Wolves Women 1 (Selmes 90+1)
Leicester City Women 0
Wolves Women edged a scrappy game at the death against Leicester City in a relegation battle to move four points clear of the drop zone.
Wolves started brightly and should have been one up after three minutes when a ball from Lauren Walker, pictured, found Becky Hall in the box, but Hall fired wide from eight yards.
Although Wolves had the majority of the chances and possession, both sides struggled with their final ball and a scrappy game unfolded with neither side looking like offering a serious threat to the opposition goalkeeper.
Jamillah Palmer beat three players before firing wide on the half hour but Wolves were still unable to find their usual rhythm and top scorer Dani Selmes was seeing little of the ball.
Wolves did come close to breaking the deadlock before halftime but defender Layla Salter could only fire into the side netting from Becky Hall’s cross.
The second half saw little improvement in the quality of the final ball but Wolves began to dominate the play and Leicester struggled to apply any sort of pressure on the hosts’ backline.
As time ticked away Wolves brought off Palmer who is struggling with fitness after injury, and replaced her with Philippa Wilson, who added fresh legs down the right hand side.
As the game entered its final stages the pitch appeared to open up as tired legs struggled to cover the ground and both sides had chances which were well saved by the respective goalkeepers.
Wolves came closest to scoring in regular time when a free-kick fell to Anna Perks in the box but her left-footed effort was straight at the Leicester keeper.
Just as it looked like the points would be shared, Becky Hall showed great tenacity to win the ball with her back to goal to find Wilson. Wilson flew down the wing and delivered a lovely driven cross into the feet of Selmes, who fired hard past the keeper to give Wolves a deserved win and a vital three points.
The result also gave Wolves their first clean sheet of the season and can be attributed to the outstanding performances of Leanne Rimmer and Layla Salter who won everything in defence.
Goal provider Philippa Wilson expressed the significance of the result.
She said: “The win today is very important as it has started to move us up the league table.
“I thought we all played well, especially under the circumstances of players coming back from injury and some being ill.
“It was a frustrating game but we battled hard to the end, and with a great finish from Dani we got the result we deserved.”
Manager James Astle was relieved after his side’s late goal pushed them clear of the drop zone.
“It was a much needed but deserved win, albeit we left it far too late,” said Astle.
“We really should have made the most of the first half chances.
“At the break we knew we just needed to be patient and the key was not to become too frustrated and keep the momentum, with quick play and, more importantly, possession.
“The girls know that this win is a big result and that from the last two games, what we've achieved needs to continue.
“As long as we maintain consistency it will get better and better.”
Team: N. Hall, Rimmer, Salter, Williams, Walker, Perks, Quick, B. Hall, Timmins-Ray, Palmer (Wilson), Selmes. Unused Sub: Hooper.