Wolves Women 2 (George 65, Riley 87) Burnley Women 2 (Ravening 49, 81)
Teenager Lauren Riley rescued a point for Wolves Women as they twice fought back for a hard-earned draw at home to Burnley.
Wolves endured a heavily contested first-half, with a handful of injury stoppages throughout the opening period, but neither side was able to create much momentum, despite Dan McNamara’s team experienced the majority of possession.
The best chance of the half came from Helen Dermody, 23 minutes into the match. Ali Miller drilled a low cross towards the penalty spot where Dermody was first to meet the ball and fired a first-time strike towards goal. The shot forced a brilliant reaction save from Lauren Bracewell in the Burnley goal to keep the scores level.
On the stroke of half-time, Riley attempted to break the deadlock. She received the ball just inside the penalty area to the left and aimed a chipped shot towards goal. Bracewell quickly back pedalled but to the goalkeeper’s relief the shot landed the wrong side of the crossbar hitting the roof of the net.
Half-time | Wolves 0-0 Burnley
The visitors were first to strike in the second-half. After a cluster of blocked shots, the ball looped out to the right of the box. Hitting it on the volley, Millie Ravening cleanly struck the ball past Shan Turner, giving Burnley the lead.
The old gold replied well, creating more dangerous chances and in the 65th minute Tammy George levelled the scores. Amber Hughes received the ball inside the area but couldn’t find space to shoot. The second-half substitute then turned and set George on the edge of the box. With a touch then shot she fired an effort through a group of defenders and with a little deflection beat the goalkeeper to level the scores. A timely birthday present for the number seven.
Burnley begun to increase the pressure hitting the crossbar twice in quick succession from a goal mouth scramble. The bombardment of shots resulted in a corner which saw the visitors retake the lead in the form of a second goal for Ravening who looped a header over Turner after rising above the rest.
With just three minutes left, McNamara’s side rescued a point thanks to Riley. Anna Morphet lifted a deep freekick into the area where the cross was contested in the air. To the fortunes of Riley, the ball fell to her feet on the left of the goal. She sweetly hit a half-volley from close range to salvage a point for Wolves.
Full-time | Wolves 2-2 Burnley
It was a game of two halves for head coach Dan McNamara, who said, in the end, it was a good point for his side.
“We knew they’re a good side, they’ve been in this league a couple years now,” McNamara said. “They’ve got a lot of experience and a good set of players, a good manager and they made it difficult for us.
“The first-half, we were completely in control of the game. I don’t think they registered a shot on target, we dominated possession, but possession doesn’t win you points. We had that one chance from Dermody and it was a great save from the goalkeeper, but we really struggled to create anything else.
“In the second-half we didn’t come out of the blocks. They looked really dangerous on the counter-attack and we didn’t really deal with it. But massive credit to the girls again. They’ve had a difficult week and we’ve come out with another massive point. It’s disappointing because you always want to win games, but I think on the balance of the game we’ll definitely take a point.”
On his talk at half-time
“I think we knew we were a bit hard done by to not be in front at half-time, again that chance from Dermody normally goes in, the goalkeeper has made a fantastic save.
“At half-time we spoke about going out and doing the same things again but I don’t think we did. Burnley made a change and we struggled to deal with it but as I said massive credit goes to the girls again. They got pegged back once and they came back then they got pegged bag again and they still found a way to come away with some points.
“We talked about having no points at the end of the game and if you looked at the first-half, we might have felt we deserved to win it but second and we’d snatch your hand off for a draw. Burnley were a good value for a draw, Matt’s [Bee] got them playing fantastic football and they’ll be a tough opposition for a lot of teams in the league.”
Next up for Wolves is an away trip to Sheffield FC where they’ll seek to retain their unbeaten run. However, McNamara is more focussed on putting points on the board than unbeaten records, saying: “We try and deflect it from the girls, it’s not important, what is important is putting points on the board.
“Records are always going to end at some point, so we don’t take any interest in the unbeaten run. It’s nice to be in and around the top of the table and still unbeaten but we just focus on putting points on the board.”
31/10 Sheffield (A)
07/11 Hull City (H) WLC
05/12 Brighouse Town (H)
12/12 Loughborough Lightning (A)
16/01 Middlesbrough (A)
Wolves: Turner, Cooper (Hughes 56), E. Cross, George, Darby (Price 83), Holmes, Morphet, Miller, Riley, Dermody, Merrick.
Unused subs: Palmer, Dicken, Elsmore.
Burnley: Bracewell, Dom Cooper, Wilson, Fleck, Bickett (Thomas 13), Dykes, Worthington, Hamer, Ravening, Priestly, Willis (Molinari 85).
Unused subs: Jackson, Dan Cooper, Saunders.
Words Tom Alston