Aston Villa Women lost to Brighton & Hove Albion this evening and are now a single point away from the bottom spot.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa Women hosted Brighton & Hove Albion Women at the Banks’ Stadium this evening, with the threat of relegation still standing over the sides shoulder, while their visitors were in the midst of a strong run of form that has seen them rise up the Women’s Super League table of late.
The home side enjoyed most of the attacking output in the opening five minutes of the game, with Emma Follis and Mana Iwabuchi both firing crosses into the Brighton area that no Aston Villa Women players were able to get on the end of.
Lisa Weiß was forced into a spectacular save in the seventh minute as the game sparked to life, with the German goalkeeper palming the ball over the bar with a strong dive.
Aston Villa Women were trying to create space down the right and pressing high to force Brighton into poor passes, and in the opening 20 minutes or so, their tactic was working as the ball remained for the most part in Albion’s final third.
Brighton & Hove Albion would take the lead in the 21st minute as a shot from outside of the box was fumbled by Lisa Weiß – allowing Aileen Whelan to pounce on the loose ball and poke into the roof of the net. Weiß was hurt in the process, and received a lengthy period of treatment.
There were a few more chances in the half for the home side as Jodie Hutton put in a number of dangerous set-pieces, but couldn’t quite find a team-mate, whilst Anita Asante came close to getting on the end of a cutback from Emma Follis.
After two minutes of added time, the sides went in at the break with Brighton leading.
Aston Villa Women started the second in the same manner they did the first, eager to try and make amends and find an equaliser.
Ten minutes into the half and Jodie Hutton found Emma Follis with another pinpoint ball into the box, before Follis beat her defender and fired wide. Shania Hayles also came close with an effort, but drilled her shot just wide.
Despite the home side’s efforts, they couldn’t quite grab anything in front of goal, and were forced into making changes to try and freshen up their approach.
As the final twenty minutes came, Caroline Siems was replaced by Diana Silva, whilst Emma Follis left the field of play for Emily Syme.
In the 80th minute, Lisa Weiß was forced into making a quick decision that lead to a penalty and a yellow card for the ‘keeper. Inessa Kaagman stepped up for Brighton and buried the ball to strengthen their lead with ten minutes to go.
Despite two more changes which saw Nadine Hanssen and Freya Gregory enter the field, Aston Villa Women could not finish the chances they were creating and fell short of the mark at home this evening.
The gap at the bottom is now incredibly close, with West Ham and Bristol City, both below Aston Villa, currently just one point behind Marcus Bignot’s side.