Aston Villa Women graced their new home at the Bescot Stadium for the first time today, but it’ll be a day to forget for Gemma Davies’ side.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa Women arrived at their new home for the first time this afternoon, with an early kick off in the Women’s Super League against Everton.
The game was disjointed in its start; with the ball bouncing around within Aston Villa’s defensive third, as Nadine Hanssen, Anita Asante and Asmita Ale all struggled to clear the ball effectively. Everton managed to get a shot away but it was saved by Weiß.
Anita Asante, a summer signing from Chelsea, was starting her first game in the Women’s Super League since May of 2019.
It was Everton who were the dominant side in the opening fifteen minutes, but the only time that the away side could get attempts on the Aston Villa goal were generally after loose balls or mistakes from the home side. Valerie Gauvin had an opportunity blocked by Haigh after today’s captain lost the ball to the French international.
A few minutes later, and Gemma Davies’ side worked an opportunity as Stine Larsen was able to use her long legs to collect the ball at the edge of the Everton box, before racing and stretching towards the back post before cutting a ball back that Nadine Hanssen struggled to get enough power on.
The deadline was broken after 20 minutes as Hayley Raso met a smart cross from Claire Emslie and had a simple finish past Weiß to give Everton the lead in the game.
Raso doubled the lead after just three minutes, as Lisa Weiß mistake allowed the Australian international to finish another easy attempt past the German goalkeeper.
A respectable scoreline turned into a riot for Everton as the earlier assist provider Emslie fired a curling effort into the bottom right corner from range.
The third goal caused an on-the-pitch team talk for Aston Villa Women as the players grouped together and galvanised to try and turn around a 3-0 scoreline.
Five minutes before the end of the half, Raso turned provided for Valerie Gauvin who produced a spectacular diving header that nestled perfectly past Weiß.
Gemma Davies opted to make changes at the break, replacing Nadine Hanssen and Emma Follis with Sophie Haywood and Jodie Hutton.
The home side were unfortunate five minutes into the half, as Everton’s Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah’s cross nestled into the far corner of the net and put her side truly out of reach for Aston Villa.
Just two minutes later, and Claire Emslie bagged her brace, racing into the box and rounding Weiß, before slotting into the net despite the best efforts of Sophie Haywood to clear the ball away, leaving the home side trailing by six.
As thirty minutes remained, Aston Villa made two more changes – replacing Anita Asante with Elisha N’Dow, and Diana Silva with Emily Syme.
The game trickled into the last twelve or so minutes as neither side looked likely to add another goal into the game. Jodie Hutton required treatment in the 80th, causing a break in play – but the young Villan was able to resume play.
Stine Larsen forced McKeever in the Everton net into a strong save with her feet as she burst into the right hand side of the box, but the rebound couldn’t be found by any of her team-mates and the ball was forced away from goal.
With three minutes remaining of the 90, Aston Villa Women made their final change of the game, replacing Larsen with Shania Hayles.
There were four minutes added on as the game struggled towards its conclusion.