Wolves Women in the Next Round After Shoot Out
Wolves Women 2 (Perks 20, Quick 54)
Brighouse Town Ladies 2 (Redgrave 47, 62)
2-2 After Extra Time
Wolves win 4-2 on penalties
Keeper Lucy Gardner played a pivotal role in an entertaining cup tie at a sunny Keys Park which saw Wolves Women progress to the 3rd round of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup after extra time and penalties.
The first clear chance of the game fell to Brighouse in the fifth minute, with Jodie Redgrave heading against the post from a cross on their right.
Wolves’ first chance came six minutes later from a Jen Anslow corner, with the ball falling to Laura McQuilkin, but her shot was blocked.
Captain Anna Perks then came close for Wolves, before Emily Starkey fired over the bar for the visitors.
It was Wolves who drew first blood in the 20th minute, as Perks rose to head powerfully into the corner from a perfectly delivered Anslow free-kick putting the home side 1-0 up.
Brighouse tried to respond immediately, but Gardner saved Redgrave’s powerful effort with her legs.
In the 41st minute another floated free-kick from Anslow just evaded the head of Vicky Brackenbury and McQuilkin couldn’t quite connect cleanly, sending her shot wide.
Wolves had a narrow escape with the last kick of the first half as Danielle Brown hit the bar from close range as the whistle blew, but the home side went into the break one goal up.
Wolves were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second half – iliterally - as Amber Quick chipped the keeper, only to be denied by the post.
Brighouse hit back in the 47th minute, with Redgrave lifting the ball over advancing keeper Gardner on the counter attack to make it 1-1.
Wolves pushed on in an effort to regain the advantage and two minutes later substitute Hattie James ran into the box and squared the ball to Quick, but her shot was straight at the keeper.
Wolves then had another chance in the 51st minute after good play again between James and Quick, but they couldn’t find enough space. Quick then laid the ball back to McQuilkin, but her shot was too high.
The home side’s pressure finally paid off in the 54th minute after persistence by Jade Cross, playing the ball to Quick, whose shot was deflected in to make it 2-1 to Wolves.
Brighouse were back on terms in the 62nd minute after a defensive mix up allowed Redgrave to stab the ball into an empty net.
The game then became very tense as both teams fought hard to get ahead, with Wolves looking the more likely to score, and Anslow and James both coming close.
In the 85th minute Brighouse had a great chance to win the game after the ball was played through to Redgrave, but she was denied by a fantastic save from Gardner in the Wolves goal, forcing the game into extra time.
Both sides struggled to create many clearcut chances in search of a winner, although Brighouse came closest with a fine opportunity near the end of extra time, but Gardner made another crucial stop to send the game to penalties.
Anslow converted the first for Wolves before Cass levelled for Brighouse. Then Jade Cross hit the post and went wide with her penalty before Doyle scored hers, putting Brighouse ahead. Captain Perks smashed the ball into the back of the net off the bar to make it 2-2, and then a great save from Gardner denied Redgrave. Vicky Brackenbury was next to step up for Wolves, and she scored to make it 3-2. Ayub struck her shot over the bar for Brighouse, which meant that keeper Gardner turned penalty-taker to score a fourth for Wolves and see them through 4-2.
Head Coach Tim Dudding praised Gardner’s performance. He said: "It's a credit to Lucy’s character that she went from potentially making a mistake to saving her team from two goal-scoring opportunities, and then going on to score the penalty which won us the game. That's real character and that's the culture we’re trying to build.”
Wolves Women are back in league action next Sunday 23rd October when they entertain Sporting Khalsa at Hednesford Town FC, Keys Park with a 2pm kick-off. Admission is £2 for adults or £1 for concessions.
Team: Gardner, Hakeman (Johnson), E.Cross, Brackenbury, Anslow, Quick, Perks, McQuilkin (Hewitt), Whetton, J. Cross, Davis (James). Sub: Lock.