Match report: Watford Ladies 4-0 Villa Ladies
Villa Ladies went down 4-0 at Watford Ladies in what boss Joe Hunt called a "lacklustre performance."
Watford Ladies forward Sarah Wiltshire bagged a hat-trick as the title-chasers showed "intensity and desire" to see off the claret and blues.
Villa Ladies were one down on the half-hour mark after Aoife Mannion was penalised for a foul on Kate Natkiel in the area and Wiltshire dispatched the resulting penalty.
Things got worse for Villa Ladies just after the break on 51 minutes when a ball over the top of the static backline was latched upon by Jo Wilson, who smashed an effort across Natalie Courtney and into the corner via the post.
It was three-nil four minutes later when Wiltshire bagged her second, with a free-kick which flew in off Jade Richards.
Wiltshire claimed her hat-trick with a 30-yard drive on 74 minutes.
Boss Hunt said: "First, credit to Watford. They were outstanding against us. Every player did their job. They were full of intensity and desire.
"They made us pay for a lacklustre performance.
"Our four games in ten days were too much. Even though we've shuffled the pack we were flat.
"Watford did to us what we normally do to other teams. We can't afford so many players to be below par. It's a massive blow for us.
"We started badly, gave a cheap penalty away but then started to get more of the ball. But we were desperate in possession. We gave it back to Watford every time.
"At half time we all knew it wasn't good enough but then produced a horrible 15 minutes after the break. We gave cheap free-kicks away, which we got punished for. Two out of the four goals were set-pieces and one a penalty.
"We won't be that bad again this season. I know that. We've been outstanding for the last five months and we'll get back to that. We're a good team and we'll learn from this.
"On a positive note Natasha Merritt [pictured] was outstanding again. She is the unsung hero of the team.
"She got back into the team in October and has been impressive every week. She breaks play up in the midfield and uses the ball well.
"Her performance was quality but she can't do it by herself. Every team needs a player like Tash. She puts her body on the line week in week out."
VILLA LADIES: Courtney, Vaughan, Mannion (Lowe), Merritt, Petrovic, Richards, Follis, Stringer (Moran 71), Davies, Jones, Cusack (Gibson 53). Subs not used: Cooper, Crackle.
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