Walsall Ladies suffered their third consecutive defeat in all competitions on home soil last Sunday as they fell to a 1-3 defeat to Walsall Wood at Dales Lane.
The Saddlers went into this game on the back of an exciting week and experience whereby they entertained Stoke City Ladies in the Challenge Cup, a game which saw the Potters secure a 0-7 win.
Prior to the game, captain Sophie Ball expressed that the match against their local neighbours would be far different affair to the one played just a few weeks ago and last Sunday’s game proved to be the case.
The game started at a fast pace, with both sides looking to take the initiative early on.
With a tight and well-balanced start to proceedings, the Saddlers came the closest just a quarter of an hour in, with a long-range looping effort from Rachel Watkins dropping onto the crossbar with the goalkeeper left stranded. Just a couple of minutes later, Kelly Fowell was at the centre of attention as she so often has been this season, as she went on a mazy run cutting in from the right before her shot was deflected into the side-netting.
It was then the visitors turn to hit the woodwork, as they nearly took the lead direct from a corner ten minutes before half-time. The scores were level at the break though, with the game finely poised and Walsall looking for successive wins in the league following their 0-8 away victory against Wyrley Women’s Reserves.
The parity lasted just 30 seconds in to the second period however, as Walsall Wood took the lead with a well taken goal from close-range. The worst possible start to the half for the home side, but still plenty of time to respond.
It was Wood that took the momentum though and almost added to the lead.
Holly Cox was called into action a couple of times to deny their lively strikeforce but with just under 20 minutes to go, they doubled their lead after a great strike from a tight angle that flew over Cox and into the net, giving the visitors a two-goal cushion.
In the last meeting between the two sides that took place just 2 weeks ago, Walsall Wood ran out 1-9 winners in the League Cup, but the Saddlers were out for revenge and responded with a screamer of their own.
Fowell, who was so bright throughout this game, took down a long ball and turned before hitting a thunderbolt that flew into the top corner. That goal was just reward for Walsall’s top scorer, who gave her team hope with 12 minutes left to play.
That hope lasted just a minute however, with Walsall Wood adding a third and killing any momentum that might have been gained through Fowell’s wonderful strike.
That was the last of the action as Walsall Ladies suffered their third consecutive loss in all competitions as the visitors edged to a 1-3 victory, despite a spirited performance from Jason Barrowclough’s side.
Photos courtesy of Jenny Merrett and Kevin Grice
Match Report by Will Madden