Wolves 2 (Selmes 5, 74)
Sheffield FC Ladies 3 (Mitchell 9, Michalska 24, Lawson 75)
Wolves Women endured defeat once more in the Premier League Northern Division, but will be far happier with their performance as they lost a tight contest 3-2 at home to Sheffield.
Wolves made a great start to settle their nerves when Becky Hall made a surging run through the middle of the Sheffield midfield in the fifth minute. Hall slotted an inch-perfect through ball for striker Dani Selmes, pictured, who lofted a sublime finish over the advancing Claire Wallhead to give Wolves the lead.
Sheffield hit straight back and were level less than five minutes later. A corner drifted in towards Wolves’ back-post and Kayleigh Mitchell out-jumped her marker to nod home the equaliser.
Despite the setback Wolves didn’t let their heads drop, pressing Sheffield when they had possession and passing the ball around well when they had the chance to do so.
Sheffield however were beginning to show the qualities that have seen them tipped as promotion contenders and a cross in from the left was headed in at the far-post by Jodie Michalska to give last season’s runners-up the lead.
In previous weeks this may have been the start of a collapse but Wolves showed a renewed toughness to keep their standards high and play intelligent football. Selmes in particular held the ball up admirably as Wolves looked to get back on level terms.
The second half saw Wolves start the more positive, testing the Sheffield full-backs and almost equalising ten minutes in when a cross from the right found Selmes, whose header was saved by Wallhead. Sheffield broke immediately and nearly increased their lead but could only chip wide after Natalie Hall rushed out to close the angle.
Wolves had another chance to level just after the hour mark when an attack down the left saw Wallhead spill a shot into the path of Jamillah Palmer, but she was rushed into firing wide of the goal.
With 20 minutes to go Natalie Hall produced a superb save to tip a Sheffield shot around the post and keep Wolves in the game.
Wolves continued to attack when they had an opportunity and they finally got their reward when Becky Hall angled a ball into the box for Selmes who headed past Wallhead to level the game.
The second goal capped what was a brilliant performance from Selmes, who was full of running and took her chances well.
Unfortunately for Wolves, Sheffield attacked from the restart and were awarded a penalty when Lauren Walker was adjudged to have fouled in the box. Catherine Lawson stepped up and sent Natalie Hall the wrong way to re-establish Sheffield’s lead with fifteen minutes remaining.
Wolves couldn’t find another goal and slipped to their fourth defeat of the season, but will take plenty of positives from their performance, especially the way they continued to compete when they conceded goals.
Wolves star Rebecca Large, who was stretchered off on the opening day against Blackburn, was in attendance and was pleased with the fighting spirit shown on the pitch.
She said: “The final score was disappointing, as the girls started confidently, taking an early lead.
“They had clearly put past results behind them and were competing well against Sheffield.
“We looked determined to take something away from the game, which I think is what the girls deserved!
“Again we fell victim to costly mistakes and ended up looking at a game of what might have been.
“But it was a much improved performance from the girls today and as a team an early goal is key!”
Wolves Manager James Astle was disappointed with the result.
He said: “We started well and scored early but failed defensively and let Sheffield in twice far too cheaply.
“After drawing level we really needed to drive on and get at least a point to start us off.
“Lessons will be learnt and the performance overall was far better than in weeks gone by.
“We have more work to do but we are certainly getting there.”
Team: N. Hall, Perks, Salter, Williams, Walker, Pinner, Quick, B. Hall, Phillipowsky (Richards), Palmer, Selmes. Unused Subs: Morris, Wilson.