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Watford Ladies get off to winning start against Aston Villa
10:03am Tuesday 21st August 2012 in Sport
Two goals, one in each half, were enough to see off Aston Villa to give the Hornets the perfect start to the new Premier League campaign.
Following up from the Golden Girls superb win against Super League side Liverpool in their final pre season match, Watford wasted no time in getting their season up and running and Sarah Wiltshire opened the scoring after just two minutes.
Wiltshire scored direct from an in-swinging corner to send the Hornets into dream land after the best possible start to the match.
Cally Rowell saw a long range effort go just wide as the Hornets looked to boss the early exchanges.
A mis-hit back pass saw Villa start to come back into the game but Davey was alive to Villa’s goalscoring threat with some great goalkeeping, helped by Leanne Jones who cleared a loose ball off the line to spare any Watford blushes.
Jo Wilson went close twice forcing the keeper into two good saves and Kate Natkiel saw a curling effort headed off the line to deny Watford the chance to double their advantage.
The Villa keeper produced a superb save low down to her right to tip a Wiltshire effort around the post to keep the score at 1-0 as Watford went in at half time in front.
A cagey start to the second half saw both sides have chances with Wiltshire working the Villa defence and Lauren Davey staying focused in the Watford net to deny the home side an equaliser.
Half way through the second half and Watford finally doubled their lead. Wiltshire turned provider, after controlling Shelby Hills’ deep free kick and firing in a low cross to find Emma Beckett who struck a low shot to make it two as the Hornets finally made their pressure tell.
With Watford on top the Hornets continued to pile on the pressure and Wiltshire saw a free kick crash of the crossbar.
With time ticking down Villa snatched a goal back after a deflected free kick from Natalie Gibson found its way into the back of the Hornets net but the Golden Girls held on for the last five minutes to grab all three points and give Manager John Salomon the perfect start to what promises to be another exciting season.
Salomon was inevitably extremely pleased with the result after the match.
He said: “We’ve worked very hard in pre season and I’m delighted for the players and staff that we have secured our first win against a very good Aston Villa side.
"It’s a great start to build from, we’re carrying momentum from a good pre season and we will keep approaching each game as it comes with the same battling mentality."
LINE UP:- Davey; Mays, Hills, Jones, Butterwick; Rowell (Gunn), Beckett; Natkiel (Hector), Wiltshire, Green; Wilson (Knell). Subs not used – Makewell, Blanchard