Impressive fightback gets Wolves Women's Season off to a flying start
Rotherham Utd Ladies 2 (Pollock 3, Ross 17)
Wolves Women 3 (Whetton 28, J.Cross 48, Anslow 82)
Jen Anslow’s late goal helped Wolves Women back from 2-0 down to an impressive 3-2 away victory over Rotherham Ladies in their first game of the new season.
Wolves were on the back foot from the start, with Rotherham opening the scoring in just the third minute. The ball was played long into Amy Pollock who found herself one on one with Wolves’ keeper Lucy Gardner, and slotted home to put the hosts ahead.
As Wolves pushed for an equaliser they were caught again, this time after the ball was played through from Pollock to Ross. She beat the keeper to place the ball in the bottom left-hand corner of the net and double Rotherham’s lead.
Undeterred, Wolves pushed on to get themselves back into the game, creating several chances. A mistake by the Rotherham keeper in the 25th minute let Jade Cross get a shot off, but the keeper recovered to make the save.
Three minutes later, however, Wolves were able to pull a goal back, after a cross into the box found new signing Andrea Whetton, who headed home into the far right of the net to make it 2-1.
The visitors were now having more of the play, with the chances coming thick and fast as they tried to find the equaliser, but they were unable to make the breakthrough and the half finished with Rotherham ahead.
Wolves started the second half in the same vein, and finally capitalised in the 48th minute, after the ball was played long into Jade Cross, who took it into the box and scored one on one past the keeper to bring the score level.
Rotherham were struggling to create any chances, with Wolves now dominating the game. In the 66th minute Laura McQuilkin’s corner caused trouble in the Rotherham box but it was cleared by the keeper.
It was in the last 10 minutes of the game that Wolves began to show their class and dominance. They were finally rewarded in the 82nd minute as Anslow shot straight past the keeper from outside the box to give the visitors a deserved lead.
Rotherham looked to get back into the game late on but Wolves were able to hold on for a vital three points.
Manager Steve Cullis was delighted with the fight back. He said: "The girls showed great character in what I thought was a deserved win.
"In the first 20 minutes we were slow off the mark, but once we got going we did well and I was really pleased with what they achieved.”
Cullis also praised Jade Cross and her determination throughout the game:
"Last season was fantastic for Jade, being top goal scorer. She's naturally the person we look for to get the ball into the back of the net," explained the coach.
“She missed a couple of chances early on, but the good thing with Jade is that she doesn't let it affect her. She said in the changing room at half time that she would make amends, and low and behold, 3 minutes in, she put the ball in the net for 2-2 and I couldn't ask for any more."
Cullis also praised new signings Andrea Whetton and Victoria Brackenbury, saying: "The players we’ve brought in have really added a depth to the squad.
"We now have so many variables and the pleasing thing for me is that the team can play in a variety of positions, and we have options on the bench which is fantastic.
“All in all I’m really pleased with the squad today. Competition is going to be tough; it’s going to be a difficult challenge to pick 16 players each week but that's why we love the game".
Next Sunday 4th September sees Wolves turn their attention to the FA Women’s Premier League Cup when they play host to Radcliffe Olympic. The game will be played at Darlaston Town FC, Bentley Leisure Pavilion, Bentley Road North, WS2 0EA.
Wolves: Gardner, E.Cross, Anslow, McQuilkin (Lock), Brackenbury, Widdal, Whetton (Lal), Richards, J.Cross, Quick, Holden (Johnson).