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Report: Aston Villa Women 5-2 Rovers Ladies

Rovers put in a spirited Conti Cup performance against the league leaders

11 December 2019

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Rovers Ladies were beaten 5-2 by Aston Villa in an entertaining Continental Cup encounter at Boldmore St Micheals.

The Blues came into the game already out of the Cup, but gave it their all in an open game.

Kerri Welsh and Charlotte Greengrass put the home side in front and Ellie Stewart responded before the half-time break.

Shania Hayles and Amy West added to the scoreline before Lauren Thomas got a second for Rovers, but Mel Johnson put the game to bed.

It was a frantic start with chances at both ends. But it was Villa who took the lead, West slotting the ball into the corner after Lauren Perry had initially made a save.

Rovers responded well and Saffron Jordan had two golden opportunities to level the scores. Firstly, lifting Natasha Fenton’s cross over the bar from close range, before curling an effort just past the post.

The home side doubled their advantage early on. Greengrass took aim from 30 yards out and her unstoppable strike sailed into the roof of the net.

Perry was then called into action again, denying Johnson, who had half of the goal to aim at from close range.

Both sides continued to show their attacking intent as Natasha Flint lined up a low effort that Daniela Kosinska collected, before Perry parried Hayles’ low drive away.

Opportunities continued to come and go for Villa as Jade Richards’ header cannoned back off the bar, while Perry kept out Marissa Ewers’ effort.

The Blues’ resistance paid off when Fenton’s cross was floated towards Stewart at the back post and she leaped highest with a towering header to beat Kosinska.

However, Hayles increased the advantage soon after the break, tapping in at the back post.

And it was four when West flicked the ball into the far corner, following good build-up play from Villa.

Rovers never gave up and were back in it again when Thomas used her pace to get in behind the backline and slide the ball into the far corner.

When Kayleigh McDonald was forced off injured shortly after, 16 year-old Lara Beeley came on to make her senior debut. 

Hopes of an unlikely comeback were dashed just after the hour mark. Johnson pounced on a mistake to fire home from a tight angle.

The visitors went close to another consolation via Jordan, whose shot on the turn went narrowly wide of the upright before also seeing another effort flash past the post.

A late floodlight failure threatened to abandon the game, but once play resumed after a short delay, it was Villa who progressd into the knockout stages.

Rovers are back in league action on Sunday for the crucial trip to London Bees, 2pm.

ROVERS: Perry (GK), Jukes, Holbrook, Fenton, Jordan (C), Flint (Jones 59), Lord-Mears, McDonald (Beeley 52), Thomas, Chambers-Cook, Stewart.

Unused sub: Hill (GK).

Referee: Andrew Humphries

Attendance: 183

HT: 2-1

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