We arrived at The Hive and was welcomed by the staff and at our request, they put on the Leeds vs Villa game for us in the bar in the build-up to the game, with the crazy game and amount of injury time that was added on we just about sat down as the game kicked off. It was great to see Amy West name back on the team sheet after missing the Lewes game and Sian Rogers returned in goal as well.
Our final away game of the season would be hopefully a good away day as it was all kinds of weather with Sun, Wind and a breeze that could cut you in half. After the Lewes game we had to bounce back and we tried to get on the front foot early on as always with Tanisha Smith driving down the wing and crossing the ball into the box but it just had a little too much on it as the ball couldn’t find the intended target.
From the other wing a few minutes later Jodie Hutton hit a shot but it was straight at the Bees keeper as Aston Villa was starting to build some early pressure. Sophie Haywood on the 14th minute got free and headed the ball downwards but the Bees keeper was up to the effort once again keeping the score 0-0. Bees had got a first chance on 17 minutes as Lauren Pickett took aim from outside the box but the ball kept rising and gave Sian Rogers no reason to ponder.
Both teams had a chance one from Katie Wilkinson that was expertly deflected around the post by the Villa defence and Sophie Haywood had a couple of chances but just couldn’t get them on target. This wouldn’t stop Sophie Haywood as once again on the 34th minute she dropped her shoulder and ran at the defence as she hit the ball across the box and just as it seemed like it would hit the back of the net, a wonderful save by the Bees keeper meant it went out for a corner. From the resulting corner a beautifully lifted and lofted cross into the box saw Jade Richards get free to head the ball home with purpose as we went 0-1 up on the 36th minute. Jade Richards is always such a threat on set pieces and shows why she is the full package on the pitch as our Captain Fantastic.
Stand up Asmita Ale as she drove into the box and unleashed her effort giving the Bees keeper no chance at all doubling our lead and doubling her total for the season as she got her second goal in two games.
Getting that all important goal before half time and getting the second in quick time was so important as we controlled the game going into half time with no really looking like we was going to concede as Sian Rogers had, had a fairly quiet half with the Villa defence battling away with Katie Wilkinson. Always makes me smile to see Elisha N’Dow tackle Katie Wilkinson and as they get up they are laughing and joking with each other, pure class. At the half time whistle Aston Villa took a well deserved 0-2 lead into the break with goals from Jade Richards and Asmita Ale.
When the second half kicked off it was about continuing to build on the pressure we had created in the first half and not sit back and think the job was done. London Bees made a substitution at half time as Merrick Will came on for Brooke Nunn.
London Bees had the first chance of the half as Lauren Pickett hit a shot that was easily saved by Sian Rogers in the Villa goal on the 51st minute. On the 54th minute was was given some breathing room as we scored a third as who else but Amy West, Amy West, Amy West scored another cracking goal as she smashed a rocket home giving the Bees keeper less than a no chance of saving it giving us a 0-3 lead. (I could talk about Amy here for days but her impact is so clear to see on and off the pitch, I don’t mind admitting she’s my hero, which wouldn’t be a suprise to many.)
On the 60th minute Amy West was replaced by Phoebe Warner. A ten minute spell where we seemed to drop off a little cost us a goal as London Bees scored a freakish goal as the ball somehow found its way over Sian Rogers into the corner of the net after it was defended well, wasn’t a lot that Sian could do about it either as the score was now 1-3 on the 67th minute via McLachlan’s goal (Not related to Mark haha).
Villa nearly bounced straight back with a power header by Alice Hassall but she couldn’t quite get it past the Bees keeper. A huge moment in the game came when Sian Rogers (Like a lot of the season) came to our rescue, showing what a wonderful keeper she truly is as she got down to stop Bees from scoring a second goal on the 71st minute.
On the 76th minute Sophie Haywood was replaced by Alison Hall for Villa. On the 79th minute Villa had the ball trickle into the back of the net once again when Jodie Hutton pulled the ball across for Alison Hall, only problem was the offside flag was up as the score stayed at 1-3.
Less than a couple of minutes later Jodie Hutton again became creator as she pulled the ball across for Tanisha Smith to tap into the back of the net on the 81st minute putting Villa 1-4 up and now in control again with some breathing room.
On the 82nd minute London Bees replaced Katie Wilkinson with Lucy Loomes. Nadine Hanssen had done everything throughout but get the goal she deserved and as she hit a wonderful strike with power it again was matched by the Bees keeper. Villa made their 3rd and final change on the 84th minute when Jodie Hutton was replaced by Kerri Welsh. The 4th goal had seemed to deflate London Bees as now it was all one-way traffic as Villa attacked. Alice Hassall showed she can dazzle as she put in a delightful ball that Alison Hall showed some great technique as she hit it on the volley and just as it looked like it was going to hit the back of the net, once again the Bees keeper tipped the ball onto the bar spoiling our song that Ali Hall is bound to score.
London Bees made their third and final substitution as Mollie Dench replace Daisy McLachlan on the 89th minute. Asmita Ale ran the length of the pitch to pick out Tanisha Smith who pulled it back for Phoebe Warner and just as was about to celebrate a Phoebe goal the ball went wide of the post but some incredible build-up play again nearly saw the 5th goal for Villa.
Tanisha Smith wasn’t happy with 4, oh no as she broke through and touched the ball past the oncoming keeper with calm and swagger she slotted the ball into the empty net getting her second of the game and giving Villa a 1-5 win at The Hive.
Aston Villa showed just how the can truly play as apart from a little spell where Bees were coming back into it and Sian Rogers made that important save it was plain sailing for the Ladies in Claret And Blue.
Chatting afterwards it was hard to pick a Player Of The Match because every single player from the pitch to the bench that came on played a huge role in getting us the 3 points and 5 goals. It almost has cemented us getting sixth place as well but with the two final games to come, we will want to make sure of that as we play Tottenham Hotspur at home on Wednesday 1st May at Boldmere with a 7.45pm kick off in the rescheduled game after Tottenham didn’t make the last one. And our Final game is also at home at Boldmere as we take on Crystal Palace on Saturday 11th May with a 5.30pm kick-off.
So let’s hope just like today was can prove and show how much we have improved this season and end on a high. Again always so proud to go and support my team no matter the result it’s always nice when you win but I know how much our Ladies give on the pitch and how hard they work off it. To hear nice comments about our support is wonderful but we just love to come and support our girls, This season truly has been my favourite we have such an incredible group of players and proud that every one of them wears the badge and plays for my team.