Durham leave it late to snatch victory at Aston Villa
Two late goals from Zoe Ness and Emily Roberts seal the three points for Durham at Aston Villa
FA WSL 2 match
14:00, Sunday 11 March 2018
Aston Villa Ladies FC Goal Scorers: Hassall 76'
Durham Women FC Goal Scorers: Hepple 44', Ness 90', Roberts 90+2'
Durham left it late to climb up to third place in WSL2 as a pair of last-gasp strikes secured a 3-1 victory over a game Aston Villa side.
Beth Hepple’s ninth goal of the season put Durham ahead right on half-time and although Alice Hassall levelled from the spot, late strikes from Zoe Ness and Emily Roberts won it for the visitors.
Durham climb to within four points of second place Millwall while Aston Villa remain in ninth.
Aston Villa 1
Hassall (pen) 74
Hepple 45+1, Ness 90, Roberts 90+1
Aston Villa (3-5-1-1): Sian Rogers; Elisha N’Dow, Jade Richards, Chloe Jones; Hayley Crackle, Amy West, Aoife Hurley, Alice Hassall, Jodie Hutton; Elizabeta Ejupi; Ebony Salmon.
Substitutes: Beth Merrick for Crackle 58; Asmita Ale for Ejupi 74; Ellen Martin 84 for Hutton.
Substitutes not used:Amy Goddard, Phoebe Warner.
Red Cards: None
Durham (4-2-3-1): Helen Alderson; Sarah Wilson, Grace McCatty, Kathryn Hill, Annabel Johnson; Lauren Briggs, Sarah Robson; Nicki Gears, Beth Hepple, Abi Cottam; Zoe Ness.
Substitutes: Jenny Bitzer for Johnson 46; Emily Roberts for Cottam 56; Rachel Lee for Robson 69
Substitutes not used: Rosie Todd, Jordan Atkinson.
Bookings: McCatty 71
Red Cards: None
Referee: Melissa Burgin
Durham took the lead on the stroke of half-time thanks to a Hepple strike but Villa levelled from the penalty spot through Alice Hassall.
But with the points looking like they were going to be shared, Ness broke Villa hearts right on 90 minutes, turning defender Jade Richards on the edge of the box before rifling an emphatic finish into the bottom corner.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH:
With just seconds remaining on the clock, Ness turned provider and played the ball into Roberts who calmly took the ball round Sian Rogers in the Villa goal to slot in a third goal for Durham and seal the points.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Durham top scorer Beth Hepple:
“We are all over the moon. Villa got back into the game in the second half and we didn’t have long left but we kept playing the football that we know we can play and we got the two brilliant goals at the end.
“I always believe in our team and we have got quality all across our front line so I know when we get the ball down, we can hurt teams like we have shown today.
“Villa are a very, very good team and we always have a hard game against them home and away, especially here at this ground (Tamworth FC’s The Lamb) where we haven’t had much luck the past couple of seasons, so we are really happy to come here and get the three points.
“We always want to be competing, that’s always our aim at the start of the season. We will take it game by game and who knows where we can end up by the end of the season.”
Aston Villa captain Chloe Jones:
“We are devastated and really frustrated because I think a fair result would have been 1-1. It’s a lack of focus and concentration for those last five minutes.
“I don’t think we deserved to go behind a minute before half-time so we did well to pick ourselves up and get ourselves back level.
“But then the last few minutes at the end really let us down and I know the girls are absolutely gutted. But we are a strong team and we will pick ourselves back up.
“We probably created more chances but Durham were just more clinical with theirs. We need to stop other teams scoring but we also need to put more in the back of the net at the other end.
“I think it’s been the same most games this season – the scoresheet has rarely reflected what has actually happened on the pitch. But it’s the scoreline that counts."
Durham take on Everton in the quarter finals of the quarter finals of the SSE Women's FA Cup while Aston Villa face Watford in two weeks' time as they look to bounce back from this defeat.
Durham's Hepple added: "Everybody is absolutely buzzing about it. We are really excited. “I don’t think we’ve ever got this far. It is the biggest game in the club’s history.
"It’s a huge game and there’s no reason why we can’t get a result if we can perform like we did in the last few minutes today.
"Everton are a WSL1 side and we know they are a very, very talented team. But I know for a fact that if everybody grafts next week and does their job one-v-one, we can definitely get a result. I’m confident."
While Aston Villa captain Jones said: "We are a strong group, we all get on, we have really good team cohesion and everyone is in it together.
“There is pressure on the team now but I think it’s pressure in a good way. Every player needs to step up and we need to move in the right direction together.
“Senior players and more experienced players need to help the youngsters to deal with that pressure but it is something that we will cope with."
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