Match report: Coventry Ladies 0-2 Villa Ladies
Villa Ladies completed the 2011-12 season with a terrific third-place finish, after beating Coventry Ladies 2-0 on the final day.
The campaign represented their first back in the National Division following promotion and the victory on the last afternoon catapulted them into the upper reaches, much to the delight of claret and blue followers.
In fact, it saw the highest finish in Villa Ladies history.
Villa controlled the tempo from the start and possession of the ball for long periods.
Emma Follis enjoyed huge success down the right flank and the opening goal came from some excellent work by the flying number seven.
Beating her marker and driving into the box from the wing, her ball was squared to Katie Wilkinson to arrow into the bottom corner of the net from 12 yards.
The second half started like a dream for Villa.
Within two minutes of the restart, Follis again surged down the right wing and delivering a fantastic cross for Kelly Clarke to head home from 10 yards into the top corner of the Coventry goal.
From that moment on there was only going to be one winner.
Ini Umotong continued to be really troublesome for the Coventry defence, Katie Wilkinson linked everything from midfield to the attacking third and Katy Moran and Natalie Gibson totally dominated the centre of the park.
Although a third goal wasn't to be, Moran hit the crossbar from a full 30 yards and Gibson struck a post from 25 yards.
Manager Graham Abercrombie said: "It was an excellent performance by the team and the players got the desired reward for lots of hard work, not only with three points on the day but also with the third placed finish over the course of the season.
"The young players here have been tremendous throughout and really showed how they have developed into established top-flight players - although they still have lots to learn and hard work to put in.
"The result and performance against Coventry has laid a marker of what can be achieved and to produce this week in, week out is the ambition for trying to break into the top two and challenge on a consistent basis in the higher reaches of the division.
"I am extremely proud of this third place finish and it is now written in the history books - no-one can take that away."
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