Wolves Women 0
Sheffield FC 2 (Michalska 26, Johnstone 78)
Wolves Women’s difficult start to the season continued as they lost 2-0 at home to Sheffield FC in a competitive game at Castlecroft.
Wolves began the game well against the league champions and current leaders, quickly settling into their short passing game to take early control. Sheffield were relative bystanders in the opening 15 minutes as Wolves passed it around well, but without testing the goalkeeper.
As the first half progressed, the champions came into the game more, going close at the far post after Wolves failed to defend a cross into the box.
Sheffield got the breakthrough on 26 minutes when Jodie Michalska fired home from the penalty spot after Natalie Widdal was adjudged to have fouled in the box.
Ten minutes later, Natalie Hall was forced into a great finger-tip save to keep Wolves in the game as Sheffield looked to double their advantage.
Summer Holmes fired over for Wolves as the home side looked to draw level before half time.
The second half saw Wolves continue to try and play their short passing game and found themselves in some good positions, but they struggled to find a killer ball to supply striker Dani Selmes.
Despite being up against a side that had won 7-0 the previous week, Wolves continued to compete, and didn’t let them settle at all. Sheffield were only able to find their second goal on the back of some real quality, Krystle Johnstone firing home left-footed from 25 yards to leave Natalie Hall stranded on 78 minutes.
Wolves nearly got a goal back shortly after, but Layla Salter couldn’t turn the ball in at the far post from a corner.
In the end Sheffield edged the game and Wolves will be frustrated at the lack of chances created, but will take positives from the competitive nature of the contest.
Despite defeat, defender Natalie Widdal was confident that results would soon come Wolves way.
She said: “It was disappointing not to come away with a point today, after playing some brilliant football in both halves.
“As a team we need to stick together and keep playing the way we have been, keeping
our passing game going and we will finally go on and get the win we deserve.”
Manager Trevor Mullings echoed Widdal’s views, but demanded his team take their chances, adding: “It seems to be an emerging pattern of our play where we start well with a high tempo, playing the better football and creating opportunities, but again not taking our chances.
“As the game grew Sheffield started to find their feet and we let them back into the game giving away a penalty and then defensive mistakes for the second goal. We have come a long way in our play from last season but need to produce the end product.”
Team: N. Hall, Large, Widdal, Perks, McQuilkin, Salter (Palin), Luke, Timmins-Ray (Rimmer), Palmer, Holmes, Selmes. Unused Sub: Hewitt.
*Wolves Reserves impressed in their opening game of the season as they came away 5-0 winners against Stoke City at Bentley Leisure Pavilion. Chloe Dodd scored a brace, while there were also goals for Natalie Morris and one each for twins Jade and Emma Cross. New manager Alex Owens was delighted with the win, saying: "It was a great performance by the girls today, getting the season off to an excellent start. 100% passion and commitment and quality goals.