For games that we’re unable to personally attend, we’ll be providing you with a succinct wrap-up of the latest game for the Aston Villa Women.
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Starting XI: Sian Rogers, Asmita Ale, Natalie Haigh, Elisha N’Dow (C), Ella Franklin-Fraiture, Marisa Ewers, Nadine Hanssen, Amy West, Emma Follis, Sophie Haywood, Melissa Johnson
Subs: Warner, Hayles, Welsh, Greengrass, Syme, Richards
Aston Villa Women now find themselves at the top of the FA Women’s Championship after a 6-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace away from home. Durham, who sit in second, have a game in hand – yet a strong goal difference for the Villa could see them remain in first.
Melissa Johnson started the game on the front foot, bagging her fifth goal of the season with just a minute of the game passed.
The game had started all in Aston Villa’s favour, with a few chances in the opening quarter of the game falling to the likes of Emma Follis, who was still in search of her first goal since returning to the club.
Despite strong attacking intent, captain Elisha N’Dow remained astute in defence and with eight minutes to go before the end of the half made an incredible tackle to stop Crystal Palace from equalising.
Emma Follis did finally get her goal on the bring of half-time, with a curling free-kick which found its way into the top left corner of the goal.
Johnson went on to grab her second goal ten minutes into the second half as centre-back Natalie Haigh made her way into the Palace box before squaring it for the forward to finish.
Just five minutes later, Melissa Johnson has bagged her second hat-trick within four games and taking her up to seven for the season as goalkeeper Sian Rogers lofted a ball long and high, allowing Johnson to pick it up and slot it into the bottom right.
Following her hat-trick, and a comfortable 4-0 lead for Aston Villa Women, Kerri Welsh, Emily Syme and Shania Hayles made their way onto the pitch.
With just over ten minutes remaining, Amy West bagged another goal for her tally this season with a rocket from outside of the box, firing it into the top-right corner.
And Melissa wasn’t the only forward continuing her goal-scoring habits as substitute Shania Hayles found herself at the end of a squared ball from Nadine Hanssen before finishing coolly.
It’s the stuff of dreams for the Aston Villa Women so far, with fourteen goals scored across four games – leaving them and Durham as the stand-out, and unbeaten sides so far this season.
Durham are Aston Villa’s next opponents, but it’s in the FA Women’s Super League Cup. It will be a good test to see how their current biggest rivals for promotion are playing.