Aston Villa Ladies performed well in a windy game against Durham Women, getting points on the board early into 2019.
Words by Adam Nunn @AdamReapa
Edited by Regan Foy @FindFoy
Aston Villa Ladies played their first game of 2019 with an away trip to New Ferens Park, where they faced off against Durham Women.
The ladies would have had to be on their game to come away with a result, especially with the wind playing havoc.
Aston Villa Ladies started as they always do, and came out of the blocks fast – with the wind showing early on that balls over the top and moving the ball around were going to be tough.
Around the 11 minute mark, it looked as if Kerri Welsh was going to suffer heartbreak again, with a stretcher called onto the pitch and fans fearing the worst. However, she managed to limp off and after a short time she returned to the pitch.
Both sides had a number of chances, with Jodie Hutton and Phoebe Warner coming the closest for the Aston Villa Ladies.
But it was Durham Women who were the first to get on the score-sheet after Villa’s Hollie Gibson mishit a pass back, eventually leaving Lisa Robertson free to knock the ball past Sian Rogers in the 20th minute.
What happened next was special, as Jodie Hutton drove forward before firing into the net with a powerful, pinpoint finish to draw the sides level just two minutes later.
Durham looked to score just before half time, but it was Aston Villa Ladies who would go into the half as leaders. As the 45th minute struck, Phoebe Warner put Jodie Hutton through on goal, before she put a great ball into the box. The Durham keeper got a hand to hit, but the ball fell to Kerri Welsh who hit a cracking half volley to give Aston Villa Ladies the lead.
The Villa Ladies could have made it three early into the second half as Jade Richards came close with a header.
Jodie Hutton had a chance to grab her second later in the half as she rounded the Durham keeper, but couldn’t make the finish count with her weaker foot and hit the side netting.
A number of chances for both sides could have changed the course of the game, but realistically the wind was playing a large part in keeping the score in Villa’s favour.
As the game was closing, the Villa defence came under some real pressure, and Becky Salicki managed to bundle the ball into the net during a goal-mouth scramble to bring Durham back on level terms.
‘Keeper Sian Rogers kept the Aston Villa Ladies level as the game reached its conclusion, making a handful of important saves.