Match: Coventry United Ladies v Aston Villa Women
Competition: FA Women’s Championship
Date: Sunday 17th November 2019
Venue: Butts Park Arena
Hughes 15, O’Brien 54
Hayles 10, Hanssen 25, Welsh 39
Rogers, Haigh, N’Dow, Richards, Ale, Ewers, West (Syme), Hanssen, Hayles (Haywood), Welsh (Johnson), Follis. Unused subs: Greengrass, Hutton, Kosinska, Warner.
Story in brief
Aston Villa Women remain unbeaten in the FA Women’s Championship after they saw off a spirited Coventry United side.
Shania Hayles made the most of her first league start of the season, nodding home the opener as the visitors made the perfect start.
And after an errant backpass gifted Coventry an equaliser, Nadine Hanssen fired them back in front via a deflection.
Kerri Welsh made it 3-1 with an exquisite lob before half-time, but the hosts were left clinging onto their lead after Shannon O’Brien pulled one back to set-up a nervy finish.
Davies’ selection pays dividends
Gemma Davies raised some eyebrows with her team selection, opting to leave the league’s top scorer Melissa Johnson on the bench.
But the Head Coach’s decision was fully justified when Kerri Welsh, leading the line in Johnson’s place, scored a superb goal to make it 3-1.
Club captain Welsh has had to bide her time for an opportunity this season, but she made the most of it on Sunday.
Super sub Shania gets the nod
Shania Hayles has played the role of super sub this season, coming off the bench to score crucial goals as Villa rose to the league summit.
But the young winger, who rejoined from Birmingham in the summer, was given the opportunity from the start against Coventry, replacing Sophie Haywood in the line-up.
Showing flashes of her searing speed, Hayles once again showed her clinical side by netting her fourth goal of the season.
Sunday’s triumph made it six wins from seven league games to open the season.
The milestone is particularly significant as it equalled the team’s win total from their 20 league games last season.
Progress on and off the pitch is there for all to see, and Villa’s win record exemplifies that.
Villa are back in Coventry for a League Cup clash on Wednesday before they return home to Boldmere St Michaels FC.
Lewes are the visitors as Villa look to maintain their advantage at the top of the table. You can purchase tickets for the game here.