Jade Cross’ third hat-trick of the season eased Wolves Women to a comfortable victory over The New Saints at a windswept Park Hall on Wednesday evening.
The New Saints 0
Wolves Women 4 (J Cross 24, 56 & 84, George 41)
Report by Mike Capewell, photograph by Simon Faulkner.
Wolves were quick on the offensive and had the first opportunity of the game when Cross hit the foot of the post in only the third minute. However, Saints responded, and Emily Ridge had their first sight of goal on the ten-minute mark, but she put her effort well wide.
The home side were playing a well marshalled offside trap with Wolves falling foul of the tactics on several occasions, but the deadlock was broken midway through the first half as Natalie Widdal threaded a diagonal ball through the middle of the home defence for Cross to run on to. Beating the defender to the ball, she lifted it over the onrushing home keeper into the unguarded net.
Wolves were now well on the front foot, with Tanya Dickinson striking a 35-yard effort just wide on the half hour and Cross then having an effort cleared off the line.
The second goal soon arrived as Jen Anslow swung over a free-kick from near the corner flag, the ball flicked off the head of a Saints defender, leaving Tammi George a free header at the back post which she nodded into the back of the net.
The second-half began in a similar fashion to the first, with Wolves straight on the attack as Cross hit an angled drive just over the bar. The third goal came after 54 minutes when Jess Jennings played the ball back to Mai Butler whose first time cross was nodded into the top corner by Cross.
The forward almost grabbed her hat-trick on the hour mark after good work by Chloe Williams saw Cross’ first time effort well saved by Parkes in the Saints goal. The home side responded well, and Wolves keeper Katie Clarke was called into action for the first and only time when saving from Ridge.
The final goal came from a quick break from defence. TNS launched a free kick into the Wolves box which was cleared, with substitute Charlotte Criddle feeding Jennings who ran fully 40 yards with the ball before slotting an excellent pass into the path of Cross who slid the ball under the advancing goalkeeper and into the net.
The game was now over as a contest, however, Wolves finished with ten players after Widdal was sent off for kicking the ball away and collecting her second yellow of the game, but Wolves saw the game out to collect all three points to reinforce their second place in the table.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Tammi George’s third goal of the season eased Wolves into a two-goal half-time lead and removed any nagging doubts that the home side would mount a fightback.
Manager Dan McNamara was delighted with the result. He said: “I thought we were fantastic in parts tonight. It’s a difficult place to come and we knew TNS would sit in, and at times we were playing against a back eight.
“The girls had to be patient, we had to keep plugging away, keep the quality, and I think it shone through in the end with some great goals.”
Wolves are on their travels again on Sunday 17th March as they take on Long Eaton United Ladies.
- 17/03 – Long Eaton United Ladies (A)
- 31/03 – Steel City Wanderers FC Ladies (H)
- 14/04 – Bedworth United Ladies (H)
- 28/04 – Nettleham FC Ladies (A)
- 05/05 – West Bromwich Albion Women (H)
TNS | Parkes, Smith, Bebbington, Bragan (Davis), Davies, Taylor, Lewis, Doster (Brown), Pennington, Ridge, Jackson (James).
Wolves | Clarke, Price, E Cross, Widdal, Butler (Criddle 63), Dickinson, George (Barnett 57), Williams (Haynes 70), Anslow, Jennings, J Cross.