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Aston Villa 0 Yeovil Town 2 (Short 3, Heatherson 52)
Yeovil Town kept their promotion challenge well on track as a goal at the start of each half saw them to a comfortable victory at Stratford.
The game got off to the perfect start for Jamie Sherwood's side as they were quickly on the attack and won a corner on the right. Helen Bleazard's delivery was met at the far post by Nicola Cousins whose header was deflected over and the resulting kick was not cleared by the Villa defence and Hannah Short swept the ball in from eight yards.
Aston Villa produced their first opportunity from a Beth Merrick free kick which was touched on by Hannah George but the ball came at an awkward height for Tash Baptiste and she was unable to get in a shot on goal.
Yeovil continued to look dangerous at set pieces and another corner by Bleazard picked out Short beyond the far post and her looping header was just off target.
There was a scare for the visitors when Charlotte Haynes miscued a clearance as far as Alys Hinchcliffe who lobbed the ball back goalwards but just over the bar. Amy West then clipped a good ball forward for Baptiste who controlled well and took the ball into the area but Short averted any danger with a well timed challenge.
Cousins powered a header inches over the bar from a Bleazard free kick played in from deep and the defender was heavily involved at the other end with a good tackle after Sarah Mayling had threatened to get in on goal.
Villa made a double substitution at half time and started the second half well but were hit with a hammer blow despite having their best spell of the game.
A great chance to equalise came when Baptiste held the ball up well and laid it off to Katy Moran but the Villa skipper failed to hit the target with her shot, sending it just wide of the far post.
Just over a minute later, Yeovil counter attacked with Ellie Curson's pass releasing Bleazard on goal and although Grace Moloney did well to block her shot, Ann Marie Heatherson was on hand to tuck home the rebound and double the Lady Glovers' lead.
Yeovil continued to press for further goals against a Villa side which could not get going. Heatherson curled a shot narrowly over the bar and Curson volleyed straight at Moloney following a good run and cross from Kelly Snook.
Curson again forced a save from Moloney after latching onto a low cross by Nadia Lawrence who went close herself shortly afterwards, breaking into the area and cutting inside a challenge from Chloe Jones before her shot was well held by the keeper.
Baptiste had looked the main threat for Villa all game and she brought out a smart save from Haynes, then after getting onto Merrick's low cross her miscued effort landed on the roof of the net.
Yeovil continued to dominate though and nearly added to their lead in fortuitous fashion as Kelly Aldridge and Lauren Townsend each struck the woodwork with mishit crosses and another centre by Townsend was met by Heatherson whose header was just over. Danielle Carlton and Heatherson each saw shots saved by Moloney as Yeovil notched up another three important points to restore themselves at the top of the table with five games to play.
Aston Villa: Grace Moloney, Amy West (sub Lucy Shepherd 71mins), Hannah George, Katy Moran, Grace Smith, Beth Merrick, Sarah Mayling, Maddy Cusack, Tash Baptiste, Kerri Welsh (sub Chloe Jones 45mins), Alys Hinchcliffe (sub Elisha N'Dow 45mins). Subs not used: Lucy Porter, Chloe Beattie, Robyn Tallis, Nicola Potts.
Yeovil Town: Charlotte Haynes, Helen Bleazard (sub Kelly Aldridge 64mins), Kelly Snook (sub Lauren Townsend 81mins), Ellie Curson, Nicola Cousins, Kayleigh Green, Hannah Short, Steph Williams, Ann Marie Heatherson, Danielle Carlton, Nadia Lawrence (sub Natasha Knapman 76mins). Subs not used: Ellis Hillman, Leah Burridge, Charlotte Johnson, Jessie Jones.
(top) Hannah Short gives Yeovil the lead
(middle) Ann Marie Heatherson slots home the second goal
(bottom) Ellie Curson gets in a shot past Maddy Cusack
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