Long Eaton United Ladies 0 Wolves Women 1 (J Cross 55)
Jade Cross’ second-half strike ensured Wolves Women advanced to the next round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup after a 1-0 win away at Long Eaton United Ladies on Sunday.
The game was deadlocked at 0-0 before a quick counterattack was rounded off by Cross after the interval, sustaining her recent red-hot form in front of goal.
Wolves defender Natalie Widdal saw red on the hour mark for a late challenge, but Dan McNamara’s side stayed resilient and held on to win in the third and final qualifying round for this season’s FA Cup.
The visitors impressed almost instantly, with Lowri Walker skipping past two Long Eaton defenders in the first minute, but her shot narrowly wide of the target.
Tammi George nearly opened the scoring with an ambitious effort from 25 yards out, hitting the bar after some good build-up play involving Pip Wilson.
Just before the end of the first-half Wilson herself came close to grabbing a goal, once more linking up well with George, before her shot edged past the opposition post.
Wolves were finally rewarded for their efforts when Cross fired home from close range after a quick counter 55 minutes in – her ninth goal in the last five games.
The goal scorer nearly turned provider 20 minutes later when her looping cross found George, but her header came back off the frame of the goal.
Despite increased pressure from the home side following Widdal’s dismissal, Wolves were able to see out the win, continuing their flawless start to the 2020/21 campaign.
Manager McNamara hailed his squad’s strong mentality after the sending off, highlighting their commitment and character to see out the game, putting themselves in the hat for the next round.
He said: “When you come to Long Eaton you know you’re going to be in for a battle, and we had to rise to that. I thought we dominated the game in the first half, but second-half they (Long Eaton) rejuvenated themselves.
“The sending off didn’t help us with 35 minutes to go. From then on it was all about character, like what we saw last week away at Lincoln. Thankfully, the girls pulled through and I’m really proud.
McNamara also shared his view on being in the next round of the FA Cup, a competition he holds in high regard: “Any cup is good to be involved in and I love the FA Cup. We’ll have to see what this week brings in regard to the national lockdown. We’ll keep plodding along and hopefully we’ll achieve our aims by the end of the year.”
Wolves' season has been put on hold due to the new Covid-19 restrictions, meaning Sunday's FA Women's National League clash with Long Eaton has now been postponed.
McNamara stated: “It’s important to keep that winning culture that we’ve created. We don’t tend to look further than ourselves. As we have a four-week break, we’ll use it wisely and keep looking after ourselves to make sure we kick on where we left off.”
Wolves: Gardner, Widdal, Price, E.Cross, Edwards, Darby, George, Palmer, Walker, Wilson, J.Cross
Subs: Evans, Morphet, Miller, Renken, Conlan, Thomas
Report by Jack Shannon