Blackburn Rovers Ladies 6 (H. Forster 8, Marsh 52, N. Forster 57, Anderton 71, 73, 88)
Report by Matt Sacco
Wolves Women were left with the feeling of déjà vu after a second half capitulation saw them suffer successive heavy defeats, this one in the League Cup group stages.
The first half was a competitive affair, with Wolves coming close to opening the scoring inside 60 seconds when Becky Hall’s cross was headed narrowly wide by Dani Selmes.
But it was Blackburn who opened the scoring as early as the eighth minute after the Wolves defence was dragged out of position. Two Blackburn players were left unmarked in the box, and it was captain Hannah Forster who had all the time in the world to fire the ball into the top corner of the net.
The next 20 minutes saw Blackburn control the game by passing well and holding possession in the midfield, but they were unable to carve out further opportunities.
With 15 minutes to go in the first half Wolves suddenly came to life as a corner was floated into the Blackburn box but Anna Perks could only scuff her effort wide of the post.
Wolves began the second half with the confidence to try and get something from this game but simply fell apart after Blackburn doubled their lead on 52 minutes. A ball across the six-yard box was fired goal-wards by Nichol
Forster but was somehow kept out by a stunning block from Wolves’ keeper Natalie Hall. Hall had no chance with the rebound however and Steph Marsh lashed in.
Five minutes later the game was over as a contest when Wolves defender Kelly Pinner failed to cut out a cross, leaving Forster to poke home Blackburn’s third.
Wolves made three changes on the hour mark as they replaced the injured Hannah Williams and changed formation.
And they came close to grabbing a goal when Blackburn failed to clear a corner on 66 minutes, but Amber Quick’s effort was off target.
Natalie Hall was forced into another stunning block minutes later when Blackburn ran clear, but she was helpless when it came to the final three goals, individual errors leaving the backline exposed and Blackburn’s Katie Anderton took full advantage to notch a hat trick and add to Wolves’ misery.
After the game, returning midfielder Quick gave an honest assessment of the game.
“I think today was an extremely tough match,” she said.
“Blackburn are a top side who are likely to challenge for promotion.
“Their movement and fitness levels were very good and I think in the end that took its toll on us, particularly in the second half.
“The potential in the squad is definitely there and in the first half I felt we really competed.
“Going in at 1-0 down at half time, the team still felt that we could get something from the game.
“As soon as we let the 2nd goal in that’s when I think we really let our heads drop and perhaps that’s where Blackburn’s fitness levels really started to show.
“It’s been a difficult start to the new season as several players have been away each game.
“Today we had three key first team players missing so hopefully in the coming games we will have a full team selection to choose from.
“Each game is a learning curve and as a team we are determined to prove that we can compete at this higher
“We will regroup at training this week and we'll go again next week and give it our all against Sheffield who are another great side in the league tipped to be up there for promotion!”
Manager James Astle was once again left to rue his side’s second half performance.
He added: “A very poor performance in the second half where we conceded too many easy goals was our downfall today.
“We started the first half slowly but towards the end we got better.
“No excuses though, we were simply outclassed by a very good and clinical Blackburn side.
“The players know my expectations and will learn from today's performance.
“Unfortunately holidays and injuries played a part but all in all it was an unacceptable performance.
“There will be a lot of hard work required to get us back to our normal game and style, but we are confident we
can do that and we will put it right.
“There were some decent individual performances but we need to turn that into a team effort.”
* Wolves look to reverse their fortunes when they host Sheffield on Sunday 9th September at Castlecroft.
TEAM: N. Hall, Rimmer, Pinner, Perks, Williams (Hooper), Timmins-Ray (Wilson), B. Hall, Quick, Richards (Morris), Phillipowsky, Selmes.