Wolves Women 2 (George 63, Hughes 90) West Bromwich Albion Women 0
Two second-half goals saw Wolves Women take victory over West Bromwich Albion in front of a record crowd in the Black Country derby.
More than 650 people were in attendance at the CKW Stadium to watch Tammi George and Amber Hughes secure the win for Wolves, who made it three from three in the league.
Both teams started well, settling into the game they shared possession but were unable to capitalise on their chances.
Wolves keeper Shan Turner did well to stop West Brom’s best chance of the half with 20 minutes played. Despite failing to initially stop the oncoming forward, she was able to push the ball the safety when the West Brom attacker overran their chance creating a very tight angle to get her shot away.
Hughes had a perfect opportunity to open the scoring after half an hour. George won the ball from her defender and was able to poke it into the path of Hughes in the box. However, despite being one-on-one with keeper Poppy Bastock, the striker put the ball inches wide.
Beth Merrick went close again just before the break, her shot from the edge of the box looked like it was going into the top corner but Bastock reacted well to dive high and push it behind.
Half-time | Wolves 0-0 West Brom
Wolves continued to apply pressure in the second-half with several players creating good chances, however, the team were unable to put the shots away.
With 63 minutes played George opened the scoring for Wolves. After a scramble in the box the ball found its way into the back of the net and the crowd erupted as the home side got a deserved lead.
After several missed chances earlier in the game, Hughes put the game to bed at the death. Her strike rounded off Bastock and hit the back of the net. This was Hughes’ second goal in as many games since signing in the summer.
The win sees Wolves secure another three points and take bragging rights in the local derby.
Full-time | Wolves 2-0 Middlesbrough
Wolves manager Dan McNamara was delighted with his team’s performance. He said: “It’s always stuck with me them pipping us to the title three years ago and it’s been a long journey back. We owed it to the girls, as a staff and as a whole club, to get back to where we belong in tier three.
“It’s bittersweet today. I’ve held that in for a long time and I’m delighted to get over the line eventually. We had our targets for the first three games and we’ve exceeded them, so we are absolutely delighted with the way the girls are playing.”
Captain Kelly Darby, who has played for both sides, said having a big crowd really helped the team push for the win.
“The few games we played last season with no fans were difficult,” she said. “If there are times in the game where everyone is a little bit flat the only people that can pick that up are the fans.
“That’s exactly what they’ve done today because that first half was tough. We weren’t getting as much success as we’d hoped so having the fans in was brilliant, they were the driving force today to get us the three points.”
McNamara added that he hopes they can continue to attract the crowds to the CKW Stadium: “We’re trying to build the fanbase here now and the girls are on a great journey so hopefully we can keep impressing.”
Wolves Women are back at the CKW Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they continue their campaign in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division against AFC Fylde.
29/08 | AFC Fylde (H)
05/09 | Nottingham Forest (H)
12/09 | Leeds United (H) WLC
26/09 | Huddersfield Town (A)
06/10 | Stoke City (A)
Wolves: Turner, Darby, E. Cross, Morphet, Holmes, George, Miller, Merrick, Hughes, J. Cross, Palmer.
Subs: Price, Thomas, Joyce, Dicken, Widdal.
West Brom: Bastock, Stamps, Elsmore, Owen, Green, Tezgel, Davies, Loydon, Gallop, Langley Wright, Hayes.
Subs: Bailey, Hood, Mahmood, Beck-Esson, Robinson.
Words by Louise Golby