Match Reports

Record run continues with defeat of Villa

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Albion secured a fourth consecutive WSL win with a 2-0 victory in the West Midlands.

By Charlie Hanson • 17 March 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Aileen Whelan put Albion in front from close range.

Albion continued their rich vein of form in the WSL as they defeated Aston Villa to extend their record winning run in the top tier to four matches.

Aileen Whelan’s close-range effort put Albion in front midway through the first half, before Inessa Kaagman’s penalty in the 80th minute ensured the visitors came away with all three points.

Hope Powell made one change from the side that defeated Tottenham Hotspur last time out; Nora Heroum replaced Emily Simpkins, having played a role in both of Inessa Kaagman's goals against Spurs.

An opening half full of energy saw Maya Le Tissier draw a fantastic save from Lisa Weiss seven minutes in, as the England Under-19 combined superbly with Victoria Williams and Emma Koivisto on the left, before trying her luck from 25 yards. Her dipping effort was only just tipped over by the Villa keeper who scrambled to get back having been caught off her line.

The hosts should have taken the lead in the 15th minute when Kaagman's pocket was picked on the edge of the Albion box by Chloe Arthur – the Scotland international taking a touch before looking to slot past Megan Walsh, but the Villa academy graduate was equal to the low effort as she got an outstretched leg in the way.

By Paul Hazlewood
Aileen Whelan bravely slid in to give Albion the lead.

Villa would come to rue not taking that chance when Albion went in front six minutes later. Megan Connolly’s fierce long-range drive couldn’t be held by Weiss and Whelan’s gamble to follow up paid off, as she won the race to the loose ball and fired in off the crossbar for her fifth league goal of the campaign.

With half-time approaching and after some decent probing attacks, Marcus Bignot's team had their best chance of the first 45 minutes when Anita Asante’s low drive from the edge of the box had to be cleared off the line by Victoria Williams in expert fashion.

By Paul Hazlewood
Geum-min Lee's header flew just over Lisa Weiss' goal late in the first half.

Guem-min Lee’s header nearly punished Villa again for not taking their chances, but the South Korean guided the ball over Weiss’ crossbar from Kaagman’s free-kick from the right.

Shania Hayles saw her low drive fly narrowly wide of the bottom corner with Walsh at full stretch ten minutes after the restart, but that was the only effort of note from the hosts in a second period that lacked any real cut and thrust from either side.

With ten minutes to play, substitute Kayleigh Green was clumsily tackled by Weiss as the pair raced for a loose ball in the Villa box, presenting Albion with the opportunity to put the game to bed from the penalty spot.

By Paul Hazlewood
Inessa Kaagman confidently converted from the penalty spot.

Kaagman stepped up and made no mistake from 12-yards, sending it straight down the middle for her third goal in two games.

Maximum points taken from their last four WSL fixtures has seen Albion fly up the league table, with tonight’s win moving them into sixth spot.

Line-up: Walsh, Kerkdijk, Le Tissier, Whelan, Connolly, Lee (Jarrett 79), Kaagman (Bance 90), Heroum (Green 55), Koivisto, Brazil, Williams.

Unused subs: Fiskerstrand, Roe, Gibbons, Green, Simpkins, Jarrett, Bance, Symonds, Olding.

Referee: Rebecca Welch