09:48 20th March 2017
by Peter Westwood
Ladies edged out by higher division Coventry
Wolves Women 1 (J. Cross 82)
Coventry United Ladies 2 (Brook 60, Hughes, 69)
Wolves Women put up a good fight but fell to a 2-1 defeat to Coventry United in an entertaining Birmingham County Cup Semi-Final at Keys Park.
This was always going to be a tough game, with Coventry playing one division above Wolves in the FA Women’ Premier League Southern Division, but Wolves started well. Jen Anslow, pictured, floated in a free-kick in the fourth minute, but it was just too far ahead of Anna Perks.
Just a minute later Coventry came close with a set piece of their own, as Ali Hall’s header from a corner was cleared off the line by Anslow.
Coventry almost gifted Wolves the lead in the ninth minute when a weak backpass from Lynch was picked up by Jade Cross, but the keeper stood tall to make the save.
Then in the 17th minute it was Coventry again coming close with Miles heading a corner ball straight at Sophie Glenny in the Wolves goal.
Tables turned again just three minutes later as Jade Cross turned on the speed to beat two Coventry players down the right wing, but her cross into the box was found easily by the keeper.
In the 26th minute a diagonal ball from Coventry’s Brook found Amber Hughes in the Wolves box, but she couldn’t get a shot away thanks to a great tackle from Claire Hakeman.
A poor clearance from Coventry’s keeper just a minute later almost gave Wolves the lead, but she managed to recover, and the half finished goalless with both teams standing firm.
The second half saw Wolves manager Tim Dudding bring on Amber Quick in the 56th minute to join the midfield battle. Coventry were putting on the pressure, with a host of chances before they finally made the breakthrough in the 60th minute thanks to a Jade Brook tap in from a well-worked set piece.
Nine minutes later Wolves keeper Glenny came off second best when Amber Hughes won the ball in the area and slotted it into an empty net to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Jade Cross hadn’t given up for Wolves, getting free down the right in the 80th minute, but no one could connect with her cross.
Just three minutes later she tried the same move again, this time taking the shot herself from the edge of the area, and on this occasion the keeper was unable to make the save, pulling a goal back for Wolves and giving them fresh impetus.
Wolves piled on the pressure, but despite their valiant attempts they couldn’t find an equaliser to take the game into extra time, sending Coventry into the final.
Wolves Manager Tim Dudding said: “I'm completely proud of the team today. We battled hard and proved our worth in every area of the pitch, matching Coventry for large parts of the game.
“All credit goes to the players for their resilience and determination to play effective football throughout, and it was great to see two of our Under 18s playing their part too.”
Next Sunday 26th March sees Wolves turn their attention back to league action as they play host to Loughborough Students at Hednesford Town FC with a 2pm kick-off. Admission is £2; Concessions £1.
Wolves Team: Glenny, Hakeman, Anslow (Messon), Luke (Richards), Widdal, E.Cross, Whetton, Perks (Hewitt), J.Cross, McQuilkin (Quick), James (Moran). Sub: Webb.
PICTURE: Simon Faulkner.