Competition: FA Women’s Championship
Date: Sunday 9th December 2018
Venue: Boldmere St Michaels
Aston Villa: Hutton 40, 63, 73; Haywood 43; Smith 82
Sheffield United: Jones 50 (P)
Rogers, N’dow, Gibson, Richards, Ale, West, Haywood (Hall), Hutton, Welsh (Smith), Hassall, Hanssen. UNUSED SUBS: Aguirre, Elsmore, Baptiste, Warner, Brown.
Story in brief
A first senior hat-trick from 17-year-old Jodie Hutton helped Aston Villa Ladies dismantle Sheffield United in their last FA Women’s Championship fixture of 2018.
After a closely matched first 40 minutes, the game swung in the home side’s favour when Hutton and Haywood netted within three minutes of each other.
Sophie Jones converted a penalty to give the visitors a glimmer of hope just after the restart, but it proved to be a false dawn as Villa ruthlessly racked up the goals.
Hutton completed her treble with two close range finishes before Tanisha Smith netted her first senior goal for the club to complete a fantastic performance.
Star in the making
The Sheffield United full-backs will be having nightmares for some time to come after Hutton terrorised them all afternoon.
Switching between the right and left flanks, the winger was simply unplayable, driving past defenders with speed and determination before flashing her finishing prowess.
Hutton had scored twice in 12 games before Sunday, with her hat-trick showing there’s plenty more to come from the youngster.
Before the start of December, Villa had only managed nine goals in 12 matches, leaving them to wonder where the goals were going to come from.
But in their three games so far this month, the team have combined to find the net ten times, with goals coming from a number of different sources.
The team’s attacking style of play is paying dividends, with players showing a ruthless streak that had been missing earlier in the campaign.
Finishing on a high
The Christmas break comes at the wrong time for Villa, with the side having just won back-to-back league games for the first time this season.
But there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic heading into 2019 when they resume their league campaign against Durham on 13th January.
Villa, ending the year in eighth, are just three points behind fifth placed London Bees, and they’ll be eyeing a top half finish after their fine recent run.
Aston Villa Ladies end 2019 with a monster game against Manchester City at Boldmere St Michaels on Thursday night.
England internationals Steph Houghton, Jill Scott and Nikita Parris are likely to feature in the Continental Cup clash for City, and tickets are available online here.