Resilience, jubilation and then frustration summed up Wolves Women’s trip to Derby as they let a late winner slip to an even later equaliser to return home with one point.
Derby County Ladies 1 (Allen 82)
Wolves Women 1 (J.Cross 80)
By Joe Lightfoot
Jade Cross topped off her more than admirable performance with a goal which was, in turn, cancelled out just minutes later; Kirsty Allen delivered the bitter blow.
The best and first chance of the match fell to Billie Haynes after some great work down the right-hand side from Cross. Her blistering pace caused the Derby back line problems throughout the first half. Cross cut back to Haynes whose tamed effort only found the gloves of Morgan.
Keeper Katie Clarke was first called into action late in the half after a wonderful defensive display from Wolves in the opening half. She palmed away a long range, dipping effort from Derby’s Sims.
Little else warranted worry from either keeper as the two sides endured a 45 minute midfield battle.
For much of the second half, the cagey affair continued. Jen Anslow gave an exemplary performance in a strong display.
Cross then got the goal she more than deserved. After constant unselfish running, the attacker put her side in front in the 80th minute. A cute, lofted pass eluded the Derby defenders and Cross needed no less than two touches to bring the ball under control and stroke it past Morgan into the bottom left hand corner.
The celebrations, though, were short lived as Allen equalled the score after a deep corner found its way to the back post. Allen made no mistake from the goal mouth and rocketed the ball into the roof of the net.
Wolves manager Dan McNamara expressed his disappointment with the result but believes that there are lots of positives to take: “It feels like a loss for me. Very disappointed. Very disappointing. But once the dust has settled and I can get back home, we can start to have a look at the positives.”
He went on to commend the performance of Cross: “That’s probably the fourth game on the bounce when she’s been absolutely fantastic for me. The style we’re having to play involves her at times being very isolated, working her socks off and at times she’s struggled in front of goal and her confidence has taken a knock, but today has just reminded her of how good and clinical she is.”
WOLVES | Clarke, Anslow, E.Cross, Widdal (Price), Butler(c), Whetton, Haynes (R.Howard), J.Cross, Williams, Jones, George.
SUBS | Criddle, Davies, Whitehouse.
PICTURE | Mark Birchill