On a sunny day at the Jones Stadium, Sherborne, Yeovil Town Ladies met Aston Villa Ladies in their second match in the FA WSL Continental Cup in three days.
The Glovers lost their previous game in this competition 2–1 to FA WSL1 side Birmingham City, but got off to the perfect start in this one by taking the lead after just six minutes. Winger Jemma Tewkesbury was released down the right wing and her low cross into the box was neatly tucked away first time by Helen Bleazard.
Villa tried to reply, and an early ball up-field opened up the Glovers defence, but striker Carly Davies’ shot went over the crossbar after she got on the end of it. A few minutes later Davies attempted to lob goalkeeper Rachel Simkin when she was off her line, but the shot also went over the crossbar.
Despite the Villa attacks, it was Yeovil who increased their lead before the half-hour mark. A corner from Bleazard was powerfully headed in by Laura Bray, who immediately ran over to celebrate with Bleazard.
It could have been more than just two goals before half time. Katie Cook’s mazy run and cross was almost met by Tewkesbury, but she couldn’t make contact. Tewkesbury then had a one-on-one with Villa goalie Caitlin Leach and after initially losing the ball to Leach, her persistence won the ball back and she rounded the keeper. Unfortunately, her finish was deflected into the side netting by a backtracking Villa defender.
After the break the game fizzled out somewhat and although Aston Villa had more possession, they didn’t create any clear-cut chances. In fact, it took them until around 60 minutes to record their first shot of the half – a ‘daisy cutter’ from substitute Maddy Cusack which was collected by Simkin.
The game did briefly spark back into life when Lauren Walker’s shot from the corner of the penalty area bounced back off the Glover’s crossbar. Down the other end of the pitch, Yeovil had a flurry of chances in the space of around 30 seconds. Bray dribbled into the penalty area but her shot was blocked, the loose ball fell to Cook but her shot was pushed away by Leach. Leach raced out to collect the ball but Bray beat her to it, when Bray then tried chipping Leach, the ball ended up in the thankful goalkeeper’s hands.
Villa were still in the ascendency but still failed to create any opportunities for themselves; lots of crosses and free kicks were put into the Yeovil box without any success. They even sent central defender Dani Petrovic up front for the final five minutes.
Despite this, it was arguably Yeovil who looked more threatening on the counter attack. Helen Bleazard found herself in acres of space on the right flank – she drove forward and fired at Leach, who pushed the shot just past the post. From the resulting corner, substitute Jade Lorton-Radburn’s overhead kick went over the bar.
In injury time, Villa couldn’t get a consolation goal. Rachel Simkin got down low to her right to push away a driven Beth Merrick shot, to ensure Yeovil’s first Continental Cup win.
Yeovil line-up: 1 Simkin, 23 Bleazard, 5 Edwards, 2 Brazell, 3 Kirby, 4 Sherwood, 7 Bray, 16 Stewart, 14 Tewkesbury, 9 Cook, 11 Pearson
Subs used: 12 Whitton, 6 Haigh, 8 Radburn-L
Subs not used: 17 Wardle, 27 Cossens.
The Glovers face Aston Villa again at home on Saturday 17th May, this time in an FA WSL match. Will they beat Villa for the second time in a row and secure the 3 points? Join them on the 17th to find out. Tickets cost £4 for adults/£2.50 concessions & are available to purchase online by clicking here, or supporters can pay on the day. If fans have a season ticket they are also entitled to bring a plus one to the game for free (plus all other home games in May).
Photos courtesy of Terry Fisher Photography.