Walsall Ladies got a deserved 3-2 win against Wyrley Ladies last Sunday afternoon in what was their first win of the new season.
The first few minutes of the match were tense for the Saddlers, as the hosts took control of the match in the early stages. Their first chance came just after the five-minute mark with a shot hitting the side netting to the relief of the visitors.
The hosts were then awarded a penalty just a few minutes later, presenting Wyrley with a golden opportunity to establish an early lead. Fortunately for Walsall, Olivia Wells was able to make the save, preventing her side from falling behind. From this moment on, momentum was firmly with the visitors.
The game was quiet for a while after the penalty miss with neither side coming close to taking the lead, but Walsall were still the dominant team in possession and looked far more likely than the hosts to break the deadlock.
A great opportunity for the Saddlers came at the 40-minute mark when Maja Szymkowiak saw her effort on goal take a deflection, flying inches wide of the far post. The despair of missing this chance didn’t linger for long.
Szymkowiak gave the visitors the lead with a cool finish into the bottom corner when she found herself in a lot of space in the Wyrley penalty area. Walsall’s dominance was now not only evident on the pitch, but also now on the score line. Just seconds after the ball hit the back of the net, the whistle went for half time.
It was the Saddlers who had the first chance of the second half through Jade Harris whose effort from just outside the penalty area flew just wide of the near post.
The visitors would come to regret this miss as the hosts restored parity just minutes later after a powerful effort found the back of the Saddlers net after Walsall’s defence failed to deal with the danger.
Walsall were still in control of the match, but it was up to the visitors to show their dominance once again on the score line.
The visitors’ prayers were answered just moments after Wyrley equalised, when Harris restored her team’s lead with a wonderful shot from way outside the penalty area, which looped over a despairing goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Walsall were now back on track for all three points in emphatic fashion.
There was panic in the Saddlers’ ranks with just twenty minutes of the contest to go, when the hosts had a great opportunity to level the match once again – but thankfully for those of a Walsall persuasion, Abigail Turner was able to clear the ball off the line and in doing so maintained her team’s advantage.
With just five minutes remaining, Walsall looked to have put the game to bed when their lead was extended through Szymkowiak, who managed to place the ball into the back of the net following an error from the Wyrley ‘keeper.
It was a tense final few minutes however for the Saddlers when the hosts pulled a goal back but they were able to hold on to claim a deserved three points and a first win of the season.
The Saddlers will be hoping to build on this result and claim another three points in their next match against Darlaston Town on Sunday.