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Aston Villa 0 Notts County 5 (Clarke 14,81, White 24, Buet 86, Williams 90)
Aston Villa fell to defeat against a clinical Notts County side in their Continental Cup Group Three clash at Coles Lane.
Three goals in the final ten minutes made it a flattering scoreline after the home side had worked tirelessly throughout.
With the early warning signs there, Joe Hunt's side hassled and harried their opponents and looked to keep it tight across the park. A neat exchange involving Notts' Jess Clarke and Aileen Whelan ended with the latter firing off target.
After 14 minutes, they had the home faithful on their feet as Georgia Griffiths, who made her debut in Villa's previous Continental Cup outing at Yeovil, played in Laura Cooper but she was crowded out.
Executing crisp attacking football, the visitors were ahead a minute later. Clarke latched onto a fine ball over the top from Ellen White and with plenty still to do, worked her way into the box and finished confidently.
Provider turned scorer on the 24th minute mark - White sidefooting home from close range after the claret and blues had failed to clear their lines.
While the top flight outfit dictated the pace of the game, the commitment from the home players limited their opportunities. They could have further extended their advantage before the break, though as England defender Alex Greenwood broke from the back and picked out substitute Rachel Williams, whose cross found White but she couldn't make a firm connection. Jade Richards and Emily Owen both made important interventions from Aileen Whelan and Williams respectively to keep the score at two.
Goalkeeper Caitlin Leach demonstrated why she is so highly rated across the Super League throughout the second period. In the early stages, the skilful Williams unleashed a low drive, which the claret and blue stopper saved from point-blank range.
On 66 minutes, she was again in the thick of the action. Clarke showed great pace to enter the penalty area, work her way past Richards and the centre back was penalised for a foul. The Notts striker stepped up to take the resultant spot kick but Leach saved low.
With just under 20 minutes remaining, Beth Merrick was close to reducing the deficit - her clever lob edging just wide of Siobhan Chamberlain's goal after the Notts stopper had only partially cleared.
Much like in their tournament opener against Bristol, Villa were punished by late clinical finishing. Firstly, Clarke raced onto a clever through ball to slot the ball past Leach.
Magpies substitute Dani Buet brought some fresh legs and was influential in the East Midlands side's play. Her perfectly weighted free kick was met by Ashleigh Plumptre but she could only steer her effort wide. Moments later, Buet herself made it four, with a stunning curling free kick from the edge of the area.
Buet then earned an assist as her free kick picked out Williams who headed home on the line in stoppage time to complete the scoring for the Lady Pies.
Aston Villa: Caitlin Leach, Hayley Crackle, Sherry McCue, Georgia Griffiths, Jade Richards, Abbey Leigh Stringer, Alicia Robinson, Emily Owen, Elisha N'Dow, Bethan Merrick, Laura Cooper (sub Hannah George 61mins). Subs not used: Jess Myers, Maddy Cusack, Katy Moran, Amy West, Lauren Haynes.
Notts County: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Greenwood, Jess Clarke, Ellen White, Desiree Scott, Amy Turner, Leanne Crichton (sub Dani Buet 75mins), Ashleigh Plumptre (sub Fern Whelan 86mins), Aileen Whelan, Laura Bassett (sub Rachel Williams 2mins), Laura-Jayne O'Neill. Sub not used: Carly Telford.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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