Aston Villa Women look almost a different side, not just because of their new additions to the squad – but mentally too.

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Aston Villa Women today started their new FA Women’s Championship campaign with a 3-2 win against Sheffield United Women which saw them overturn a two goal deficit to gain all three points.

The ladies looked a completely different side to that of last season – but not only because of a host of new faces – mentally too. The side last year might not have been able to overturn the two goal difference but looked mentally strong enough this time to not get into their own heads.

The defence looked solid, despite conceding a goal well-worked goal against Sheffield United Women, and conceding a penalty. Elisha N’Dow captained the side strongly, marshalled her defence and was an ever-present when balls were being played long by the opposition. Natalie Haigh, Ella Franklin-Fraiture and Asmita Ale all impressed – especially Ale, who was a bundle of energy wherever she could be spotted on the pitch.

Sophia Haywood and Amy West looked their usual energetic selves in the midfield, and new arrival Marisa Ewers was an absolute midfield general.

The midfielder who impressed the most though, was Emma Follis. The former Aston Villa midfielder was on top form as she returned to the fold after some time away at Birmingham City Women. She sprayed balls forward regularly, was technically astute and embarrassed Sheffield players regularly in the middle of the park.

Follis looks like she’s raring to go and keep her word about helping her childhood club into the Women’s Super League.

And then there’s Melissa Johnson. The forward was Leicester City’s top scorer in the FA Women’s Championship last season and is looking like a stellar acquisition so far. She was on fire in pre-season and has taken that form into the season too – with a hat-trick on her home debut at Boldmere.

A huge shout-out too, to goalkeeper Sian Rogers, who looked commanding in her area. She will have been disappointed to have conceded the first goal, was close for Sheffield’s penalty. Further saves were very impressive – especially in the latter stages of the game.

Gemma Davies has been able to get swathes of ability out of her side in the past season, but with a full transfer window under her belt with strong planning and more investment from the club, the Ladies look like they’re going to be competing for the title this season.

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