Kerri Welsh continued her fine goalscoring form against Spurs this weekend. But whilst the Villa Ladies are growing in confidence, they need to be wary after conceding four penalties in six games.
Words by Adam Nunn (@AdamReapa)
Edited by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
A trip away to an unbeaten Tottenham Hotspur Ladies side on a crisp Sunday morning was always going to be a tough trip for the Aston Villa Ladies.
The Villa Ladies came out of the blocks fast, much like the last few games, with players like Nadine Hanssen really putting pressure on the Spurs Ladies side.
The pressure paid off, and in the 7th minute Tottenham’s goalkeeper dropped a clanger and fed the ball straight into the path of Kerri Welsh, who didn’t waste the chance and buried the ball to give the Aston Villa Ladies the lead.
Her celebration was heartfelt, as she rushed towards Jodie Hutton, who sadly lost her mother recently, and the entire squad hugged her.
The Aston Villa Ladies’ were concentrating on their build up play, with Alice Hassall winning the ball in the middle often and spreading it out to the wings.
It took 20 or so minutes for the Tottenham Hotspur Ladies to have a real chance – which came from a free kick – which Sian Rodgers got down low for and smartly saved.
From here until the half-time mark, there wasn’t much separating the two sides, and as it looked like the Aston Villa Ladies would be leading going into the break.
But, the girls conceded a corner, and as it swung in, Ashleigh Neville rose the highest and headed the ball into the top corner, leaving the score even as the sides went in.
Amy West had the first chance of the second half for Aston Villa Ladies, as she took a shot that just didn’t have enough fizz on it to cause real trouble – but provided a warning sign to the Spurs Ladies.
This seemingly woke the Spurs Ladies up, as just a few minutes later Sian Rogers was forced into making another spectacular save.
In the 57th minute, Phoebe Warner replaced Sophie Haywood, who had put in a shift and had been repeatedly caught by the Tottenham defenders.
Just nine minutes later, goalscorer Kerri Welsh was replaced by Tanisha Smith.
The game levelled out from here, and with just ten minutes to go, the Tottenham Hotspur Ladies started to causes issues for the Aston Villa Ladies’ defence.
And these issues led to the girls conceding their second goal of the game – as Tottenham saw a soft penalty awarded to them. They converted it, and made it 2-1.
In the dying embers of the game, both sides had opportunities to score more, with Spurs coming close and Villa having a goal disallowed for offside.
Whilst the Aston Villa Ladies didn’t get any points away at the Spurs Ladies, their confidence is starting to show. With four penalties conceded in six league games, the girls need to use this confidence to their advantage.