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Women's Football News
Wolves Women sealed the Midland Combination League title with a game left to play, after an incredible season saw them lose only once during their league campaign.
Three wins from three saw Wolves top the table early on in the season, but back-to-back draws saw rivals Stoke pull away at the top. Showing their customary character, Wolves bounced back, winning five of their next six games, including a crushing 4-0 victory over league leaders Stoke.
These results put Wolves back in contention but Stoke were still top of the table, having played more games. Wolves knew they could overhaul Stoke if they won the majority of their remaining fixtures but games in hand were added pressure.
Over the Christmas period Wolves enjoyed cup success over rivals Sporting Club Albion, before returning to league action. Postponed fixtures saw Wolves lose their match-sharpness through February and March; drawing at home to Leafield and received their only defeat of the season at the hands of Curzon Ashton. This then meant Wolves had to win five of their last six games to guarantee the league title.
The first of those six games was a routine 3-0 away win at Loughborough but the following game was, I feel, the defining moment: Wolves went to Leicester and trailed 1-0 with nine minutes to go, forced an equaliser, and then with seconds remaining of injury time, striker Dani Selmes fired a truly world class effort into the top corner from 20 yards to win the game. The remaining league games went by without a hitch as Wolves carried out professional displays to win the required three of their last four games and pip Stoke to the title by two points. Wolves secured the league and cup double with a 2-0 win over Stoke to end their season on a high.
Manager James Astle is delighted with the seasons work, saying: "I took over three seasons ago and said this was a three season plan. There was a lot of pressure to deliver this season but the girls have done me proud, winning the league and cup double. What made it harder this season was that we were always behind Stoke, always playing catch-up, but we prevailed in the end. Our mantra for this season has been 'professional, discipline, maturity' and it has carried us to a great achievement.
"One of the contributing factors to our success has been continuity; we've kept our squad and formation the same nearly all-season-long and losing only three games in all competitions is a testament to how well the team have performed.
"I'd like to say thank you to everyone involved at the club; the committee, the coaching staff, the fans and the players, you've all been outstanding and I appreciate your support.
"Getting Wolves promoted is the end of phase one, phase two will hopefully see the club move forward and establish ourselves as a Northern Premier League team. Our aim for next season is just to stay up. There will be no pressure on the girls to push for a consecutive promotion, to remain in the league and find our feet will be enough for me." (by Matt Sacco)
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