Wolves 4 (Selmes 4, 39, 52, 62)
Preston North End Ladies 0
Wolves Women produced their most assured performance of the season to record a comfortable 4-0 win over Preston in the League Cup group stages, star striker Dani Selmes grabbing all four goals.
Selmes opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a wonderfully lofted finish after chasing a loose ball to run clear of the Preston back line.
Preston forced a great diving save from Natalie Hall on ten minutes as they sought to level the game but Wolves almost doubled their lead after catching them on the break.
Jordan Timmins-Ray raced down the right to cross for Becky Hall but her diving header was well kept out by Preston’s Lauren Bracewell.
Timmins-Ray and Becky Hall combined again shortly after as they worked the ball to Amber Quick, but her driven effort was parried behind.
Wolves kept the pressure on the visitors and Selmes was sent clear again, but this time she could only chip wide from an angle.
Selmes, Quick and Channelle Hooper all had efforts on goal before the half hour mark as Wolves pushed for a second goal, but nearly found themselves pegged back when Preston fired goalwards from a corner.
The ball was heading for the net but Natalie Hall produced a stunning stop to push the ball out.
From that point on it was all one-way traffic as a Kelly Pinner through ball was met by the imperious Selmes who rounded the keeper to slot into an empty net to extend Wolves’ advantage.
Wolves started where they left off in the second half and an early goal sealed the game. Becky Hall embarked on a sublime winding run to beat three players before her shot cannoned back off the crossbar, Selmes nodding in the rebound to complete her hat trick.
Selmes nearly made it four on the hour mark with what would have been an unbelievable goal when a Lauren Walker cross found her in space on the edge of the box, but her first-time volley rattled the crossbar with the keeper well beaten.
It didn’t really matter because minutes later Selmes did indeed grab her fourth of the afternoon to complete the rout.
The returning Jen Anslow broke down the Wolves left to play in Becky Hall who was far too good for the Preston back-line as she jinked through to the six-yard box to square for Selmes, who gratefully poked home from six yards.
Becky Hall’s superb performance deserved a goal but she could only clip the crossbar with a curled free-kick from 20 yards as Wolves dominated the game to restore some confidence to the side after a poor run of results.
Following the match, winger Jordan Timmins-Ray reflected on the game.
She said: “I thought we played really well, we created lots of chances and scored four quality goals.
“Our defending was solid which led to our first clean sheet, which is a massive boost.
“Hopefully we can build on this now going into our next game.”
Assistant manager Brian Churm was full of praise for his side.
He said: “I'm absolutely delighted with the girls’ performance today.
“We have been playing like that for a long time now, with the exception of last week, and today fully deserved the accolades.
“We took our goals well and were professional and committed throughout, and as we go into a week’s break it's always good to end on a high.
“This win will assist the girls psychologically as we return in two weeks time away to Forest.
“A massive well done to everyone involved today.”
Team: N. Hall, Rimmer (Wilson), Perks, H. Williams, Walker (Holmes), Pinner, Quick, B. Hall, Timmins-Ray, Hooper (Anslow), Selmes. Unused Sub: L. Williams.