The FA Cup dream for the Aston Villa Ladies ended today as they lost by a single goal against West Ham United Women.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
Aston Villa Ladies faced West Ham United Women in the quarter-finals of the Women’s FA Cup on a bright Sunday afternoon at Boldmere St Michaels.
The girls started the game well, controlling the early period of the game with some slick passing and well-worked closing down. Jodie Hutton came close around five minutes into the game with a shot from the left that bounced off the outside of the West Ham United post.
The next fifteen or so minutes saw Aston Villa Ladies continue their dominance, with Hanssen, Hassall and Haywood all dominating the midfield and Jade Richards dominating in her defensive duties.
West Ham United’s Lehmann had a quality chance to put the away side ahead in around the 22nd minute, and really should have done better. However, just three minutes later, West Ham’s Kiernan had a heavy shot towards goal which was saved with a sublime hand by Sian Rogers. Unfortunately for the Villa, Ross was there to bury the rebound at the far post.
Aston Villa Ladies nearly responded immediately, but it wasn’t to be as Haywood was denied at the far post as the sunshine turned to hail.
Nadine Hanssen came so close in the 35th minute, showing some incredible skill and composure in the West Ham United box before firing a weak shot at goal that was easily covered.
Just a few minutes before the half, Jodie Hutton played a high cross into the United box which Haywood found herself at the end of, but she just couldn’t make the chance pay and her volley didn’t trouble the West Ham ‘keeper.
Aston Villa Ladies’ Nadine Hanssen and West Ham United Women’s Cho So-Hyun
West Ham United Women made two changes for the second half. Longhurst and Leon were replaced by Reichardt and Visalli.
Once again, Aston Villa Ladies started the half the stronger side – closing down well and had the first chance of the half.
In around the 55th minute, Aston Villa Ladies had a free-kick in a dangerous area but didn’t use it well.
West Ham United hit the post in the 65th with a shot from the right, coming very close with the best chance of the half for either of the sides.
The Ladies started to come into their own a little more in the 70th minute, able o string a number of passes together and get a few opportunities on goal.
Haywood had a chance in the 74th, cutting inside and hitting the ball with her left foot which bounced off a West Ham United player and into the path of right-back Brown, who fired over the bar. Just three minutes later N’Dow fired a free-kick from the half way line into the box which was headed just wide by Nadine Hanssen.
As the game went into the final 10, Hanssen was replaced by Hurley for the Aston Villa Ladies. A few minutes later, goalscorer Jane Ross was replaced by Rafferty for West Ham.
In the 90th, Tanisha Smith was replaced by Natasha Baptiste. The last chance for Villa came as Jodie Hutton fired an over-hit cross towards the left-hand side of the pitch.
The Ladies were made to rue their missed chances in this game, and although the game didn’t go the way that Villa wanted – they should be proud of their performance.