the keeper’s right and it found the bottom corner of the net.

On the half-hour mark, the hosts were looking for a way back into the game and it nearly came when Naomi Cole had a 25-yard free-kick that was saved by Faye Hazelton. She dived low to her left to keep the shot out.

As half-time approached, Sian Osmond’s side doubled their lead when Wood played a lofted through ball to Jancey who kept her composure to take it round the goalie and slot home.

Just before the whistle went for half-time, the Wasps almost grabbed a goal back through Iesha Swaby. She cut inside after getting the better of defender Lee before seeing her curling effort go out of play off the crossbar.

Swaby was involved again as action got underway in the second half when she used some trickery to get past two defenders and find space to force Hazelton into a low save.

In the 48th minute, the hosts pulled a goal back through Stephens. Cole’s corner towards the near post was headed in by Stephens who looped it into the top right corner.

Crawley piled on the pressure and equalised in the 50th minute. Swaby managed to poke her effort home from inside a crowded penalty area.

Shortly afterwards, Flo Jackson nearly put the hosts ahead for the first time in the afternoon, but her shot went just wide of the post.

Sian Osmond’s side responded with chances of their own as Lauren Heria saw her looping effort go wide.

Another chance came for Wilson in the 75th minute when possession was lost by the hosts and she was played in down the left flank before cutting in and letting fly towards goal, however it ended up in the side netting.

Deep into second-half stoppage time the Wasps completed their comeback and turned around the two-goal deficit.

Stephens netted her second of the game with a low curling strike that beat the goalkeeper from the edge of the box to knock Sian Osmond’s side out of the competition.

Crawley: Jaqui Goldsmith (Megen Lynch 45’), Hope Nash, Rachel Palmer, Sokarn Goodhall, Nicola Gibson, Natasha Stephens, Iesha Swaby, Naomi Cole, Ellie Russell, Imogen Lancaster (Izzy Burt 95’), Flo Jackson (Holly Talbut-Smith 75’).

Goals: Stephens (48’, 90+4’), Swaby (50’).

Bees: Faye Hazelton, Stef Paci, Danielle Puddefoot (Calini Salpadoru 83’), Hannah Porter, Flo Gamby (C), Sophie Lee, Parker Dunn, Lauren Heria, Nikki Jancey, Megan Wood, Jo Wilson Subs (not used): Amber Tullett, Chiara Lape, Sabiha Jamal, Shayla Burgess.

Goals: Puddefoot (26’), Jancey (39’).

Referee: Olga Suaikevic.