Wolves Women 3 (Joyce 14, Price 46, 94) Leeds United Women 1 (Bartup 57)
Wolves Women are into the next round of the FAWNL Cup following their victory over Leeds United on Sunday afternoon at the CKW Stadium.
The hosts started quick on the attack from kick off with Leo Joyce coming close twice but was denied by the Leeds goalkeeper Lauren Joyce.
Third time was the charm when Joyce cut into the penalty area and fired a shot that this time went straight past the keeper to put Wolves ahead within 15 minutes. Just moments later, Kate Evans fired a shot at goal that just went wide.
The visitors looked to find their equaliser when Kathryn Smith drilled in a ball for Laura Bartup. However, she was denied by the woodwork.
Joyce again put the Leeds ‘keeper to the test with a low shot at goal that the keeper couldn’t quite hold on to. All she could do was parry it into path of Kate Evans who looked to capitalise, but her shot was blocked.
Leeds came close to levelling five minutes before the break with Bartup having a go at goal again with a flick that Becky Thomas did well to stop. It was then Wolves who got the second of the game when Anna Price leapt high to meet the ball in the air and headed home from a free kick.
Half-time | Wolves 2-0 Leeds
Much like the start of the game, the second half saw Wolves straight on the attack again when Anna Morphet looked to threaten the Leeds goal but her shot went narrowly over.
Leeds got a goal back through Bartup rose high in the air to header the ball in from an Olivia Smart corner. The visitors had found a way back into the game, but Wolves were still holding the lead.
Wolves nearly regained their two-goal cushion on the hour mark. Amber Hughes embarked on a fine solo run, but her shot hit the inside of the post and somehow stayed out.
Ellie Butler came off the bench for her debut and was hoping to notch her first goal for her new side. However, she fired agonisingly wide.
Ali Miller then looked to see off the game but her curled shot just went wide of the post. It was the Wolves captain again to seal the win off in stoppage time when she tapped in a ball that crossed her path after a scramble in the box.
Full-time | Wolves 3-1 Leeds
Wolves Women manager Dan McNamara was pleased his side were able to book their place in the next round of the FAWNL Cup draw.
“We’re in the hat for the next round that’s the biggest takeaway from today,” McNamara said. “We asked a lot of the girls in the last few weeks, it was tough, and Leeds are a good side and they’ve got some great players; Laura Bartup proved why everybody knows who she is.
“But I just felt like we didn’t really impose ourselves on the game, didn’t really get a foothold in the game. It’s always difficult when you’re making three or four changes from the side that finished last week.
“I thought Leeds were really good value for the game. I thought that at moments it could’ve gone either way, but thankfully Anna Price did what Anna Price does, she controlled that midfield and held it together and got those two key goals, so I’m just delighted.
“We’ll take it and move on. The club’s working out ways to win games whether we’re playing well or not, so that’s the most important thing.”
On the squad changes
“We wanted to bring in some changes today not only to freshen up the squad but also to rest a few players.
“We brought Kate Evans in, and the quality never drops down that’s why we have a squad as good as we do.
“A couple of debutants today who’ve come in and I thought they did really well for their first game, they composed themselves and did fantastic.”
After a busy opening month of the season for Wolves Women, McNamara’s side have a weekend off, before returning to the pitch on the road at Huddersfield Town the following Sunday.
On the short break ahead
“I think it’s good to have some time away to recover, not only for the players but for the staff as well. We can have a bit of a rest and give the girls an opportunity to see their families.
“It’s been a tough five or six weeks or probably three months since we came into pre-season, so they’ve earned that.”
26/09 | Huddersfield Town (A)
06/10 | Stoke City (A)
10/10 | To be confirmed WLC
24/10 | Burnley (H)
31/10 | Sheffield FC (A)
Wolves: Thomas, Price, George, Hughes (Palmer 86), Evans (Cooper 76), E. Cross, Dicken, Darby, Morphet (Elsmore 90), Joyce (Butler 58), Merrick (Miller 64).
Leeds: Joyce, Smart, Hunter, Hamill, Hannon, Danby, Williams, K. Hunt, Smith (Underdown 67), Brown, Bartup (Trickett 89).
Unused sub: Wattam.
Words by Nikita Gomes Henschl