Villa Ladies 2-1 Charlton Ladies: Wilkinson and Davies on the mark
Villa Ladies secured their first three points of the season with a 2-1 home win over Charlton Ladies.
Katy Wilkinson and Carly Davies were the scorers - bagging two in two minutes - as Joe Hunt's team powered to the victory.
Hunt sent out a strong Villa Ladies side for the tussle with three changes from the League Cup with over Derby Ladies.
Kelly Clarke replaced Bethan Merrick, Abbeyleigh Stringer came into the side for Becky Anderson and Erin Vaughan replaced Hayley Crackle.
Villa Ladies made a very bright start, with Kelly Clarke and Sherry McCue really impressing early on.
McCue, in particular, had a fine chance to open the scoring but her powerful shot was brilliantly tipped wide by the goalkeeper.
But Villa Ladies didn't have to wait long for the breakthrough as Katy Wilkinson thundered a header into the top corner from eight yards.
Just a minute later - and straight from the kick-off - Villa Ladies won the ball back and Erin Vaughan hit a raking 40-yard pass to centre-forward Carly Davies, who instantly controlled and calmly slid the ball past the keeper.
Villa Ladies could have three-up just before half-time when Davies flung herself at the ball in the box to hammer home a header. But the linesman had flagged.
Charlton Ladies came storming back after the break but the brilliance of Erin Vaughan and Megan Walsh at the back kept the visitors at bay.
At one point, Vaughan threw her body in the way of a shot to block and then remarkably ran 60 yards to be one-on-one with the keeper.
Her dinked effort was saved and the subsequent volleyed shot from Emma Follis was again brilliantly saved by the keeper.
Charlton Ladies did pull one back from the spot with just 20 minutes remaining and it could have been all-square but just moments from the end goalkeeper Walsh produced a fantastic save low to her left-hand side to earn the maximum haul.
Boss Joe Hunt said: "The result was everything. The Villa Ladies knew we needed to pick up points especially at home.
"In the first half we came flying out the blocks - putting Charlton on the back-foot.
"We had great variation to our game coupled with a fantastic work ethic. Every time Charlton got the ball they had a claret and blue shirt next to them.
"We thoroughly deserved our lead at half time but in the second half Charlton were more direct and caused us a few problems.
"We then got too deep and made hard work of it. But saying that, we still had plenty of opportunities to finish the game off but a combination of bad finishing and great goalkeeping kept us at two goals.
"It was a tale of two halves but overall we deserved the win.
"The Villa Ladies deserve full credit for the win. They showed they can play nice football and dig deep when under pressure."
Villa Ladies: Walsh, Cusack, Mannion, Moran, Vaughan, Richards (c), McCue, Stringer (Merritt), Davies (Fergusson), Wilkinson (Follis), Clarke. Subs not used: Petrovic, Crackle.
Adobe Flash Plug-in Needed
This website requires a Adobe Flash plug-in. Please download the latest version of the Flash plug-in by clicking here