by Peter Westwood
Stoke City Ladies 1 (Hyde 47)
Wolves Women 1 (J. Cross 7)
Honours were even as Wolves Women secured a hard-fought draw in a thrilling game against Stoke City Ladies in yesterday's Staffordshire Derby.
Wolves got off to a great start with a goal in the seventh minute which saw Jade Cross run from her own area and into the box to calmly slot home and take the lead.
She could have doubled the score just three minutes later but her shot went wide.
Stoke were trying to get back into the game and in the 16th minute they saw an attack end with a stinging shot from the edge of the box which was saved by Sophie Glenny in the Wolves goal.
Then it was Wolves on the attack, with chances for Jade Cross, the returning Anna Price and Billie Haynes all going close.
Stoke themselves could have equalised towards the end of the first half, producing a great shot, but Glenny produced an equally great save to keep them at bay and send Wolves in 1-0 up at the break.
It was Stoke who took the initiative at the start of the second half as Cassie Hyde headed home from a corner in the 47th minute to claim the equaliser.
Stoke were now pushing on and had several chances, but were held at bay by valiant defending from Wolves.
In the 62nd minute a free-kick from the edge of the box by Haynes went just over the bar.
With 15 minutes remaining Wolves Manager Tim Dudding brought on debutante Chloe Williams as Wolves pressed for the elusive winner.
In the dying minutes both teams had chances to win the game with Stoke going close in the 90th minute as Glenny tipped a swirling shot over the bar. The resulting corner was well defended by Wolves and the breakaway was on, but Jade Cross’s shot was saved by the Stoke keeper in an end-to-end finale to the game which ultimately finished all square.
Manager Tim Dudding said: “We started well and on the front foot. I thought we deservedly claimed the first half for ourselves.
“We were frustrated to concede in the way we did but we picked ourselves up and got the point.
“We could have nicked it at the end but it’s good to come away for a second week with another point – we were pleased with that.”
* Wolves Women are back at Hednesford Town FC next Sunday 8th October when they entertain Nottingham Forest Ladies with a 2pm kick-off. Admission is £2; concessions and Wolves season ticket holders £1.
TEAM: Glenny, Hakeman (Williams), Butler, Jones, Hayes, Price (C), E. Cross, Whetton (Bragan), McQuilkin, Robinson, J. Cross. SUBS: Foster, Moran, Meeson.
PICTURE OF LEANNE ROBINSON COURTESY MARK BIRCHILL