The first Women’s Super League Second City Derby went the way of Birmingham City as Aston Villa’s run of wins ended at Villa Park.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa Women hosted Birmingham City Women at Villa Park this afternoon for the first Women’s Super League Second City Derby. With a handful of changes following the strong win against Brighton & Hove Albion, Villa went into this game hoping they would be able to string positive form together with another league win.
The opening five minutes were all for the home side, but the game levelled itself out as the sides battles in midfield to try and carve an opening for a first goal.
Aston Villa continued to apply pressure, winning a number of corners but failing to make them pay. Their best chance of the opening twenty-five minutes came in the 22nd as Hayles found herself able to fire towards goal – but her shot was weak and saved comfortably.
Birmingham’s first real opportunity of the afternoon came just after the half hour mark as Hollie Green found herself through on goal with the flag remaining down – but her shot lacked power and didn’t test Aston Villa’s German goalkeeper Lisa Weiß.
Jodie Hutton was the first name to go into the book in the 37th minute, after a number of rash challenges caught up with her and referee Walsh decided it was finally time to give the winger a yellow card.
Minutes before the end of the half, Stine Larsen had a headed chance at the back post to give Aston Villa the lead. The header bounced wide and caused Birmingham City Women little trouble.
The sides went in at the break level.
The second half saw Birmingham come out of the blocks, pressing higher and putting the Aston Villa players under pressure. This was evident through a number of misplaced passes and lofted clearances from Gemma Davies’ side.
Marisa Ewers had the opportunity to give Aston Villa the lead in the 54th minute, finding herself in acres of space at the back post as Jodie Hutton swung a free-kick into the box. The German midfielder attempted a first time volley that swung wide of the post.
The first substitution of the afternoon came for Birmingham City, as McCarron was replaced by Lucy Whipp. An interesting move for the Blues, who were forced into naming a depleted two-player bench after injuries had ravaged through their squad, to make an early substitution.
Aston Villa Women made their first chance of the afternoon just after the hour mark, with Emma Follis replacing Jodie Hutton. As a lifelong Villa fan and a player that has represented both clubs – Follis was sure to want to make an impact on the game once she arrived.
Several minutes later, and Davies had opted to make another two changes. Diana Silva replaced Shania Hayles, whilst Conti Cup Hat-trick hero Nadine Hanssen replaced Chloe Arthur. Hanssen almost made an immediate impact as the ball fell to her in the box, but her shot was blocked out for a corner.
Birmingham City Women took the lead in the 71st minute as Lucy Whipp, well, whipped a ball into the box, which Elisha N’Dow headed away – but not far enough. The ball was put into a bad area, and found Claudia Walker in a central position to slam home off the underside of the bar.
Conceding woke Aston Villa Women up a little, but despite their best efforts the side still struggled to carve out clear cut chances. Emily Syme replaced Stine Larsen with eight minutes of normal time remaining.
There were three minutes added at the end of the 90 as Villa continued to push for an equaliser – but one did not come.