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Villa Ladies friendly report: Lionesses see off Wolves Ladies

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Villa Ladies friendly report: Lionesses see off Wolves Ladies


New signings Emily Owen, Lauren Walker and Natasha Baptiste all made their debuts for Villa in a 3-0 win over Wolves Ladies.

And England internationals Sherry McCue, Maddy Cusack, Megan Walsh and Abbeyleigh Stringer all got 45 minutes under their belt in preparation for the European Championships which start this week in Wales.

Boss Joe Hunt selected a mixture of senior and reserve players for the encounter, which saw Jade Richards skipper the side.

It was stalemate at the break but Villa Ladies showed their class in the second half.

McCue and Stringer were at their energetic best, showing composure and control in abundance.

Full-back Laura Cooper opened the scoring with a swerving 20-yarder which flew into the bottom corner.

Willing winger Kelly Clarke doubled the advantage on 75 minutes, when her left-foot drive across the keeper nestled in the net.

Cooper doubled her tally - and made it 3-0 to Villa - when she smartly tapped in the rebound after the keeper saved a Clarke powerful drive.

Check out our exclusive picture gallery from the game.

Hunt said: "It was a very pleasing performance from all 19 players. They carried out the gameplan beautifully.

"We asked them to do a lot of different things in the game, which required them to come out of their comfort zones.

"The younger players from the development squad were outstanding, especially against players like Becky Hall and Jamilla Palmer who will dominate the Northern Division this season.

"The first half team should've been ahead at half-time as they created numerous chances and opportunities but we were lacking with our finish or final ball.

"The second half team were asked to play a different way and, at times, were unplayable.

"Lauren, who we signed from Wolves, was electric all game. We've added a quality left-sided defender to the squad, along with Emily who played alongside Jade for the first time.

"Both centre-backs are excellent on the ball but do the defensive side well too.

"Our England contingent were excellent. It was very evident they are ahead of everyone with their fitness as they have been preparing for the Euros all summer.

"The combination play between Sherry, Maddy and Abbeyleigh was fantastic to watch but rubbed off on other players, especially Laura, who scored two from right-back.

"Laura has been excellent for the last 18 months. She's been in and out of the team but is pushing hard to make the right-back position her own."

Check out our exclusive picture gallery from the game.

In their previous friendly encounter, Villa Ladies beat Leamington Ladies 7-1.

Villa First Half: Walsh, Bryant, Chatterton, Moran, Owen, Richards, Lawrence, Harper, N Baptiste, N'Dow, Walker.

Villa Second Half: Leach, Cooper, Walker, McCue, Owen, Richards, Cusack, Stringer, E Baptiste, Griffiths, Clarke.

Snap up your ladies home shirt for the new season.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 14th August 2013
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