by Peter Westwood
Wolves Women 2 (Whetton 3, Haynes 15)
Birmingham and West Midlands Ladies 1 (Fisher 77)
Wolves Women completed their pre-season preparations with a 2-1 victory over Birmingham and West Midlands Ladies in a tight game at Hednesford Town.
Wolves had a great start to the game, scoring with their first chance on goal in only the 3rd minute. Jade Cross’s shot was parried by the keeper, but the ball fell into the path of Andrea Whetton who guided it into an open net to break the deadlock.
Wolves grew in confidence with Cross on the ball again, passing to Rachael Howard, but her effort was stopped by the keeper.
With some slick moves from Wolves they were soon on the scoresheet again, this time through Billie Haynes, who found space in the box to tap in the second goal.
Wolves were awarded a penalty in the 21st minute for a foul on Jade Cross. Courtney Jones’s shot was saved, but the keeper was adjudged to have encroached and the penalty had to be retaken. Jones, pictured, took the shot again, but again the keeper saved.
Then it was Birmingham and West Midlands’ turn to have the ball in the net, but their goal was ruled out for offside.
Wolves kept up the pace and went close again with a header from a corner by Kirsite Bavington which was cleared off the line.
Lauren Jones was then forced off with an injury and was replaced by Charlotte Criddle.
Wolves ended the first half strongly and easily deserved their 2-0 lead.
The second half saw Birmingham and West Midlands step up their game, coming close early on, but Bavington headed the ball away and it was caught by Foster in the Wolves goal.
Manager Tim Dudding then made three changes including a debut for Taylor Davies, but Birmingham and West Midlands pushed on and managed to pull a goal back in the 77th minute after a ball into the box found Charlie Fisher who hit it first time past Foster into the bottom corner to make it 2-1.
Wolves had more chances, with Davies and Criddle both going close, while at the other end Birmingham and West Midlands hadn’t given up looking for the equaliser. It was a more difficult second half for Wolves but they did enough for the victory, rounding off an unbeaten pre-season campaign.
Assistant Manager Tom Davies said: “We played well especially during the first 30 minutes in which we played some great football.
“The second goal was one of the best I’ve seen with some excellent build-up play, and we look to carry that forward.”
Wolves: Foster, Meeson, L. Jones (Criddle), C. Jones, Butler (C), E. Cross, Whetton (Lal), Bavington (Davies), J. Cross, Howard, Haynes (Whetton).
*Wolves Women kick off their first game back in the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division away at Blackburn Rovers Ladies next Sunday 20th August with a 2pm kick off. The game will be played at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, Bamber Bridge FC, PR5 6UU.