Aston Villa Ladies 3 Durham Women 2
A strong second half performance earned Aston Villa Ladies a consolation victory in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup against Durham Women.
Striker Tash Baptiste cancelled out Jordan Atkinson's 21st minute opener for the visitors before 16-year old Villa Forward Ebony Salmon and Elizabeth Ejupi put them in command after the break. Zoe Ness replied in injury time for Durham, but it was not enough to prevent the visitors falling to a fourth Cup defeat.
After falling behind to a fortuitous Durham goal, Villa equalised in the 29th minute when Baptiste drilled in from close range at the far post before Salmon went close to giving the hosts the lead, just before the break.
With the scores level at the break, Villa came out in the second half looking to step things up a gear and lively Salmon got her goal in the 63rd minute, when she stabbed home after her initial shot had been parried by the Durham keeper.
The hosts were by now in total command with the Durham goal enjoying a number of close escapes before impressive midfielder Ejupi appeared to have wrapped up the victory by steering in a close-range shot three minutes from time.
Durham refused to lie down however and Hepple had a goal disallowed for offside before Ness slammed home during added time.
But Villa, for whom Jodie Hutton and Salmon also hit the woodwork, were well worth their success.
Aston Villa midfielder Beth Merrick: “It was very important for us to maintain momentum even though we were already out of the competition.
“We set out to try to score the early goal today and when that didn’t happen we showed character to hit back so quickly
“Our manager told us a few things that were going wrong at half time and I felt we had the momentum afterwards.
“We’ve hit the bar and the post as well as scoring the goals. Even though they got the goal back late on, I felt we were in control of the game.
“There always seem to be goals when these two teams play and we were aware of Durham’s attacking quality. We weren’t happy with the way we started the season but our home record speaks for itself.”
The teams meet again next Sunday with a WSL2 fixture at Durham.