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Villa Ladies verdict: Hunt - Everton defeat 'hard to take'

Ian Taylor blog: Brian Little return, League Cup win and Cruyff memories International review: 50 caps for Hutton, goal for Ayew, win for Gestede
Villa Ladies verdict: Hunt - Everton defeat 'hard to take'

Head coach Joe Hunt described Thursday's defeat as 'hard to take' but was pleased with the claret and blues' overall performance against Everton Ladies.

Villa took the lead through Hannah George's goal before strikes from Simone Magill and Georgia Brougham sealed a win for the Toffees.

Katie Wilkinson's effort hit the post in the dying embers to deny the visitors what would have been a deserved share of the spoils.

And although evidently disappointed to come away from Merseyside empty handed, Hunt was pleased with his side's display.

He reflected: "The way we lost the game is extremely hard to take.

"We were doing exceptionally well in the second half and I thought it would be us that would win the game.

"The second goal was so bad from us, no pressure on the ball 20 yards out and we get punished - it was the first time in the second half we were not close to them.

"In the first half we were way below our levels, at half-time we had some serious words.

"But even though we were below our levels we nearly performed a smash and grab to be in at half-time one up.

"We conceded one of the softest goals where Everton haven't had to work for it.

"In the second half, I was more than happy with our performance.

"We were the team on top and had so many chances and opportunities with probably 10 corners.

"But if you don't take your chances that's what happens."

Hunt was also quick to hail two members of his back four for their recent showings as well as the returning Sarah Mayling and Kerri Welsh.

The latter duo made their competitive senior returns following lengthy lay-offs from ACL injuries.

He added: "I thought Jade Richards was the best player on the pitch. She was massive.

"She is the complete centre-half and showed it last night.

"Not only can she defend but she is amazing going forward.

"So many times she broke up the Everton attack and then started ours and was a constant threat from our set pieces.

"On another day we could have had two or three penalties because they were man handling her in the box.

 "We're delighted for Hannah George, she is playing exceptionally well too.

"Her game has gone to a new level this season, something we all knew she had in her.

"She is always a threat on set pieces but her goal was a beauty.

"The composure to bend it in the top corner with her other foot was pure class, sadly we couldn't hold on to the lead until half-time.

"The other plus point from the game was the return of Sarah Mayling and Kerri Welsh.

"The plan was to take Sarah off at 60 minutes but she was looking so strong, probably the fittest player on the pitch.

"And when we shifted her to the right side and Beth to the left we became a bigger threat.

"Both looked powerful and fit, they stretched the pitch and delivered some marvellous crosses.

"The one Sarah hit into Wilko when we hit the post in the last minute was pure class.

"Kez showed some lovely touches and worked exceptionally hard linking the team together.

"The good news is we have a game on Sunday to try and get some points on the board."

Sunday's game sees Villa Ladies host Oxford at Sutton Coldfield Town's Coles Lane, kick-off 2pm.

There will be fun family activities pre-match and you can snap up your MATCH TICKETS now or pay on the gate.

Follow VILLA LADIES on Twitter.

Emily Liles
By @emily_liles 25th March 2016