Nottingham Forest Women 0 Wolves Women 3 (Cooper 16, Dermody 22, Morphet 55)
Two strikes from distance from Laura Cooper and Helen Dermody and a goal straight from a corner by Anna Morphet saw Nottingham Forest and gave Wolves three points away from home, continuing their unbeaten run in the FAWNL.
The home side started off on stronger grounds as they controlled the first part of the game, but despite creating some chances, Wolves were able to keep calm and composed in defence and make some excellent clearances to weather the storm.
Despite Forest continuously piling on the pressure, a counter-attack from Wolves opened the scoring. The ball cleared after a scramble in the box, with the ball landing at Cooper’s feet, and she struck home from distance to give her side the lead.
Wolves doubled their lead six minutes later through Dermody who also found herself shooting from distance and sending the ball over the Emily Batty in the Forest goal and into the back of the net to give the old gold a greater advantage.
Forest came close to finding their first goal when Mai Moncaster was sent one on one with Shan Turner, but the Forest striker was unable to capitalise on the chance and it resulted in a corner. The corner led to Forest’s closest shot on goal as their effort hit the crossbar.
Forest didn’t stop pressing during the half and they continued to create chances, but two brilliant strikes gave Wolves the 2-0 lead going into the break.
Half-time | Nottingham Forest 0-2 Wolves
Wolves came out confident in the second-half and were rewarded with their third goal – a curling corner from Morphet which headed straight into the top left corner, despite Batty’s best efforts to parry it away.
Despite Wolves not controlling the game possession wise, their movement and positioning off the ball was as effective as it was on the ball, so they were able to react quickly to any situation and their defensive efforts were impressive as they kept out every shot that came at them from the home side.
Despite Forest’s best efforts to remain in the game with their constant pressing, the three strikes were enough to see off tough opposition and take the three points back to Wolverhampton.
Full-time | Nottingham Forest 0-3 Wolves
Wolves head coach Daniel McNamara was delighted with his team’s performance against a tough Nottingham Forest. He said: “I thought the girls were absolutely superb. Forest hurt us when they played us at home, disrespected and hurt us on the pitch and I think you’ve seen that in today’s performance.
“You don’t come here and play football, otherwise you fall into their trap, and they win the game. We knew it was about being tough to break down, staying in the game in certain moments and this group will always come up with quality, and today we’ve seen three of the best goals we will see all season and they were thoroughly deserved. We were under the cosh at times, but the girls are a joy to work with.
“When your team is as comfortable without the ball as they are with the ball, you’ve got a real chance; and this group are. Forest are a great side with great staff and we’ve ridden our luck at times, but that’s what football is about. We defended resolutely, we were really tough to break down and you’ll always see moments of quality with the players we’ve got on the pitch.
“The girls have taken a great step in the right direction in this final third of the season and I’m absolutely delighted for them.”
On the three clinical goals…
“I don’t think you’ll see a better goal than Helen Dermody’s all weekend, including the Women’s Super League – it was absolutely unbelievable.
“Football is about moments, and they are special moments. Helen has just scored one of the best goals she will score in her career. Laura Cooper as well, we had a little moment in the changing room. We’ve talked about her, she goes about her business and goes under the radar, but today she popped up from 30 yards with a wonder strike.
“The girls are always going to come up with moments of quality and today was about staying the game, being hard to break down against a very clinical Forest side and to come away with a clean sheet and three goals like that; I can’t put it into words.”
On the cards next is a quick turnaround to mid-week action at home against Stoke.
“Stoke is another local derby. They will be tough and hard to break down, so we’ve just got to prepare as best we can, and we’ve got this challenge now for me and the girls to try and meet over the course of the next ten games and hopefully we can add some more points to that.”
02/03 Stoke City (H)
06/03 Burnley (A)
13/03 Loughborough (A)
20/03 Middlesbrough (A)
03/04 Loughborough (H)
Nottingham Forest | Batty, Harkin, Brown, Cook (Hewitt 62), Steggles (Reynolds 62), Moncaster, Axten, Anderson, James (Mitchell 73), Greengrass (Docherty 62), Powell (Wilcock 62).
Wolves | Turner, Cooper, Price, E.Cross, George, J.Cross (Walker 82), Hughes, Darby, Morphet, Dermody (Miller 75), Merrick.