Derby County Ladies 1 (Newton 1)
Wolves 2 (Selmes 33, Palmer77)
Wolves Women finally got off the mark in the Premier League Northern Division with a battling 2-1 away win at Derby.
Wolves got off to the worst possible start when Derby’s star player Cara Newton danced through the defence from the kick off to fire into the roof of the net just 15 seconds into the game. It wasn’t the opening Wolves needed after their start to the season but the players didn’t let the early setback faze them.
Both sides fought for control after that early breakthrough and Wolves went close to levelling when a Jamillah Palmer shot was spilled by the Derby keeper, but Amber Quick wasn’t able to force the ball home from close range.
Derby weren’t able to build on their early lead and as Wolves began to pile on the pressure and, on the half hour, the Rams crumbled. Dani Selmes powered into the Derby box and was pushed to the ground as she made her way towards goal. Selmes made no mistake from the spot to level the match.
Despite the goals the game was struggling to spark into life and at half time it appeared that the next breakthrough would prove decisive.
Wolves made two changes at half time, Sophie Richards and Anna Perks making way for Philippa Wilson and Jordan Timmins-Ray as they looked for some extra pace in attack.
On the hour mark it was hearts in mouths time as the linesman flagged for a penalty to Derby despite the referee blowing for a foul on a Wolves defender. After consulting with one another the referee gave Wolves the free-kick and the players, staff and fans were able to breathe easy.
As the game wore on Wolves were becoming more and more dangerous on the break with the pace of Palmer, Selmes and Timmins-Ray causing the Derby defence all sorts of problems.
And, with 13 minutes to go Wolves got that decisive goal. Palmer oozed class as she brought the ball down from a throw-in, turned two Derby defenders and switched play to Timmins-Ray who raced down the right. Timmins-Ray crossed in for Palmer, pictured, who continued her run to smash the ball into the net from close range.
The goal gave Wolves that extra bit of confidence and they began to create more chances for themselves with Selmes striking a sweet volley past the keeper, only to be denied by the post with seven minutes to go.
Less than a minute later Palmer also came close, her stinging drive palmed over by the Derby keeper as Wolves saw out the last few moments to record their first win of the season.
After the game, goalscorer Selmes spoke of the team’s determination to get off the mark.
“Today was a crucial win for us as we needed points on the board,” she said.
“Overall I thought we deserved the three points and even had the potential to score more goals.
“After a shaky start we managed to re- group and get ourselves back in the game by being awarded a penalty.
“At half time we all knew that we had to convert this draw into a win, and with teamwork and determination we managed to get ourselves in front - hopefully this result will kick start our season.”
Manager James Astle was relieved to get his first win of the season and praised his side’s effort
“Finally we’re off the mark,” he added.
“Going into today we knew we'd had a hard start in the opposition we faced, and that we really needed to produce a result.
“I think knowing this, the girls were a little nervous and we couldn't have had a worse start - that's the quickest goal I've ever seen conceded.
“I was pleased going in 1-1 at half time and we sat down and took a good hard look at ourselves, knowing what we needed to do.
“As the second half progressed we got stronger and stronger finally seeing all the effort pay off.
“Overall it was a hard fought out game, not pretty at times but thankfully we've started now and need to move on.
“I’m disappointed it's a cup game next week but it gives us time to work on areas we need to concentrate on.”
*Next week Wolves are at home to Manchester City Ladies in the League Cup. Kick off is 2pm at Castlecroft.
Team: N. Hall, Pinner, Salter, Williams, Walker, Perks (Wilson), Quick, B. Hall, Richards (Timmins-Ray), Palmer, Selmes. Unused Sub: Morris.