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Walsall Women

Walsall Women maintain unbeaten start with win against Lichfield City

12 October 2022

Walsall Women

Walsall Women maintain unbeaten start with win against Lichfield City

12 October 2022

Walsall Women secured an important win on the road last Sunday as Jasmin Springer scored the only goal of the game to give the Saddlers all three points against Lichfield City Ladies.

Joe McGrath’s side were unbeaten in the league but came into the game at the Trade Tyre Stadium on the back of a 4-0 defeat to Solihull Sporting in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup second round qualifying, so a positive response and result on the road against a team they had never faced before was needed to get the team back on track.

There was little to report on in the opening stages of the game as both sides looked to find their rhythm. The hosts enjoyed a little more of the play but the Saddlers were resolute at the back and absorbed the pressure, before using the counter attack once they had the ball in the first instance in a bid to find the breakthrough. The visitors began to enjoy success out wide, with wingers Aaliyah Shearer and Saanya Najib causing problems for the Lichfield full-backs and this is something that they used to their advantage. On 16 minutes, another ball down the line was eventually cleared away for a corner and Jess Bate tested the hosts’ defence with a vicious delivery into the box, a test which they overcome as they managed to clear away for another corner. A sense of relief for the hosts was cut short however as from the next corner Jasmin Springer hit a fantastic inswinging delivery which evaded everybody and sailed over the goalkeeper into the back of the net; the breakthrough in the game and an almost certain goal of the season contender.

Despite taking the lead, the hosts came into the game and began to test the Saddlers backline and goalkeeper Olivia Wells as the half progressed. The visitors themselves also had opportunities to add to their lead but both sides continued to cancel each other out as the first half came to an end, with the scoreline fairly poised ahead of an intriguing second 45 minutes.

The second half saw a change of shape for both teams as they looked to counteract each other. Walsall had a higher percentage of the possession and created several attacking opportunities in the half, but were left frustrated by their final product. The same could be said about the hosts as they too had their own opportunities to find the equaliser but their killer instinct seemed to evade them as the half progressed. Shian Terri-Atkins and Shearer were linking up well on the right-hand side and continuingly asked questions of the hosts’ backline. A tense second half throughout, McGrath’s side were awarded a penalty and a chance to all but seal the three points in the 85th minute. A through ball was played through the middle of Lichfield's defence and despite the best efforts of the Lichfield goalkeeper and a defender, they collided and bundled Elle Tandy down in the area in the process. Tandy picked herself up and stood up to the task, but her effort sailed over the crossbar.

The momentum shifted in the hosts’ favour and the Saddlers now faced a flurry of late pressure for the remainder of the game. In the 87th minute a free kick was awarded to Lichfield and their skipper stuck a shot which looked destined to head into the top corner, but Wells was on hand to make a superb save and tip just over the crossbar.

Lichfield continued to pile on the pressure but the Saddlers stood firm and saw the game out to claim another important victory and maintain their unbeaten start to their league campaign.


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