Wolves Women 2 (Perks 37, Hewitt 85)
Newcastle United Ladies (Havelock 66)
Wolves Women made it three wins out of four to maintain their Premier League status with a 2-1 win against Newcastle in a game played at Hednesford’s Keys Park ground.
With both sides fighting relegation, the game was full of entertainment from start to finish, and both started quickly, looking for the goals that would secure their place in next season’s Premier League.
Newcastle were the first to threaten, inside five minutes, but Natalie Hall made a comfortable save in the Wolves goal. Dani Selmes and Amber Quick both came close for Wolves in the opening 20 minutes, before Selmes hit the side netting.
Wolves were the team on top, forcing regular saves from the Newcastle keeper, including a superb stop to deny Quick when she was odds-on to score. However, Wolves made the breakthrough from the resulting corner with Anna Perks reacting well to steer her shot through a host of bodies and into the Newcastle net.
Becky Hall came close with an effort from range, but Wolves were unable to add to their tally before half time.
The second half saw the frantic pace continue. Selmes saw her effort go over the bar when through on goal, before Newcastle were unable to convert from three yards out, as Natalie Henderson fired over.
Newcastle’s pressure earned them an equaliser as Jess Havelock capitalised on some poor defending to fire in from close range on 66 minutes.
A point would have kept Wolves in the top flight, but they were desperate to get all three, defending solidly as Newcastle pushed for a winning goal. Natalie Hall was forced into a sublime save to keep out a Newcastle effort that looked destined for the top corner.
Wolves were called to do more defending, as first Jordan Timmins-Ray had to block a goal-bound effort, before Leanne Rimmer, in her last home game for the club after ten years, threw herself into a brave diving header to clear the ball off the line.
Wolves’ heroic efforts paid off, as they managed to ease the pressure on their own goal and race away on the break through Timmins-Ray. Although her cross was put behind, Wolves capitalised from the corner, as Jade Hewitt made herself the hero by forcing the ball over the line to give Wolves the win.
The full time whistle was met by delight all-round, as both Wolves and Newcastle survived at the expense of Leeds United.
Manager Trevor Mullings was delighted with his side. He said: “It was a much deserved win today. We showed fantastic character, tenacity and resilience, producing some excellent football at times and created a lot of chances. Above all I am delighted to have secured our status in the Premier League with an excellent performance.”
Wolves play their final game of the season away at Bradford City on Sunday 18th May.
Team: N. Hall, Large, Widdal, Palin, Rimmer, Perks, Luke, B. Hall (Hewitt), McQuilkin (Timmins-Ray), Quick, Selmes. Unused Subs: Williams, Hopkins.