Muting the Lion’s roar

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November 14, 2020 by Stephen L Wright

I was extremely nervous for the majority of the game. From the first whistle, Blues were straight in the Villa half with Harriet Scott making a great run down the right, but then it all stopped, at least for the visitors.

Blues got on the back foot. They played risky football in and around the area. They played long passes – always a 50/50 chance of getting to your own player. They crowded one another. Basically, they made it too easy for Villa.

In response, the hosts passed better, tackled better, cut out passes, used the space and were quite happy to let Blues play the ball around. They were in fact unlucky not to score.

In the 25th minute, Mollie Green got into a position to have a dig, but Lisa Weiß gathered the ball easily . Five minutes later Green had the chance to pass to Claudia Walker but went for the shot – wide again.

The last fifteen of the first half passed pretty much as the first thirty had and it was honours even as the teams went in for the break.

Blues came out better in the second half. They kept the ball in Villa’s half and through hassling the hosts made them play the quick ball, which led to a string of throw ins. Three minutes in Chloe McCarron had a shooting chance but fired over.

But Villa fought back and in the 50th minute, former Blue Marisa Ewers got a good scoring chance but fired wide. Villa kept the pressure on and Georgia Brougham found herself playing ‘keeper twice pretty much off the line.

Then, in the 72nd minute Brougham played a long ball to Lucy Whipp who ran onto it, caught it just shy of the goalline and whipped in a cross that the head of Elisha N’Dow couldn’t clear. Walker, who had run into the area, needed no further invitation and Weiß could only watch as the ball struck the underside of the bar and dropped into the goal.

There then passed the most nail-biting twenty minutes, as Blues hung on to their slender lead. But hang on they did.

I have to say that the players know how to crank up the tension for the fans. And for most of the 92 minutes it really looked like Villa were going to share the spoils or spoil the game with a win. So, huge congratulations to Carla and the players.

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