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Cross can't mark milestone with win

Jade Cross was unable to mark her 150th Wolves appearance with a goal in last Sunday’s 3-2 National League Cup defeat by Stoke City.

But with a phenomenal goal haul of 28 from 15 outings in all competitions this season, the Wolverhampton born and bred striker has no cause for self-criticism.

As she prepares for Sunday's second round FA Cup tie against Fylde at Castlecroft, however, Cross reflected on the what-might-have-been against a Stoke side that – like Fylde – play in a league higher than Wolves.

“I hit the bar early in the second half,” she noted. “It was 1-1 at the time and if we’d taken the lead at that point, I think we’d have gone on to win the game.

“But Stoke got a penalty to put them in front and that killed our momentum, and when they scored again a few minutes later it was very difficult to come back.

“We got a penalty ourselves to score our second goal, but that was no help because it was the last kick of the game and we were out of the competition.

“So, although I’m proud to have made my 150th appearance for my home town club, it was disappointment more than anything I felt at the final whistle.

“But we’d shown we can compete against a team that are flying at the top end of the National League Northern Division, and we’ll be aiming to do that again against Fylde to hopefully reach the third round of the (FA) Cup.”

Sunday’s meeting with Stoke was set up by a tremendous victory over Fylde in the previous round of the League Cup, Wolves coming back from 2-1 down to claim a 3-2 triumph with the winner arriving right at the end of extra time.

“The brilliant win up at Fylde and Sunday’s performance at Stoke showed we are good enough to compete in the Northern Division,” insisted Cross.

“Promotion to that league is our big aim this season and we’re confident we can achieve it, but we also want to go as far as we can in all the cups we’re in.”

A second victory over Fylde would not only keep Wolves in the FA Cup but could also perhaps spark a run to match the 11 straight wins in all competitions that Dan McNamara’s team had achieved before the defeat at Stoke.

If that’s going to happen then goals from Cross will be key, the 24-year-old striker’s 28 to date having put her just four behind the total amount she scored in the whole of the 2018/19 campaign.

“Last season was my best ever for goals,” she said, “so my aim at the start of this season was to go past 32. I’ve set myself a new target now and hopefully I can keep on scoring to help the team achieve all our aims for the season.”