Ladies Late Show Seals Cup Progress
Wolves Women 3 (Whetton 59, Anslow 81 (pen), James 83)
Radcliffe Olympic 2 (Robinson 9, 68)
Wolves Women were the comeback heroes for their second game running - this time in the League Cup as they came from behind twice to beat visitors Radcliffe Olympic 3-2 at Darlaston Town's Bentley ground.
Radcliffe had the upper hand from the start, dominating play in the early stages, with Wolves struggling to get into the game.
The visitors could have been ahead in the fifth minute, but captain Widdal cleared off the line.
Their persistence paid off though, and Nat Robinson broke the deadlock, catching Wolves on the break from their first attack of the game to put Radcliffe in front.
After 20 minutes Wolves started to put some passes together to get back into the game.
Their best spell of possession ended with Laura McQuilkin slicing wide from outside the area.
Then in the 25th minute Jen Anslow turned a defender on the edge of the area but shot over.
Lucy Webster nearly extended Radcliffe’s lead just two minutes later with a floated effort from an acute angle which bounced back off the crossbar.
And Widdal came to the rescue again in the 37th minute, intercepting a shot on goal from Laura Turner.
Wolves had a couple of chances just before the break, with Andrea Whetton mis-cuing from a tight angle after quick build-up play and a whipped-in cross from the left, before Anslow's free-kick was just out of reach of Brackenbury's run into the box.
Wolves were still finding it hard to get any shots on goal and the half finished with the visitors ahead.
The second half saw the game open up more, but it was Radcliffe who had the first chance as former Wolves player Beth Bailey fired her free-kick over the bar.
Then it was Anslow's turn to whip in a low corner from the right, but Amber Quick couldn't quite connect and it was gathered by the keeper.
Anslow made a vital interception in the 54th minute from a deep cross, heading back to Gardner in the Wolves goal with Radcliffe's Lucy Webster waiting to pull the trigger.
After a successful comeback from injury, Claire Hakeman made way for Emma Cross in the 57th minute, while Dominique Luke replaced Sophie Richards in midfield.
As Wolves pressed, Jade Cross forced a defensive header which landed at the feet of Whetton for her to shoot into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the area to make it 1-1.
Wolves found themselves behind again just nine minutes later though, as Robinson scored her second with a looping free-kick into the top corner.
Manager Steve Cullis made his final substitution in the 74th minute as the rain started, bringing on Jade Hewitt for McQuilkin.
And it was Hewitt who was brought down in the box for a penalty which Anslow duly converted to level the scores again.
With the clock ticking down Hattie James, pictured, clinched the winner for Wolves in the 83rd minute, looping the ball over a defender after the keeper had saved a Jade Cross shot.
It was a battle to the end, with Emma Cross clearing off the line in the last minute, but Wolves held on for another impressive win which sees them progress to the first round proper of the League Cup.
Manager Cullis said: "I was really proud of the girls again today - an outstanding performance showing fantastic desire and character to fight back from behind for the second game running."
Next Sunday 11th September sees Wolves back in league action when they entertain Loughborough Students.
The game will be played at Wolves Women's home ground of Hednesford Town FC with a 2pm kick-off. Admission is £2 or concessions £1.
Team: Gardner, Hakeman (E.Cross), Anslow, McQuilkin (Hewitt), Brackenbury, Widdal, Whetton, Richards (Luke), J.Cross, Quick, James. SUBS: Lock, Davis.