Aston Villa Ladies grabbed their first win of the new season with a strong performance against Leicester City Women, and some goalkeeping heroics from Aja Aguirre.
Words by Adam Nunn (@AdamReapa)
Edited by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
Aston Villa Ladies played their third Continental Cup game yesterday, travelling to Quorn FC to play Leicester City Women. The home outfit had already beaten Bristol City and Crystal Palace’s women’s side as Aston Villa looked to get their first win of the new season.
Five of the starting eleven announced had played within the ladies development team the season before – telling you exactly what the Aston Villa Ladies are trying to create and highlighting the bright future.
Aston Villa Ladies started the game strong, coming out of the blocks fast and putting an abudance of pressure on Leicester. Both sides had chances early on, but the ‘keepers looked confident on either end – especially Aja Aguirre who had replaced Sian Rogers in the Villa net.
Further into the game, the Villa girls started to put together more attacks, but struggled to get the ball to fall in front of the goal.
As Villa’s pressure mounted, they had a breakthrough – with Club Captain Kerri Welsh smashing the ball into the back of the net and giving Aston Villa Ladies the lead. Kerri ran the length of the pitch to go and celebrate with the bench, almost to thank them for their support during her torrid time with injuries.
Leicester tried to hit back immediately, but Villa’s work rate both on and off the ball made it so the home side couldn’t really get going.
With Leicester wasting a few chances, with free-kicks in dangerous positions, Villa were still getting forward and challenging the Leicester ‘keeper.
Kerri Welsh nearly made it two just before half time after Nadine Hanssen won the ball before spreading it to Asmita Ale who found Kerri – who’s shot looked as if it had went in but unfortunately went just wide.
The second half sparked off brightly, but not brightly enough for fireworks.
Within the first five minutes, the Aston Villa Ladies had scored twice – with Kerri Welsh thinking she’d grabbed her second, and Jodie Hutton thinking she’d got her name on the score sheet – only for both goals to be disallowed for offside.
From here, Leicester were able to build pressure again, but it took until the 67th minute for their efforts to come to fruition.
Leigh Dugmore went down in the Aston Villa Ladies area and was awarded a penalty.
Leicester’s Ayisi put the ball on the spot, but Canadian ‘keeper Aja Aguirre looked confident and saved the resulting penalty, before the ball fell back to Leicester and forced Aguirre into making a double save – before saving a third shot with incredible reactions just after – keeping her clean sheet intact.
As time ticked on, Aston Villa’s game management showed, as Leicester began looking like they were bereft of ideas.
The home side did have a chance late on with a late corner, but Aguirre collected the ball and nothing came from it.
With Leicester pushing to try and grab an equaliser, the Villa Ladies tried to make the most of their counter attacks, but the score remained 1-0.
The Aston Villa Ladies are next in action on Wednesday 19th – away at Charlton in the Women’s Championship, kicking off at 7:45pm.