Walsall Ladies welcomed Stafford Town in this weekend’s game, with the Saddlers falling to a 3-2 loss, despite leading twice.
Walsall started the game well with some promising passing, yet conceded the first real opportunities of the affair. Stafford broke on the counter in the opening minutes, but could not convert the one-on-one chance. Moments later, Lucy Hargrave’s post was rattled by a strike from range.
The Saddlers then turned their possession into a chance for Karys Craddock off the back of a great ball by Jade Durnall, but the forward saw her effort well saved.
Stafford then wasted a golden opportunity, as a strike from 12-yards sailed over the bar, with the forward having the whole goal to aim at.
Craddock then went close again for the home side as she found herself through on goal, but she dragged her effort just wide.
After scoring four last week against Abbey Hulton United, it seemed only a matter of time before the striker etched her name on the scoresheet – and it was. She shrugged off her defender as the ball was crossed into the box, and fired home her effort first time to put the home side into the lead.
Walsall’s lead did not last long though, as a free-kick from range flew in off the bar for the visiting side, meaning the teams went into the break all square.
In the opening stages of the second-half, both sides had clear opportunities to take the lead. Stafford were prevented a goal by a last-ditch tackle by Seri Freeman, before Caprice Reed saw her effort well saved at the other end.
The visitors then went close, as they won the ball high up the pitch, with the resulting effort clattering the crossbar.
Just a minute later, Craddock managed to get her toe to a loose ball to convert her second goal of the game. The forward is in fine form, notching her sixth goal in the last two games.
She had a chance to complete her hat-trick soon after, but her strike from just outside the box skimmed the crossbar.
Walsall then squandered another lead, this time from a Stafford corner. The ball bounced around the six-yard box before it was eventually poked home.
Hargrave made some superb saves in the closing stages, but not enough to save Walsall from losing the game. The Saddlers were hit on the counter once again, and a square ball across the box created an easy finish to win the game late on for the away side.
“In the first-half we played well,” said manager Sam Simpkins. “There is a lot to learn from today though.
“We play them again next week, so hopefully then we can take all three points.”