Millwall Lionesses 3
Wolves Women 1
Wolves Women exited the F.A Cup in the second round after a 3-1 defeat away at Millwall.
Wolves started brightly and dominated the play, with Jamillah Palmer, Philippa Wilson and Becky Hall all having shots at goal in the early stages.
However Wolves were undone on 17 minutes when a long ball over the top beat the defence, and Millwall’s top scorer Emma Whitter raced through and finished coolly past Natalie Hall to give the home side the lead.
Despite going behind against the run of play, Wolves kept up their passing game and were the better side in the first half, keeping possession, with keeper Hall having very little to do.
As the interval approached, Lauren Walker breezed down the left wing to cross for Amber Quick, but her effort was blocked. Dani Selmes was quickest to react to the loose ball but her follow-up was also blocked away with the keeper beaten.
Palmer stung the fingertips of the Millwall keeper with seconds to go before half time but Wolves couldn’t find an equalising goal and went in at the break 1-0 down.
The second half was a more even affair, with Millwall almost doubling their lead from the kick off as Whitter raced through once more, but she could only loft her effort wide.
Minutes later, Wolves nearly had their equaliser when Selmes crossed for Quick but her goal-bound effort was deflected away for a corner as Millwall held firm.
Millwall could have doubled their lead on the hour mark but were denied by a superb fingertip save by Hall who tipped the ball onto the crossbar.
Wolves made a triple substitution on 65 minutes as they looked to save the game, with Natalie Morris, Channelle Hooper and new signing Audrey Moore all coming on.
Wolves were comfortable in possession but were unable to penetrate the Millwall backline, prompting a change in formation to push more players forward.
And as Wolves pushed for an equaliser, Millwall hit them on the break twice in quick succession to take an unassailable 3-0 lead on 90 minutes.
Wolves were at least rewarded for their persistence at the death when a Becky Hall free kick found the head of Captain Anna Perks, who nodded in for a consolation goal.
Although Wolves will be disappointed with defeat, they will be happy with the way they played and passed the ball after almost two months without a game.
Goalscorer Perks said: “After having some great chances in the first half, we came in at half time confident that we could turn it around, but we didn’t get started in the second half.
“With only ten minutes left we had to push on to try to get the equaliser, and unfortunately they capitalised on this.
“It was very disappointing to go out after a good first half performance, and at times we played some really good football, but we gave the ball away too easily at times and should have defended better.
“At least it gave us a chance to get back playing after such a long break.”
Manager James Astle shared the sentiments of his captain, adding “Having not played for two months, I have to give credit for the first half.
“With most of the possession and creating opportunities, we should really have gone in with a clear lead.
“In the second half we were completely different - we looked too casual and we paid for it.
“The three substitutions and change in formation got us back in control for a short time, but our defending from all areas was uncommonly below par.”
Wolves Women are in League action at home next Sunday to Blackburn Rovers with a 2pm kick off at Castlecroft.
Team: N. Hall, Rimmer (Hooper), Perks, Williams, Walker, Quick, Wilson (Morris), B. Hall, Timmins-Ray (Moore), Palmer, Selmes.