Report: Blues Women 2 Aston Villa Ladies 0
Blues Women came out on top in the Second City Derby, beating Aston Villa Ladies 2-0.
Second-half goals from Kerys Harrop and Charlie Wellings secured Blues’ first win in the Continental Cup and gave them the bragging rights against their local rivals.
There were two changes to the side that held Manchester City to a 0-0 draw last weekend, with Wellings being brought straight into the starting XI after winning a bronze medal just two days previous, replacing Ellen White up front.
Sarah Mayling replaced Marisa Ewers and she was prominent in the first-half as she exploited the space down the right flank left by Aston Villa’s back three.
Just two minutes in she was involved in a lovely piece of build-up play with Meaghan Sargeant and Lucy Quinn. However, with Villa’s defence stepping up high, they caught Blues offside on several occasions including this one.
Blues found it hard to break down Gemma Davies’ side, who set up to defend, and despite having the majority of the possession they couldn’t carve out a clear-cut chance until the final minute of the first 45.
Lucy Staniforth whipped in a delicious cross which was met by Sargeant, but the right-back couldn’t find the back of the net as she watched it fly past the post.
Villa started the second-half brightly with an effort from Alice Hassall, but neither team could find the breakthrough.
Marc Skinner introduced Ellen White who was straight into the action as she involved herself in the build-up play to Blues’ best chance of the game. Hayley Ladd played it into Williams’ feet and she fired it towards Sian Rogers’ goal. It struck the woodwork and immediately gave Blues hope.
They final broke the deadlock when Harrop nodded in from close-range. A free-kick caused confusion in the Villa box and it fell kindly to the captain who nestled it into the top right corner.
Quinn was just whiskers wide of doubling Blues' advantage with a stinging effort from the edge of the box.
Blues doubled their lead in the final moments of the game. It came from another set-piece orchestrated by Staniforth, who cut inside and let fire. Her shot was saved by Rogers but fell nicely to Wellings to tap in.
Blues: Ann-Katrin Berger, Paige Williams, Kerys Harrop, Aoife Mannion, Meaghan Sargeant, Chloe Arthur (Connie Scofield 86’), Hayley Ladd, Lucy Staniforth, Lucy Quinn (Shania Hayles 86’), Sarah Mayling (Ellen White 64’), Charlie Wellings.
Subs (not used): Hannah Hampton, Harriet Scott, Emma Follis, Marisa Ewers.
Bookings: Williams (39’)
Goals: Harrop (71’), Wellings (88’)
Aston Villa: Sian Rogers, Ashlee Brown, Elisha N’Dow, Hollie Gibson, Hayley Crackle (Jade Richards h/t), Aoife Hurley, Alice Hassell, Nadine Hanssen (Phoebe Warner 83’), Alison Hall, Kerri Walsh (Tanisha Smith 63’), Jodie Hutton.
Subs (not used): Ria Elsmore, Sophie Haywood, Aja Aguirre, Asmita Ale.
Bookings: Hall (39’)
Referee: Daniel Middleton