Three Goals See off Loughborough Ahead of Final Day
Loughborough Students 0
Wolves Women 3 (Anslow 34, James 56, E.Cross 58)
Wolves Women moved top of the table before Sunday's final game of the season with an impressive 3-0 win over Loughborough Students at Holywell Park.
Wolves started well, but found themselves defending a free kick in the fourth minute which was headed to safety by captain Anna Perks.
The first corner of the game went to Wolves in the eighth minute but Loughborough defended well.
In the 13th minute Loughborough put Wolves under pressure with a quick breakaway, but it came to nothing as Wolves cleared their lines.
Just two minutes later Emma Cross (pictured) had the first shot on target but it was well held by the Loughborough keeper.
Then it was Jodie Bragan's turn to break through on goal after some lovely passing play from Wolves, but her shot was denied.
Wolves were starting to apply the pressure with Jen Anslow coming close from a free kick and then shooting into the side netting.
She made no mistake in the 34th minute though as her free kick bounced back off the wall only to land at her feet, and she despatched it into the net to put Wolves ahead.
Jade Cross could have doubled the lead just two minutes later but her shot went just wide and Wolves went into the break 1-0 up.
The second half saw Wolves straight onto the attack with Widdal heading wide in the 46th minute.
Then Jade Cross came close, picking up a lovely through ball from Perks and trying to chip the keeper, but her ball landed on top of the net.
With Wolves having all the play, Widdal and Perks both headed wide from corners. Then in the 56th minute Emma Cross's superb ball in was headed home by Hattie James to make it 2-0 to Wolves.
Loughborough almost pulled one back a minute later from a corner, but Wolves' defence held firm.
Then it was Wolves' turn to break away as Anslow whipped the ball in from the left and Player of the Season Emma Cross finished in style for Wolves' third.
Manager Tim Dudding then made some changes with the Cross twins making way for Nikki Lal and Andrea Whetton.
Loughborough hadn't given up though and in the 59th minute keeper Glenny pulled off a world class save, having to change direction quickly and just managing to tip the ball over the bar with her left hand. She was called into action again just three minutes later with another fine save.
Dudding made his final substitution with Laura McQuilkin replacing Claire Hakemen and in the 68th minute Wolves were on the attack again with Lal shooting just over from McQuilkin's corner.
As Wolves pressed, a foul on Perks resulted in her having to leave the field with an injury, leaving Wolves down to ten players for the last 15 minutes, having made all three substitutions.
Wolves battled well and held firm to keep a clean sheet and get the all-important win which puts them at the top of the table, two points clear of title rivals Loughborough Foxes. With only one team promoted it's all down to the last game of the season this Sunday with Wolves away at Leicester City Ladies and Foxes at Sporting Khalsa.
With Foxes' better goal difference Wolves must win their game to guarantee promotion.
Manager Tim Dudding said: "I was really proud of the girls tonight. They showed character, grit and determination. They dug deep when they needed to, particularly in the last 15 minutes with only ten players. They were professional, did the job and saw the game out.
“It was great to see Emma Cross get on the score sheet after she was named Player of the Season at Wolves’ End of Season awards this week.
"Now we'll take Sunday's game as we have all the others - one game at a time."
TEAM: Glenny, Hakeman (McQuilkin), Anslow, Perks, Quick, James, E. Cross (Whetton), Bragan, J.Cross (Lal), Butler, Widdal. SUBS: Richards, Hewitt, Webb.