The Aston Villa Ladies were dismantled by a much stronger Manchester United Women yesterday, begging the question as to why United are in the league in the first place.
Words by Adam Nunn (@Adam Reapa)
Edited by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
Before we jump into the match report, we’d like you to take into account the fact that Manchester United Women are a full-time, professional, funded team, brimming with international level players that bottled their return to Women’s Football by joining a league full of part-time, unfunded teams.
A crowd of over 1000 attended the game at Boldmere on Sunday, the second largest crowd since Aston Villa Ladies faced Watford at Villa Park.
Manchester United Women started the game looking relatively nervy, as the Aston Villa Ladies controlled the opening segment of the game and saw a ball fizz across the box that was just out of the reach of our forwards.
Unfortunately, at the 10 minute mark, Aston Villa Ladies were punished as a shot from Manchester United Women was pushed into the net after a save from Sian Rogers, leaving her with no chance to stop the ball.
Just a few minutes later, Villa’s Ashlee Brown forced United’s ‘keeper Chamberlain into a save, followed soon after by another effort by Aoife Hurley.
Just as the Villa Ladies were looking to build some pressure, a relatively wonderful strike from Manchester United Women’s James saw the Northern outfit double their lead, leaving Sian Rogers with no chance.
Only a few minutes after that, Sigsworth used her strength and pace to break through the Aston Villa Ladies defence and slot it into the back of the net to give United a 3-0 lead.
Again, just a few minutes later, Manchester United Women had the chance to make it 4-0, after a penalty was given after a rather unfortunate coming together in the Villa box. Katie Zelem scored from the penalty spot, sending Sian Rogers the wrong way.
Jess Sigsworth then grabbed her second five minutes later, who stormed past the Villa defence and gave Rogers no chance in a one-on-one.
Two minutes after grabbing her second, Sigsworth managed her hat-trick as the ball broke kindly for her and she showed her striker’s instinct, putting the ball into the back of the net and making it 6-0 to the Manchester United Women.
Five goals in 13 minutes had turned the game completely, but the Aston Villa Ladies didn’t drop their heads and worked to try and create something on the pitch – before heading into half time.
The second half started relatively quickly, with ‘keeper Sian Rogers forced into making a save after finding herself in a one-on-one situation.
But, Manchester United Women’s next attack saw another goal as Sigsworth scored her 4th – before Hanson scored United’s 8th around the 55 minute mark.
Alison Hall came close just afterwards and could have brought one back for the Aston Villa Ladies if she’d have just got a little more fizz on the ball after breaking through United’s defence.
The Aston Villa Ladies kept on the pressure, and as they looked to grow into the game more, United’s Hanson gained her second of the game with a low shot – making it 9-0.
Three minutes later, Jess Sigsworth scored her fifth of the game.
United’s ‘keeper Chamberlain was forced into a smart save shortly after, as Jodie Hutton created a chance for herself and tried to lessen the distance between the two sides.
But, once again, the United players made Aston Villa pay for their attempt, and substitute Mollie Green found herself on the score sheet with a right-footed volley at the back post.
And it was another substitute that made it 12 for the Manchester United Women, with Ella Toone having a shot on goal which Sian Rogers managed to tip on to the post before Toone pounced on the rebound.
Manchester United Women had scored six goals in another shot period, making the game extremely top heavy in their favour.