Carla Ward’s Aston villa welcomed fellow WSL side Everton to the Banks’ Stadium this afternoon for the villain’s second pre-season fixture following a 2-0 defeat away at Manchester United earlier this month. Everton had been the more experienced side during pre-season picking up wins against Rangers (2-1), Blackburn Rovers (4-0) and most recently, a huge win over WSL side Brighton (6-1) to prepare them for the trip to the midlands.
Looking back at the two sides most recent encounters with each other during last season’s league campaign, Willie Kirk’s side secured all three points in both the home and away fixtures, winning 3-1 at home in April and securing three points away at the Banks’s stadium all the way back in October 2020 putting a staggering six past a struggling, newly promoted Villa trying to find their feet in the top flight.
In Villa’s first game back at the Banks’ stadium with fans, Carla Ward gave those who made the journey plenty to be excited about by starting all seven of this summer’s new recruits to truly give the fans a real glimpse of what next season had to showcase.
Aston Villa starting 11:
Hampton GK, Mayling, Sergeant, Asanté, Haigh, Pacheco, Allen (C), Petzleberger, Lehmann, Boye-Hlorkah, Gregory
Everton also gave a handful of their new recruits the start including re-signing Toni Duggan (who played for the toffee’s originally from 2007-2013), goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan from West Ham, defender Leonie Maier from Arsenal, Midfielders Aurora Galli from Juventus (who became the first Italian player to sign for a WSL club) and Kenza Dali from French champions, PSG.
Everton starting 11:
Brosnan GK, Maier, Sevecke, Finnigan, George, Turner (C), Galli, Christianse, Emslie, Dali, Duggan
Aston Villa made the brighter start to the game with former Everton academy graduate, Chaney Boye-Hlorkah coming close to putting the home side ahead with a strike from long range then Villa’s most recent signing left back, Maz Pacheco coming close to finding the net moments later from further in.
Everton then started to come into the game as Toni Duggan found herself through on goal but failed to put one away after a one on one with highly rated, former Birmingham City keeper, Hannah Hampton who joined the rival Midlands club this summer. Shortly after, Claire Emslie scored just before half time to give the visitors a well deserved lead at the break.
Villa weren’t to be defeated too easily as shortly after half time, German midfielder Ramona Petzleberger scored a stunner placed beautifully into the top corner of the Everton net, laid off on the edge of the box by former Everton loanee, Alisha Lehmann to even the scoreline.
However, Everton continued to press resulting with Christiansen converting from the spot and finally Grace Clinton sliding home a third as both managers allowed the game to fizzle out slowly to allow both sides to preserve their players’ energy and prevent any possible injuries before the start of the new Women’s super league season due to kick off on Saturday 4th of September.