A new look system made Aston Villa Women look strong and on the front foot for much of the game against Brighton & Hove Albion Women.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
After over a month, Aston Villa Women returned to Women’s Super League action against Brighton & Hove Albion at The People’s Pension Stadium.
Aston Villa were the first side to really test their opposition ‘keeper, as Jodie Hutton cut in from the left hand side and struck towards the top-left corner, but her shot was saved well.
In previous games the claret and blue goalkeepers would look like they were rooted to their line, but Lisa Weiß was almost playing a sweeper-keeper role in the opening ten minutes, racing off her line to collect loose balls.
The new-look formation that the side were operating in looked stronger – more compact and allowing the side to play with a pressing intensity suited to the game. It also suited their style of playing out of the back, and the ladies looked sharper in attack too.
Hutton had another opportunity after the half hour mark, this time closer to goal – but her shot bounced off the body of Walsh in the Brighton goal.
On the brink of half-time, Stine Larsen was through on goal and curled a shot towards the top-right corner, but her effort bounced back off the upright.
The two sides went in at the break even, but Aston Villa Women were likely rueing their missed chances that could have seen them comfortably ahead.
Both sides returned to play after half-time with no changes.
Aston Villa Women started the brighter of the two sides again, and won an early corner after Shania Hayles’ shot was blocked.
Stine Larsen almost grabbed a goal again after ten minutes of the second half, as she rose the highest at the end of Petzelberger’s lofted cross. Her header bounced in front of the keeper, who was down low to tip the ball onto the post.
Eventually, the hard work paid off and Aston Villa Women took the lead. A well worked piece of possession found Stine Larsen in the box, who struggled to get her shot away. A deflection bounced into the path of Anita Asante, who had been balancing a midfield and defender role throughout the game, who side-footed it into the top left corner with her right foot.
Gemma Davies opted for her first change in the 67th minute, replacing Shania Hayles with Marisa Ewers.
Jodie Hutton was booked three minutes later as she grappled with Kaagman for the ball and threw her to the ground. There was then a pause in play from the resulting free-kick as a clash of heads caused Aston Villa defender Natalie Haigh to require treatment.
Hutton was then eventually replaced, in the 76th minute – and was replaced by Portugal international Diana Silva.
There were seven minutes added on at the end of the 90.
Brighton were very close to picking up an injury-time equaliser, but an exceptional save from Lisa Weiß to tip the ball over kept Aston Villa ahead.
A long ball from the resulting corner found Ramona Petzelberger racing to meet it. She battled well with the Brighton defender before getting to the ball first, and lobbed Walsh in the opposition goal to put Aston Villa two goals ahead.
Well in Ladies, with their first three points!