Wolves Women finished their season in style with a fantastic 3-1 win over league champions West Bromwich Albion Women in the Black Country derby.
Wolves Women 3 (J Cross 24 & 83, Walker 78)
West Bromwich Albion Women 1 (Murray 42)
Report by Callum Doughty, photography by Simon Faulkner.
A brace from Jade Cross and a Lowri Walker goal ended West Brom’s perfect league record, with Wolves finishing as runners-up.
Wolves started the game on the back foot but steadily grew into it and their efforts were eventually rewarded when Cross gave them the lead.
Goalkeeper Maddie Elbro’s long goal kick over the top put pressure on the West Brom defence, they were unable to deal with the ball and it eventually fell to Cross who raced clear of the defenders and slotted past Vanessa Kinnerley in the West Brom goal.
The goal was what Wolves needed to get them going and they soon went close again, first though Jen Anslow and then through captain Anna Price.
Almost against the run of play the visitors equalised just before the half-time break. Natalie Murray’s strike from distance flew over Elbro and into the top corner.
The second-half began in similar fashion to the first, with West Brom well on top but unable to find the breakthrough.
It took the substitution of Lowri Walker to swing the game back Wolves’ way and she put them back ahead with almost her first touch of the game. Kinnerley superbly saved Jade Cross’s strike from close range, the ball went back out wide to Anna Morphet who whipped in a wonderful cross and there was Walker to acrobatically fire Wolves into the lead.
Wolves’ lead was then increased even further just five minutes later. Almost a carbon-copy of her first goal, Cross was played in, she raced away from the defenders and slotted home.
With a considerable chunk of stoppage time came a chance for West Brom to pull one back from the penalty spot but Elbro saved Davies’s penalty brilliantly low down to her right.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Manager Dan McNamara’s substitution bringing on Lowri Walker proved a stroke of genius. She changed the whole complexion of the game when she came on and it was fitting that she scored just minutes after entering the field of play, putting Wolves back in front after they had been under the cosh.
McNamara was delighted with his team’s performance. He said: “It was a rollercoaster game. I thought our girls did brilliantly. From the first whistle we were unbelievable. I thought we were well deserved winners and I’m absolutely delighted.”
Captain Anna Price echoed her manager’s thoughts: “The game was hard at times; we had to dig in and soak it up. We played well today, as we have the last few weeks, we just want to build on our performances ahead of next season.”
Goal scorer Jade Cross added: “I think we wanted it a little bit more today, and for me being a Wolves fan, getting a goal against West Brom is always good.”
Wolves | Elbro, Widdal, Price, Morphet, Jones, Williams, Haynes, George (Barnett), E Cross, J Cross (Jennings), Anslow (Walker).
Unused subs | Wilkie, Hogan, Jennings.
West Brom | Kinnerley, Jewitt, George, Orthodoyou, Elsmore, Baines, Murray, Greaves, Reid, L Davies, K Davies.