Aston Villa Ladies were masters of their own downfall against Sheffield United Women, who punished the mistakes made by the visiting side.
Words by Adam Nunn (@AdamReapa)
Edited by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
Aston Villa Ladies played their third game of the Championship season against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
The game started in the worst possible way for the Villa girls, as they tried to get a hold of the game, but an early mistake let Sheffield United Women’s Sophie Jones through on goal – which she easily put away to make it 1-0. This put Aston Villa Ladies on the back foot from the get go.
Jodie Hutton pushed hard as usual to try and get Aston Villa Ladies back into the game, and found herself breaking into the box just before the 10 minute mark, but she couldn’t quite get her shot off and ended up hitting the side netting.
From here, the Ladies had started to find a footing in the game, and Sheffield United Women created a chance for their opposition with a poor back pass, which Kerri Welsh managed to latch on to and slot cooly past the Sheffield keeper to grab her second of the season and bring the sides level.
The Aston Villa Ladies looked the stronger side at this point and until around the half hour mark, with Nadine Hanssen and Sophie Haywood linking well in the midfield.
But, just as the Villa girls were getting on top of the game, a rash tackle from Elisha N’Dow saw Sheffield United Women gifted a penalty which Althea Paul dispatched past Aja Aguirre in the Villa goal and put Sheffield United Women back ahead with just over ten minutes to go until half time.
It could have been worse as the sides went in for the break, but a great save from Aja Aguirre and a subsequent block from Jade Richards kept the Aston Villa Ladies just one behind at half time.
Early into the second half, Aja Aguirre kept Aston Villa Ladies in the game early on as Sheffield’s Sam Dixon broke through, but the Canadian stopper was alert and made a vital save.
This was an early warning sign, and the Ladies didn’t take it as one – as soon after Villa stood off Sophie Jones, who hit a looping effort into the top corner, making it 3-1 to the hosts and leaving Aguirre with no chance in the Aston Villa net.
In the 58th minute, Amy West returned to the fray after a while out injured, replacing Alice Hassal. Within minutes you could see how the side had missed Amy’s presence, as she chanced the ball down, won it back and pushed Villa forward.
Sheffield United Women continued to threaten though, especially on the wings, and on the 74th minute a across-the-box ball found Sophie Jones who easily put it home, completing her hat-trick and making it 4-1 to the hosts.
From here, the Aston Villa Ladies pushed hard to try and get themselves back into the game, but to no avail. Just before the 90 was up, Sheffield United Women could have made it five, but Sophie Jones missed a sitter and denied herself any chance of bagging a fourth.
Whilst the scoreline would say that Sheffield United outclassed the Aston Villa Ladies, neither side was anything special and the away side were, in essence, the masters of their own downfall.
The girls face Durham at home on Sunday 14th October with an early kick off at 12pm at Boldmere.