The Aston Villa Women dominated Blackburn Rovers Ladies in a 2-1 win at Villa Park this afternoon.
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Aston Villa Women were looking for their third win in a row this afternoon on a sunny Sunday, as they returned to Villa Park.
The Women started the stronger of the two sides, with Melissa Johnson having a strong opportunity early on – but fired her shot directly at the Blackburn goalkeeper.
The Blackburn Ladies were struggling in the first ten minutes, making plenty of mistakes that Aston Villa were capitalising on – but not making the most of their chances.
It took around 12 minutes for Blackburn to really make any mark in the Aston Villa half of the pitch – and even then they were closed down quickly by the likes of Marisa Ewers and Elisha N’Dow.
Sian Rogers showcased her bravery just before the 15th minute as she charged down a poor pass and collided with the Blackburn forward – causing a delay in proceedings.
Natalie Haigh also showcased her bravery shortly afterwards with a strong sliding tackle – and she took a blow to the head for her troubles.
Emma Follis had a couple of chances to score on her dream return to Villa Park, but despite well worked opportunities, they weren’t coming off for the winger.
It was the 28th minute where the Villa Women’s hard work, dominance and pressure paid off – as Marisa Ewers was tricky in the box, managing to work her way to the line before playing a ball in centrally to Melissa Johnson, who buried the ball first time.
Elisha N’Dow had an opportunity just a minute or so later with a shot from outside of the box which trickled just wide of the Blackburn goal.
Follis’s attempts kept getting better too – she struck the bar in the 33rd minute with a curling ball from outside of the box as she worked herself into some space centrally. Shortly after, she made a similar move – this time cutting in from the right rather than the left, and forced the Blackburn ‘keeper into a save low to her right.
The Aston Villa Women continued their pressure for the remaining minutes of the first half, but weren’t able to add to their first goal.
Aston Villa Women started the second half unchanged, but Blackburn Rovers Ladies had made a substitution during the break.
And the home side continued their pressure and dominance in the game early into the second half too.
Emma Follis had the first strong opportunity for Villa, firing just over the bar from the edge of the box. You could see how much she was waiting for that Villa Park goal just by the frustration she had at missing the target.
And Villa had their second in the 54th minute as Ella Franklin-Fraiture played a sweet ball into the box for Amy West, who played it across the face of goal for Marisa Ewers to finish first time from close range.
Blackburn Rovers answered immediately with a long range lob from Alex Taylor which took Aston Villa Women goalkeeper Sian Rogers by surprise.
Melissa Johnson nearly had her second in the 60th minute, but her shot was blocked at close range.
The 70th minute saw Nadine Hanssen and Sophie Haywood replaced by Shania Hayles and Emily Syme. Shania was involved early on into her time on the pitch, with some nimble footwork allowing her to fire a shot on goal from the left hand side of the box.
Amy West caused the Blackburn Ladies ‘keeper some trouble with a long range effort in the 76th, forcing her to parry the save out for a throw-in.
Shania Hayles had an opportunity in the 82nd minute, but fired straight at the goalkeeper.
Melissa Johnson almost grabbed her second with a strong counter-attack and well worked pass from Emily Syme allowing her to find her way into the Blackburn box in the 83rd, but her shot just trickled wide of the right-hand post.
Just a minute later, Amy West nearly grabbed a goal in consecutive games as her left footed shot was turned around the post by the Blackburn Ladies ‘keeper.
Kerri Welsh made her way onto the pitch in the 85th minute, replacing goalscorer Melissa Johnson.
Shania Hayles nearly made it three with an acrobatic attempt in the 91st minute, scissor-kicking a ball into the upright.
Blackburn had some late pressure with three corners in added time as they looked to gain a point from the game. Their third corner found a Blackburn player but a strong hand from Sian Rogers kept Aston Villa Women ahead.
Aston Villa Women continued their unbeaten start to the FA Women’s Championship with a dominant display in front of a big crowd at Villa Park, and every player impressed.