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Coventry City lost their 100% record after seven straight wins in the Midland Combination following a 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Goodrich Sports & Social Club on Sunday.
As so often with goalless games, the match was enjoyable and full of incident and every player gave their all in the third match of the week for both teams.
Coventry moved the ball about nicely with excellent wing play but struggled to get clear chances from close in. Nearly all their dangerous moments came from long range efforts which home keeper Becky Thomas dealt with very well. Wolves created fewer chances but they were more clear cut and Danni Selmes forced two crucial saves from Netty Manca, one in each half from close range goalbound efforts.
Coventry started the match showing why they have raced clear at the top of the table. Jade Formaston and Helen Dermody controlled the wings and linked effectively with the powerful Cherelle Archibald up front. However, shots from all three either went over or wide, as did a thirty yarder from centre back Natasha Lynch on 21 minutes.
Thomas made a fine save from a 25-yard Dermody free kick as the ball bounced awkwardly right in front of her. Archibald shot just wide as Wolves, whilst defending really well, struggled to mount effective pressure on the Sky Blues goal.
Finally, on 37 minutes, Wolves created a good chance as Selmes got away a shot under pressure from ten yards which was deflected just past the post, which led to spell of home dominance from corners and free kicks.
Ironically, the best chance of the match for the league leaders came seconds after the break when the unmarked Dermody headed wide from close in. From then on, Wolves grew in confidence and dominated the match for long spells with fine performances from the whole team, especially Sophie Walker and Amber Quick in midfield and Selmes up front.
Whilst Formaston was a constant danger to the hosts with her ability to beat opponents, the whole Wolves back four worked very hard to deny her clear shooting chances. At the other end, a great move sent Selmes clear but she was denied by a fine Manca save at the edge of her area.
Leanne McKenna, who was outstanding throughout the match in Coventry's midfield, had two long range efforts around the seventy minute mark, one well saved and another just over. Another close call from Wolves pressure led to a scramble from a corner but the ball just would not fall for a decisive finish.
Lynch rounded off a fine individual performance in the Sky Blues defence by rampaging seventy yards upfield past four challenges and launching a 30-yard drive which again flew just over the bar on 82 minutes.
The game continued on a knife edge to the final whistle as Wolves stretched their unbeaten run to seven and Coventry emerged undefeated from a gruelling trio of away games in a week.
The match was of a very good quality and full of fine individual performances. The Wolves team is much changed and is full of young talents who will carry on developing and will be a tough test for every opponent. Coventry have been denied promotion by the narrowest of margins for the last two seasons and have a fine team who are setting up another title challenge in the best possible manner, with a team who have stayed together and kept developing.
Wolves: Becky Thomas, Linsey Longhurst, Jay Bradford, Anna Perks, Layla Salter, Sophie Walker, Rebecca Large, Amber Quick, Danni Selmes, Sophie Richards, Hayley Packer. Subs: Faye Seeley, Louise Roberts, Natalie Morris.
Coventry City: Netty Manca, Natalie Wilcox, Ali Forbes, Leanne McKenna, Natasha Lynch, Gemma Clarke, Jade Formaston, Nikki Miles, Robyn James, Cherelle Archibald, Helen Dermody. Subs: Sarah Morgan, Stacey Christie, Nicole Tinto, Emily Hanson, Jade Whitfield.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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