Late Daily equaliser prevents defeat at home for Aston Villa Women

In the final round of the WSL season before the April international break Villa were set to face Leicester at Bescott. With the previous fixture ending in a 1-0 win for Villa, the girls were looking to put in a better performance in this match and pose more of a threat this time round against one of our closest rivals in the league.

Leicester will be looking to put a controversial week behind them after their manager Willie Kirk was sacked for being deemed to have broken the team’s code of conduct after he was accused of having a relationship with a player.

The home team were still without number one Daphne Van Domselaar who has had surgery on her hip, Kirsty Hanson who is still out although she has now returned to training and duo Lucy Parker and Lucy Staniforth who are both still out with their respective injuries. There were more available players for this game after a sickness bug threatened the team for last weekend’s game.

Carla Ward named nearly the same team with the only changes being Sarah Mayling and Maz Pacheco being dropped to the bench with captain Rachel Corsie starting in a back 4 and Alisha Lehmann coming into the starting 11.

Anna Leat once again started in goal in the absence of DVD, with Anna Patten, Noelle Maritz and Dan Turner in defence alongside Corsie. Ward opted to start with the experienced Kenza Dali and Jordan Nobbs in the middle with both Adriana Leon and Alisha Lehmann out wide with a front 2 of Rachel Daly and Ebony Salmon. Simone Magill was once again starting this game on the bench alongside loanee Miri Taylor, Mayling, Pacheco and the young Freya Gregory, Sophia Poor and Georgia Mullett.

Villa started the game strong, piling on the pressure and Daly, Patten, Corsie and Leon all tested the Leicester goalkeeper Liza Kop and forced her to make saves.

In the 26th minute, Villa finally got their reward when Leon found herself at the end of a cross from Salmon to continue her fine run of form and make it 1-0 for Villa.

It didn’t take long for Leicester to equalise when just 2 minutes later they capitalised on a Dali mistake on the edge of the box playing in Japanese forward Yuka Momiki who calmly slotted past Leat to make it 1-1.

Not long after the start of the second half Leicester managed to get themselves in front after a free kick taken by Momiki found the head of Foxes midfielder and captain Sam Tierney whose header deflected off the inside of the post beating Leat.

It wasn’t until 20 minutes later when Villa found the equaliser with Leon pulling the ball back to Nobbs who crossed into the box the first time finding Daly who took her shot on the volley and found the bottom right corner and once again tying the game up.

Even though Villa looked the most like scoring again in this game I think it was a poor showing from the ladies and it was once our own mistakes that cost goals against us. I believe Maritz had a solid game in defence this time being started in her favoured right-back position and is showing more each game what a good signing she was. Daly had a better performance in this game than in the previous fixtures and hopefully, this goal will once again boost her confidence to push on more after the international break.

Once again though I feel that Salmon had a poor game with not providing much or being involved in the game much other than her assist in the first half. Also to her standards, I believe that Dali also had an off day for this game not being able to get on the ball much or create anything.

The next fixture sees the ladies travel to London on a Wednesday night to face Chelsea at Kingsmeadow on 17th April with a 19:00 kick-off. With Chelsea being the only WSL team we are yet to earn a point off, hopefully, we go and put on a performance in this game and cause a threat with Chelsea currently plagued by injuries to big names.


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