Sporting Khalsa Women 0 Wolves Women 5 (Walker 5, 46, 70, J.Cross 75, Morphet 85)
Lowri Walker’s hat-trick helped Wolves to three wins from their opening trio of fixtures after defeating Sporting Khalsa to maintain their 100 per cent record in the 2020/21 campaign.
Both sides had won their first two games of the Women’s National League Division 1 Midlands season coming into Wednesday’s night top-of-the-table tie, with Wolves were looking to maintain maximum points after scoring 14 goals in their opening two matches.
Sporting Khalsa started bright in the opening moments of the game, with the return of fans boosting the spirits of the players.
Despite the fast start from the hosts, it was Wolves who took the lead inside 10 minutes. Walker opened the scoring after an initial save from the goalkeeper, but the forward was alert to the rebound to break the deadlock.
Although they were 1-0 down, Khalsa continued to put pressure on Wolves and were keeping the ball well in midfield, while testing Wolves’ stubbornness in defence.
The home side had a great chance to equalise shortly after going behind. A free-kick from 18 yards was blocked by the Wolves wall, before they were able to eventually clear their lines.
As the first-half went by and the rain poured down in the West Midlands, Tammi George was seeing a lot of the ball on the right-hand side as Wolves grew into the game.
Walker tried for her second goal when the clock hit 40 minutes. The right-footed attempt was aimed for the top-right corner but flashed wide of the far post. The away side were now comfortable after riding the early pressure.
Half-time was almost upon us when Wolves doubled their lead and Walker doubled her tally when the left-sided midfielder made it two for the visitors.
George almost extended Wolves’ lead even further shortly before the half-time whistle, but her long-range effort was tipped around the post.
Just five minutes into the second-half and Jade Cross had her first attempt to get on the scoresheet. A neat through ball from George found the striker, who couldn’t get her effort on target.
With Wolves being the dominant side as the game wore on, Pip Wilson came close as she glanced a header wide on the hour mark. Beating the defender to the ball, she was left looking at the gods after the chance went begging.
Wolves’ right-hand side was still causing major threats to the Khalsa defence, with Walker looking for her hat-trick when she fired on goal. However, the goalkeeper was equal to the attempt which kept her side alive.
But Walker did complete her hat-trick with 20 minutes remaining, arrowing an effort into the bottom corner which sent the Wolves bench into joyous celebration.
Jade Cross put the result beyond doubt when she made it four, just minutes later. A long-range effort was too high for the goalkeeper who, despite her efforts, saw the back of the net bulge.
Wolves were full of confidence when substitute Anna Morphet made it five, capitalising on the goalkeeper parrying an effort to tap home and securing a hard earned three points for the visitors.
Following the victory which confirmed Wolves’ place at the top of the division, manager Dan McNamara said: “It was a difficult game to come into, but the response from the players was good. I am absolutely delighted. Everyone knows a clean sheet means a lot to me.
“The first-half was a derby, because that is what it is. They showed the desire and passion to play against Wolves. It was a typical derby game. it was nervy on the side and on the pitch.
“I did not think we were at our best but the 2-0 cushion at half-time was important.
“I thought we were hungrier and had more desire. Lowri Walker was unplayable for most of the game. She brings real quality on the pitch and is a great girl to work with.”
Wolves are back in league action at the CKW Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with tickets sold out for the home clash against Burton Albion at Castlecroft.
McNamara added: “The Burton game next time out will be difficult. They are a young side and we will focus on what we must do.”
4/10 | Burton Albion Ladies (H)
11/10 | Wem Town (A)
25/10 | Lincoln City (A)
08/11 | Long Eaton (H)
22/11 | Boldmere St Michaels (H)
Wolves: Thomas, Glover, Price, E.Cross, Widdal (Morphet), George, Evans, Darby, Wilson (Miller), Walker, J.Cross.
Unused subs: Edwards, Rogers, Renken.
Report by Jake Leech