Wolves Women Off to a Flying Start

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After the well-documented halt to last seasons near-perfect run, Wolves Women have hit the ground running this season and are back on track to gain the promotion they so richly deserve. A plethora of talent has joined the group in the summer, with Manager Dan McNamara and Captain Anna Price leading the way with the positive mindset ahead of the new season. So far, the girls have a 100% record in all competitions, sitting proudly at the top of the season and into the first-round proper of the FA Cup prior to the national COVID restrictions in England at the beginning of November. We take a look back at the season so far, and also hear the thoughts of Anna Price who has spoken to Talking Wolves discussing the season so far. 

 

A Flying Start

Wolves got off to a flying start hitting six of the best in their first game of the season away at Leafield Athletic. Wearing the controversial new Wolves away kit for the first time of any of the Wolves teams in a competitive match this season, the girls put in a superb performance. Tammi George scored the opening goal of the season before Anna Renken doubled Wolves advantage. Anna Morphet scored a superb free-kick from distance before Lowri Walker made it four and five soon after that. Jamila Palmer completed the route on an extremely successful start to the season, much to the relief of Head Coach Dan McNamara following months of no competitive football.

The goals continued to flow in Wolves’ first home game of the season as they put eight past Solihull Moors. New signing Kate Evans gave the home side an early lead, aided by a goal from fellow new addition Alisha Miller soon after. Lowri Walker continued her goalscoring form from the opening day making it three for the season, followed by goals from Jade Cross, Lyndsey Glover and Anna Morphet. Head Coach Dan McNamara wasn’t getting carried away however, he told Wolves Official Website after the game ‘I thought we were very good in parts, we came out the tracks electric… but I think we switched off after that. However, from half-time, I thought we were fantastic. We really dominated the game. Overall, I’m really pleased’

 

Good Form Continued 

The following week the girls put five past local rival Sporting Khalsa, helped by a Lowri Walker hattrick as she continued her rich vein of form. Jade Cross and Anna Morphet completed the scoring on a very successful afternoons work. After the derby win, Dan McNamara said “The first half was a derby, because that is what it is. They showed the desire and passion to play against Wolves. It was a typical derby game. it was nervy on the side and on the pitch.’ And Wolves showed no sign of slowing down. They put nine past a struggling Burton side which included yet another for Lowri Walker and an impressive four goals from Jade Cross. 

This win was quickly followed up by a 6-0 thrashing of Wem Town. Captain Anna Price opened the scoring before Jade Cross bagged a hattrick to make it seven goals in just two games. Alisha Miller and Lowri Walker were also on the scoresheet in Shropshire. McNamara was really happy defensively despite the fact goals had been flying in, in recent weeks; “We hardly gave them anything throughout, this was the really pleasing thing. We are limiting teams to hardly anything. It is a testament to the girls, we have now kept four clean sheets from five, it is really pleasing.”

 

Lincoln 2-3 Wolves

Perhaps the best game of the season so far was the girls was their most recent league encounter, a thrilling 3-2 win away at Lincoln. This was a significant game as it marked a huge personal milestone for long-serving captain Anna Price who made her 300th appearance for Wolves. Anna marked the occasion with an early goal to put Wolves ahead. It was a fascinating battle between two very good sides, and as Lincoln equalised to make it 2-2 with just five minutes left, it seemed as though the points would be shared. However, Lowri Walker headed home at the far post in stoppage time leading to jubilant celebrations to bring what was an incredible match to an end.

 

Up For The Cup

Wolves’ Vitality FA Cup campaign got off to the perfect start with an impressive 2-0 win away at Sutton Coldfield. Goals from Jade Cross and Kate Evans saw Wolves progress much to the delight of McNamara who is a huge fan of the competition and would love to go as far as possible. 

In Wolves’ most recent competitive game prior to the National Lockdown in England, they progressed to the first-round proper of the Vitality FA Cup with a 1-0 win away at Long Eaton. Wolves were good value for the win, particularly after they played the last half an hour with 10 players after Natalie Widdal was sent off. Jade Cross scored the winner and Wolves held on for yet another well-earned and impressive victory. 

 

Captain’s Delight

After a hugely impressive start, Captain Anna Price spoke to Talking Wolves to reflect on the season so far. 

“After we found out the news of last season being void it was in the middle of lockdown. By the time we were able to resume training and prepare for this season we all had time to digest it and deal with the decision that has been made. It has since made us more motivated than ever to prove that we are champions of the division and if that means we have to go and do it all again then that is what we will have to go and do.”

 

On players coming in but keeping that special bond in the group

“It was really important to bring in the players that we have. Naturally, we lost a couple of integral players from last season due to work commitments, injured and players wanting to try new challenges. The players have come in have meant that the standards have remained just as high if not higher and that there is competition for players which is really important as this pushes us in training to get the best out of us. It has also freshened the squad up, we were obviously distraught from how last season ended so the fresh faces, wanting to be a part of what we have been building was exactly what was needed for us to reset and go again.”

 

Win over Lincoln

“Every game is as important as one another and we really do go into each game with the mentality of wanting to play our best. However, the Lincoln game was very special, travelling nearly 3 hours, knowing it was going to be a tough game with them currently in 2nd place and scoring in injury time like we did we always be a game that will live in my memory!”

 

“It was all about getting three points that day. We all knew the importance of the game and how it would be a tough one from the start to finish. I am proud to have worn the Wolves shirt once let alone 300 times and scoring a goal again was pleasing. However, I think the two goals that followed mine I celebrated more, special goals at integral points of the game.” 

 

COVID-19 and its effects this season

“Since the beginning of the pandemic we, unfortunately, haven’t been able to train at Compton however we are very much looking forward to our return when it is safe to do so. The support from Jeff Shi and everyone at the club has been astounding. To actually have Jeff Shi come and support us at one of our away games last month and looking forward to coming again just fills me with pride and admiration that we have a chairman who really has an interest in the women’s team.”

 

Anna, all the players and all of the staff can be extremely proud and pleased with the way in which they have bounced back from the disappointment they suffered last season. Some scintillating football, excellent goals, big score lines and narrow well-earned wins. The season so far has had it all. A 100% record in all competitions so far and the girls will be determined to keep their form up once action resumes in December. You certainly wouldn’t bet against them!

 

First Game back: Vitality FA Cup, Stourbridge (H), Sunday 13th December 

 

Ciaran Barker is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.