Nobbs’ wonder strike gives Villa Women all three points at Spurs

Aston Villa Women returned to action this weekend following a weekend off due to being knocked out of the FA Cup. Villa were hoping to continue their point-scoring tally as of recently and gain a much-needed win against Tottenham at Gaughan Group Stadium in Leyton East London. In the reverse fixture at Bescott Villa fell to a 2-4 loss against the Lilywhites, and will be hoping to correct that this time around.

Villa were once again without the suspended Rachel Daly who is serving the 2nd game in a 3-match ban while Anna Leat is still on international duty with New Zealand.

Dan Turner returned from injury and was named amongst the substitutes alongside Ebony Salmon and Kenza Dali who also went into the fixture as doubts. Number 1 Daphne Van Domselaar once again started in goal after her midweek cup performance, with a back 4 of Maz Pacheco, Sarah Mayling, Anna Patten and Noelle Maritz. With captain, Rachel Corsie being required to start in midfield alongside Jordan Nobbs and Simone Magill. In form, Adriana Leon started in a central position up front with Kirsty Hanson and Alisha Lehman on either wing.

Report: Tottenham Women 1-2 Aston Villa Women

Villa started the game strong with both wingers getting crosses into the home team’s box and piling the pressure on their fullbacks. Nobbs had a shot in the 5th minute that was an easy save for Spurs keeper Barbara Votikova. However, her challenge was pulled back for a foul with the referee deeming her challenge to be late. Spurs then had a chance to create a chance down the wing but a brilliant sliding challenge from Patten saw the ball rebound off Celine Bizet for Spurs with Villa gaining a goal kick. Both teams had a few half chances but none tested either goalkeeper or on target.

Leon had a few chances to score getting on the end of many crosses from Hanson but was struggling to find the target or get any power on her shots.

The visitors did break the deadlock after 23 minutes when Magill and Leon linked up with the latter running through on goal. The winger unleashed her shot from the edge of the box beating Barbora Votíková in the Spurs goal.

The hosts tried to force a quick equaliser with midfielder Kit Graham taking 2 very long-range shots both being high and wide of the target. Villa were applying a very high press forcing errors from the Spurs’ defence with a soft back pass almost being picked up by Lehmann before a sliding Votíková managed to clear it away from their box.

Villa looked the more likely to extend their lead with Hanson and Leon having multiple chances with their shots being blocked, saved or slightly wide of the goal.

The hosts managed to pull the game level after 38 minutes when they were awarded a free-kick following a clumsy challenge from Nobbs. From the resulting free-kick Amy James-Turner headed home to tie the game against the run of play.

In the 41st minute Villa was awarded a free kick in the host’s half after Hanson was fouled, this was taken short to Leon whose cross was easily held by Votíková. Corsie was then brought down by Bizet again with Nobbs taking the shot which was easy for Votíková to catch and end the attack. Villa ended the first half how they started it on the attack and causing an issue for the Spurs’ defence who struggled to clear their lines but Villa also struggled to get a proper shot away ending the first half 1-1.

The hosts came out fighting for the second half getting themselves a corner within the first minute of the restart, which came to nothing as there was a foul on Pacheco during the corner being taken. Villa then got a holdback on the game forcing an error from a very shaky Spurs defence with a back pass being misplaced and out of play for a corner to Villa which came to nothing. Villa then had a shaky moment of their own defensively when Patten failed to intercept a through ball from Spurs which saw Bethany England through on goal but fortunately, she was unable to find the target and hit her shot wide.

In the 56th minute Hanson was played through down the wing by Pacheco looking to create another chance for the visitors before being brought down by Spurs fullback Charli Grant which looked to be a foul however no foul was given and Spurs were awarded a goal kick. Leon was not happy with this decision and found herself booked for dissent for complaining to the referee about the decision.

Villa struggled after the break and were sloppy with their passing giving encouragement to the hosts until they retook the lead just before the hour mark.

Lehmann once again forced another error from the Spurs’ defence winning a corner, Leon took the corner which was cleared to Pacheco who laid off Nobbs on the edge of the box. Nobbs took her shot first time, firing into the top right corner, making it 1-2 to the visitors against the run of play.

In the 64th minute, both teams looked to the bench with the hosts making an attacking change bringing on Jessica Naz in place of Bizet and Carla Ward bringing off Lehmann for Dali which led to a change of positions within the team. Magill was moved up front with Dali slotting into midfield and Leon was moved to her more comfortable left-wing position. Just 10 minutes later Villa nearly increased their lead again when Hanson played the ball across to Nobbs whose shot fired off the bar to the feet of Pacheco who laid off Dali whose cross was deflected out for a corner which was easily cleared by the Spurs defence.

The hosts then desperate for an equaliser made a quadruple change with multiple attacking players being brought on to try and force a comeback in this game. The game became very end to end with both teams having chances and shots saved and multiple Villa players finding themselves booked for silly reasons with Nobbs kicking the ball away after a throw-in was awarded to Spurs and Hanson blocking the throw-in from being taken.

In the 85th minute, Villa made 3 more changes to try and see this game out taking off Magill, Pacheco and Nobbs and bringing on Georgia Mullett, and Dan Turner who slotted in at centre back with Maritz moving out to left back and Miri Taylor who came on to make her debut for Villa after joining on loan from Liverpool in January.

Villa controlled the game after these changes were made, not allowing Spurs much time on the ball or to create many chances, whilst still creating chances of their own. Villa once again won on the road with 4 wins in 6 away games this season.

This was a very positive performance from Villa with Hanson and Magill linking up very well on the left-hand side, and Hanson constantly troubling the fullback with her pace and creating many chances. Nobbs and Leon got themselves into good positions and had chances of their own and Corsie had a very good game in midfield. I think Lehmann had quite a quiet game and didn’t seem to get involved much with Nobbs and Mayling seeming to work well together on the right side and were creating chances themselves. I also think Patten once again had a very good game defensively with not much getting past her and making perfectly timed tackles and interceptions throughout the game, as well as Maritz who was once again played in an unfamiliar position at centre back instead of her favoured right back.

This was a very good win for Villa who proved that we don’t just rely on Daly to get goals for the team like we seemed to last season. This was one of the best performances I’ve seen of us this season so far. There is once again another break in the season for international fixtures with Villa not back in action until March 3rd where we face Liverpool at home with a 14:00 kick-off at the Poundland Bescott Stadium.


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