Competition: SSE Women’s FA Cup
Date: Sunday 10th February 2019
Venue: Community Drive
Rogers, N’dow, Gibson, Richards, Brown, West, Hanssen, Welsh, Hassall, Hall (Hutton), Haywood. UNUSED SUBS: Elsmore, Ale, Smith, Warner, Hurley.
Stoke City: Keryakoplis 6
Aston Villa: Welsh 58, Haywood 66
Story in brief
Aston Villa Ladies staged a second half fightback to earn their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
While plying their trade one division below Villa, Stoke City had won 11 straight games coming into the match and they made the perfect start as Hannah Keryakoplis’ cross made its way past Sian Rogers – thanks to a large helping hand from the wind.
And despite the underdogs leading at the break there was to be no giant killing as club captain Kerri Welsh pulled her side level with a close-range finish.
And just eight minutes later, Villa scored the winner as Sophie Haywood tapped the ball home from a rebound.
Villa avoid an upset
Out of all the fourth round ties, this one looked like there was potential for an upset with Stoke flying in the National League and backed by their biggest crowd of the season.
And while it proved to be a tricky tie, Villa did a professional job to quell the hosts’ early momentum and take control in the second half.
Head Coach Gemma Davies started key player Jodie Hutton on the bench, and it was a mark of Stoke’s performance that she was introduced with the score at 1-1.
True to an old footballing cliché, this was a proper cup tie with both sides giving it everything to make it through to the next round.
There were big tackles, cards and more as both sets of players left it all on the field.
Centre-backs Elisha N’Dow and Jade Richards both entered the book as Villa stood up to the physical test posed by their opponents.
Villa’s prize for their progress is a home tie against Sheffield United Women at Boldmere St Michaels on Sunday.
Both sides will feel they have a great chance to win and take a place in the quarter-finals having already faced each other three times this season.
The Blades won the first two meetings but a 5-1 victory at Boldmere in December will fill Villa with confidence heading into the tie.
A place in the quarter finals is up for grabs when Aston Villa Ladies take on Sheffield United Women in the FA Cup on Sunday.
The game will be played at Boldmere St Michaels (3pm KO) and is free entry for men’s Season Ticket Holders.