F.A Women’s Premier League Northern Division
Sunday 21st April 2013
Wolves Women 2 (Selmes 3, Wilson 85)
Nottingham Forest Ladies 4 (Whelan 31, 89, Meade 42, Bell 45)
Wolves Women suffered defeat in a physical battle with title-chasing Nottingham Forest Ladies at Castlecroft Stadium this weekend.
Wolves took an early lead through striker Dani Selmes, after Amber Quick bravely won the ball in midfield before playing a through ball to Becky Hall, whose square ball was converted by the forward.
Goalkeeper Natalie Hall was forced into a great close-range save five minutes later to keep Wolves ahead as Forest looked to hit back.
After the early drama, the game settled, with Wolves restricting Forest to long balls. Neither side were able to create further chances until the half hour mark, when a deep Forest free-kick was headed past Natalie Hall by Aileen Whelan, as Wolves once again conceded from a set piece.
As half time approached, the visitors began to pile on the pressure, forcing another superb diving save from Natalie Hall. Less than a minute later though, Forest took the lead, a cross to the back post found Natasha Meade unmarked, and she finished well - firing into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
Forest further piled on the misery for Wolves, as a neat through ball found Andrea Bell on the stroke of half time. Bell had the pace to keep the Wolves defence at bay and coolly placed her shot into the corner of the net to give Forest a 3-1 advantage heading into the break.
Wolves showed all their battling qualities to keep the title-chasing visitors at bay early in the second period, while also showing flashes of their neat, passing game.
Despite the home side's best efforts though, Forest showed why they are in the title hunt, forcing more great saves from Natalie Hall, with Audrey Moore also helping out by heading off the line as Forest piled on the pressure.
With five minutes to go, Wolves got themselves back into the game - Becky Hall's trickery played in Jamillah Palmer, whose driven cross was met by a bullet header from Philippa Wilson, giving Wolves the chance of claiming a late point.
Forest nearly scored from the kick off, only to be denied by a last-gasp challenge by Leanne Rimmer as Wolves looked to push forward for the equaliser.
As the hosts pushed numbers forward at the death, Forest were again able to break, and Whelan chipped over Natalie Hall to cement the visitors' win with the fourth goal.
Club captain Anna Perks said afterwards: "We knew it would be a tough game today, but with us getting the early goal and playing some good football, we felt there were definitely points up for grabs.
"However, we made some defensive errors and gave the ball away too easily at times, and unfortunately we were punished," she added.
"We worked hard in the second half and there was nothing between the sides. Overall it's very disappointing, but we are now looking ahead to Sheffield next weekend and we'll look to put things right then."
Manager James Astle also had his say: "We had a good start early on and then seemed to make it difficult for ourselves. All the hard work was undone by some poor work defensively.
"There were some strong words at the break, and we challenged the players to perform as we have been doing and not to show ourselves up. I was pleased with the response - we got a second goal, albeit very late on, and we were pushing hard in the final minutes to try and get something, which allowed Forest to capitalise.
"We know Forest are a strong technical team and they deserved the win today. We have to push on now - we have two games in quick succession and we need to perform."
Team: N. Hall, Rimmer, Salter, Williams, Moore, Quick, Wilson, Timmins-Ray, Palmer, B. Hall, Selmes.
Unused Subs: Perks, Morris, Large, Hewitt.