Competition: FA Women’s Championship
Date: Sunday 2nd December 2018
Venue: Bromley FC
Rogers, N’dow, Gibson, Richards, Ale, West, Haywood, Hutton, Welsh (Smith), Hassall, Hanssen. UNUSED SUBS: Elsmore, Smith, Baptiste, Warner, Hall.
Haywood (12), Hanssen (33), West (36)
Aston Villa Ladies turned in a scintillating first half performance to blow away Crystal Palace and ensure they returned to Birmingham with all three points.
The visitors were 3-0 up with 36 minutes on the clock as Sophie Haywood and Nadine Hanssen bagged their first goals for the club before Amy West scored a long-range stunner.
Palace hit back on the stroke of half-time but were held at arm’s length in the second half as Villa picked up their second league win.
Three scoring Villa
This season had been a tale of missed chances for Villa before Sunday’s game kicked off, but they soon put that to bed with a display of ruthless finishing.
Haywood chested the ball into the net from Hollie Gibson’s free-kick to set them on their way before Dutch midfielder Hanssen scored a fine volley.
And West, who scored a stunner in Villa’s 2-1 win against Millwall last month, added to her collection with another long-range beauty.
Hitting the front
Before Sunday, Villa had taken the lead in each of their last five games but had only gone on to win one of those matches.
However, there was no doubt that they would win this one after starting fast and taking the lead once again.
The fluid, free-flowing football was a joy to watch as the visitors created chance after chance in a dominant first half display.
Haywood hitting the heights
Sophie Haywood arrived in the summer after completing a scholarship at Texas A&M university in America.
And after appearing from the bench to begin the season, the winger has made the most of her chance to start in recent weeks.
Haywood has proved to be one of Villa’s most threatening players with the ball at her feet, and her first goal for the club will be another confidence boost.
Aston Villa Ladies travel to Super League side Bristol City for a League Cup game on Wednesday night before they return home to play Sheffield United in the league on Sunday.
Tickets for the game against the Blades are available here.
“It is a little bit of a relief to get my first goal, as a striker you always want to score.
“It was a case that if you force it too much, it becomes a problem. I knew goals were always coming individually and collectively so I am glad I could grab one today.
"I think the last few games we have had some really good performances and we spoke about continuing the momentum, but with an extra 10% we need to finish the chances we create.”