By Dan Harrison
Villa Ladies made a disappointing start to the new league season as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Watford.
Joe Hunt's team were hit by an early blow with the away side capitalising on a defensive mix-up to take the lead after just 90 seconds.
The second Watford goal arrived in the 65th minute, leaving the claret and blues facing an uphill struggle going into the closing stages.
But a tactical switch saw an improvement in Villa's performance and Natalie Gibson pulled a goal back with a late free-kick.
Manager Hunt admitted there is plenty for his side to work on ahead of next Sunday's game at Portsmouth in the FA Women's Premier League National Division.
Villa, who called up four U18s players for the Watford game, should have captain Dani Petrovic and defender Erin Vaughan available for the trip to the South Coast.
"We played well in periods but we never got into the game and didn't test their keeper," said Hunt.
"We played down the sides and got some crosses into the box but their goalkeeper was quite dominant and came and collected everything.
"Once we changed the system we kept the ball a lot better but we still really didn't create a lot.
"It gives us plenty to work on ahead next weekend's game at Portsmouth.
"We need to go back to playing to our strengths which are playing to our wingers and getting more bodies into the box."