London Bees move closer to the top four of the FA WSL 2 with victory over Aston Villa, as the visitors’ former players score both goals.
Katie Wilkinson’s wonder strike opened the scoring for London Bees in the triumph that sent them up to fifth place in the league, before Destiney Toussaint added a second.
The Bees made the most of a dominant first-half performance as they leapfrogged London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the table after recording their fourth league win of the season, despite the visitors grabbing a late consolation through Ebony Salmon.
Rosie Lane came close to giving London Bees the lead in the 14th minute when her looping header from Emma Beckett’s free kick was pushed on to the bar by Aston Villa goalkeeper Sian Rogers.
The hosts deservedly went in front after 27 minutes when Wilkinson seized on a loose Villa pass before unleashing a fantastic strike from 30 yards that flew into the top corner.
Jodie Hutton sent a shot across goal from a narrow angle just wide as Villa looked to respond, but the visitors lost Rogers to injury just before half-time.
Taking her place between the posts, Aja Aguirre was beaten almost right on the half-time whistle when Katie Howells’ superb low cross from the left was met by a sliding Toussaint at the back post.
Another Aston Villa sub came within a whisker of pulling a goal back, as Ebony Salmon’s deflected effort from Hutton’s cut-back came back off the bar.
Wilkinson then became the latest player to strike the woodwork when another superb long-range shot from her looped over Aguirre and clattered against the bar.
Villa gave themselves some late hope as Salmon latched on to Jade Richards’ clearing header before finishing confidently but they couldn’t find an equaliser.
WHAT THEY SAID
London Bees striker Katie Wilkinson: “We had a really positive first half. We controlled the ball really well and took our chances, obviously.
“In the second half they came out and made some very attacking substitutions, so we had to change the way we play a little bit, but I think we rode it out very well.
“We conceded in the last minute, which we’re disappointed with because we felt we deserved a clean sheet, but we’ve got the three points, which is what matters.
“I think there was a lot of anger behind my goal – I was well overdue a goal and obviously it’s come against an old club.
“I’ve worked hard in training and I’ve worked hard for nearly a year, since I was out with my ankle so that goal meant a lot, obviously given the opposition as well.
“I thought that shot in the second half as in as well, but the cross bar kept it out.”
Aston Villa captain Chloe Jones: “To be honest, I think our strategy for the game was a little bit wrong in the first half and in the second half we actually went at them.
“In the second half, we did to them what they did to us in the first half, so it was a completely different game and we were a lot more direct.
“We went to put the ball down, rather than wait for them to come and intercept it, so we were very much more aggressive in the second half.
“It’s always an aggressive game when we play against this team and I think it was just our tactics were a little bit wrong today.
“In the second half, the players that came on brought pace and speed and I think any defence is going to be threatened by that.
“We kind of pinned them back a bit and did something that we probably should have done in the first half.”
“Hopefully that can allow us to keep on getting results.
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