Villa Ladies 0-5 Liverpool Ladies: Williams hat-trick the difference
Villa Ladies were knocked out of the FA Cup 5-0 at home to Super League outfit Liverpool Ladies.
Boss Joe Hunt admitted after the game he was "absolutely gutted" as his side didn't play to their usual high standards against a very capable, new-look top-flight outfit.
England international Fara Williams struck from 25 yards to give the visitors lead and it was increased when Louise Fors converted a penalty just before the break.
Williams netted the third with a lob soon after the resumption in the second half and Natasha Dowie made it four on 74 minutes after a defensive error.
Williams went through three minutes later to complete her hat-trick. She might have had a fourth but hit the post from the spot after Nicole Rosler was brought down.
Boss Hunt said: "I'm absolutely gutted. We never gave ourselves a chance.
"We were hoping to get back to our way of playing - high tempo in attack and defence.
"The last two games we've been very sloppy with our defending. From front to back we got it wrong.
"We've gifted Liverpool Ladies their goals.
"The first goal was a great finish from Fara Williams but you can't let a senior England player run the ball from the halfway line, back off her and then let her shoot from 25 yards.
"Conceding so early you are immediately chasing the game.
"The second goal was the killer though. From where I was standing it was never a penalty. It looked yards outside the box but the referee decided to give it with help from his assistant.
"These are the sort of decisions that turn games and we're powerless to change them. It put the game out of our reach.
"At half time we regrouped and decided we needed a better period of football, not just for us but for the big crowd that had attended.
"And to be fair we started well, we got close to them, we forced the issue and looked decent.
"Then we gave another cheap goal away that knocked the wind out of our sails. The other two goals were a result of us chasing the game and big gaps appearing."
Despite the heavy defeat, Hunt was heartened with some performances.
He added: "Tash Merritt and Jade Richards were very good again. Abbeyleigh Stringer picked her game up in the second half. Full credit to her.
"We now have Kelly Clarke [pictured], Livy Fergusson and Beth Merrick back in the group - and we're hopeful Sherry McCue will be back in training this week. We've missed her energy and tenacity so we look forward to her returning.
"Dani Petrovic is suspended now for two games so it gives Jenny Lowe or Laura Cooper a chance to shine. They have waited patiently in the background for the last two weeks."
Villa are away at Blackburn next Sunday in the quarter-final of the League Cup.
Villa: Courtney, Vaughan, Mannion, Merritt, Petrovic, Richards, Fergusson (Davies), Stringer, Gibson, Jones, Clarke (Moran). Subs not used: Cooper, Merrick, Lowe.
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