Match Report: Women's Cup Final 2023
Wolves Women claim victory against Stourbridge Women to defend their Birmingham FA Women’s Cup courtesy of an Amber Hughes brace.
Following impressive league campaigns from both sides, a night under the lights at Molineux proved to be the perfect conclusion with more silverware up for grabs.
A cagey start to proceedings saw Beth Merrick take aim from a free-kick for the first opportunity of the night, her effort wide of the target.
A moment of magic from Destiney Toussaint saw Wolves call Amie Preston into action, a great ball from the right-hand side finding Amber Hughes, her header requiring a strong stop from the Stour keeper to push behind for a corner.
With Wolves mounting on the pressure, great work from Tammi George soon broke the deadlock. The no.7 pinched the ball high up in the opposition half to catch the Glassgirls off guard before sliding the ball through to Hughes where the Northern Premier Division top scorer made no mistake to loft the ball over the onrushing Preston and give her side a deserved lead.
Hughes nearly added to her tally shortly before the break too, a great ball from Merrick to cut through the Stourbridge defence finding Hughes once again only to be denied by expert defending from Sophie Levick to rush across and deny the shot.
Moments later, however, and Hughes had another chance to make it two, making no mistake second time round. The no.11 cut across her defender on the edge of the area, finding space for the shot with her effort nestling in the top-left corner.
Sharp play down the other end by the Glassgirls almost cut the deficit in half instantly, Lois Jefferies finding space in behind the Wolves defence before forcing a save from Shan Turner – a positive end to the half for the National League Division One Midlands champions.
Hughes almost claimed the match ball in the opening moments of the second period, finding space inside the Stour box but a sharp stop from Preston enough to deflect her effort narrowly wide.
Resilient defending from both sides offered very little in terms of chances as the game entered its finals chapters, Jefferies going closest for Stour once more with an effort from range wide of the target. A late opportunity for Toussaint almost put her name on the scoresheet too, getting away from her opponent before rushing the shot allowing Preston to gather.
Another well-worked attack from Wolves in added time saw Wanderers make it three, Jade Cross making no mistake from close range to coolly slot the ball past Preston to cap off a professional performance for Dan McNamara’s side and secure back-to-back Women’s County Cups.
• Wolves Women: Turner, Cooper, Morphet, E. Cross, George, J. Cross, Dermody, Hughes, Toussaint, Roberts, Merrick. (Subs: Price, Dicken, Holmes, Johnson, Miller).
• Stourbridge Women: Preston, Harrison, Levick, Nicklin, Jefferies, Rogers, Moran, Heaselgrave, Hadley, Clarke, Lawrence. (Subs: Bate, Deasy, McGovern, Fishwick, Allen).