Preview: Aston Villa Ladies vs London Bees

Tonight Aston Villa Ladies host London Bees at Boldmere. Their twelfth game of the season and with each game we have continuely improved and gelled together as a unit. It’s not only the first eleven but the whole squad plays for each other through the highs and lows.

Villa come off the back off some great performances with an unlucky draw against Lewes 1-1 due to a wonder strike. Our defence has come a long way in a short time as games against Lewes Women, Millwall Lionesses and Leicester City Women showed picking up 5 points out of a possible 9 but if was performance-based it would be 9 out of 9. As every single person has upped their game to improve our start to the season. London Bees sit three points above us in the league having played an one more game. In their last three games, they have won 2-0 against Sheffield United Women and lost to Durham Women and Charlton Athletic Women. Both teams mirroring each other on the opening of the season so today could be a very important result towards the end of the season.

Past meetings
Since 2014 Villa have played London Bees 9 times with Villa winning 5 of them, drawing 2 and losing twice with 30 scored, 17 for and 13 against with the top scorer in these games that Villa fans will know oh to well, Katie Wilkinson scoring 4 times with 3 for Villa and 1 for London Bees. Ebony Salmon had scored 3 in 2 last season against London Bees in a 3-3 draw and a 2-1 defeat.

Key Players
Kate Wilkinson – We all know the threat Wilko possesses for many year our biggest talliswoman up front, always works hard on and off the ball. Cost us the win at home with late equaliser making it 3-3. Always welcomed back as a Villa legend to us all.

Lauren Pickett – A young talent who works hard on and off the pitch, super fit workhorse as you can see with her PT work on Instagram will be a player we need to keep an eye on throughout the game.

Would have been Paula Howells here as she is one of the best players in the entire league and is London Bees to me. It’s a huge shame she has to miss out on the game as always a pleasure to see her play.

Elisha N’Dow – So many occasions you will hear a silence as team attacks followed by Boom, Pow, Lisha N’Dow as time after time a last ditch tackle or block/interception that most wouldn’t be able to do her partnership is so key with Jade Richards when defending or attacking set pieces.

Sophie Haywood – Since the Army friendly when I didn’t know her name and called headband girl to one of the most important members of the team, growing each and every game arguably could have been player of the match in the last two games for me. Gives Villa class on the ball driving us forward via wings and centre when ball at her feet. Will cause Bees defence problems on many occasions.

Overall one of my favourite games to see is when Villa play Bees as have a fair bit of history with London Bees, from players to staff everyone always been very nice. Mainly people such as Billie Brooks, Leigh Nicol who were both first players I sponsored which carried on with for Billie Brooks till she left to Paula Howells who always been one of the favourite players and people, a massive talent that I still wish played for my team. Amber Gaylor who as Paula became one of the favourites like when she was like the terminator in the game against us at home. It’s always a cracker when we play Bees, a tight game full of goals and doubt this one be any different. Love my team to bits and can’t wait to get behind the Ladies in Claret And Blue.

Stuart Barker
hellosince71@gmail.com