Wolves Women 5 (Walker 6, Parker 40, 45, Widdal 45+1, Morphet 45+2) TNS Ladies 1 (Bebbington 30)
Wolves Women claimed all three points on Wednesday night in the Women’s National League Division 1 Midlands as they won 5-1 against The New Saints Ladies at the CKW Stadium.
A flurry of goals at the end of the first half ensured that Wolves had a resounding lead at the interval, with Lowri Walker, Jamila Palmer (two), Natalie Widdal and Anna Morphet all getting on the scoresheet.
Just six minutes in, Walker was able to break TNS’ defensive lines, lobbing the onlooking goalkeeper Sarah Parkes to give the home side the perfect start to the game. Despite several chances to double the scoring, the away side were able to find a leveller when Kim Bebbington fired home from close range on the half hour mark.
It didn’t take long for Wolves to regain their lead however, as Palmer’s looping header found the target 40 minutes in to set off a destructive end to the first half. Moments later Palmer had doubled the lead and her scoring with a thunderous effort from long range, finding the top right corner with an emphatic strike.
As the first half neared to a close, Widdal was able to make it four as she managed to get on the end of a set piece and not long after Morphet granted Wolves a four goal cushion, when her corner found its way into the back of the net.
Despite a resounding scoreline, the second half proved tense for both sides, with a plethora of chances at both ends of the pitch. Jade Cross came the closest in the second half, with her powerful strike matched by a fine save just past the hour mark.
The win for Wolves cements their place at the top of the Women’s National League Division 1 Midlands, 13 points clear of second place Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies.
Manager Dan McNamara praised the clinical nature of his side after scoring four times in quick succession before half time, as well as lauding his players’ game management which meant that Wolves extended their lead at the top of the table.
He said: “It was a big mental challenge tonight as TNS are the only side who have took points off us this season. Going in the lead early was good for us but we took our foot off the gas momentarily and they pegged us back.
“There was a clinical ten minutes from us however, which I thought blew them away. Jamila (Palmer) has scored a wonder goal and the girls have excelled from there and put us in the driving seat.
“We talked about how we were going to manage the second half, we knew TNS were going to need an early goal, so we needed to control the tempo and it was good to see that side of the game from ourselves.”
The win extends the run of fine form that McNamara’s squad are currently experiencing, with the manager putting that down to his team’s commitment.
“I think our form is down to the girls’ desire,” he added. “We had clear goals at the start of the season and the staff and girls have been fantastic, we’re all pulling in one direction.
“The girls deserve it. They’ve put everything into it this season.”
Wolves Women are aiming to reach the final of the Birmingham County Cup on Sunday 23rd February, 2pm kick-off, when they face Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies at the CKW Stadium in the semis.
23/02 | Birmingham and West Midlands Ladies (H)
08/03 | Doncaster Rovers Belles (A)
15/03 | Leicester United WFC (A)
22/03 | Solihull (H)
25/03 | Sporting Khalsa (H)
Wolves: Elbro, Bruton, E. Cross, Widdal (C), Morphet, Jennings, Walker (Bramford 45), Edwards, Barnett, J. Cross, Palmer (Keitley 65)
Unused Subs: Haynes, Wilson, Dicken
TNS: Parkes, Brown, L. Evans, Smith, H. Evans, Y. Evans, Lewis, Jennings, Pennington, Bebbington, Poster
Subs: Davis, Taylor, Morris, Griffiths
Report by Jack Shannon