Brighton defeat Aston Villa, extend win streak to 4

Brighton's Megan Connolly dribbles the ball.
Brighton & Hove Albion's Megan Connolly dribbles the ball out during the FA Women's Super League match against Aston Villa at the Banks's Stadium, Walsall, England on 17 March 2021. (Photo by Manjit Narotra)

Brighton & Hove Albion continue to make club history. Since their win against Chelsea on February 7, the Seagulls have won four games in a row. Aston Villa are the latest victims of this fine run in form.

The four-game win streak is the second best active win streak in the FA Women’s Super League (WSL). Only Manchester City top Hope Powell’s side with their current 10-game win streak.

How the teams lined up

Aston Villa (5-3-2): Lisa Weiß, Caroline Siems (Diana Silva 74′), Jodie Hutton, Marisa Ewers, Asmita Ale, Ella Franklin-Fraiture (Nadine Hanssen 84′), Anita Asante, Chloe Arthur, Mana Iwabuchi, Shania Hayles (Freya Gregory 84′), Emma Follis (Emily Syme 78′)

Brighton (4-2-3-1): Megan Walsh, Emma Koivisto, Victoria Williams, Danique Kerkdijk, Maya Le Tissier, Megan Connolly, Inessa Kaagman (Libby Bance 90′), Nora Heroum (Kayleigh Green 55′), Aileen Whelan, Ellie Brazil, Lee Geum-min (Rianna Jarrett 79′)

How the match unfolded

Brighton made the trip north to the Banks’s Stadium with a fire in their gut. Just seven minutes into the game, Maya Le Tissier launched a 30-yard rocket at the Villa goal. Lisa Weiß was there to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Weiß was called upon again to make a save in the 11th minute. This time it was Emma Koivisto with the effort, after Aston Villa failed to maintain possession. With full-backs Le Tissier and Koivisto pushing up the field, the pressure was on for the home side.

Finally, in the 21st minute, Brighton had their breakthrough. Megan Connolly gathered a loose ball and took a shot from outside of the box. While on target, Weiß was there to meet the ball but unable to hold on. Aileen Whelan then pounced on the error to score her fourth of the season.

Once half-time came around, Villa were just getting on the front foot. When play resumed, the home side looked likely to level the score. Yet, missed opportunities plagued the Lions going forward.

Eventually, Brighton put the game to sleep after Kayleigh Green was brought down in the penalty area in the 80th minute. Inessa Kaagman stepped up and smashed the ball into the top corner.

What the result means

The scoreline mimics Brighton’s previous fixture, a 2-0 win against Tottenham. Include that with their 1-0 triumph over West Ham on February 10 and Brighton have kept three consecutive clean sheets since their 2018 WSL arrival.

This more than solidifies the Seagulls’ place in the middle of the league table. Whether or not they end there comes down to their next three fixtures, all against teams currently above them on the table.

For Aston Villa, the result against Brighton is their third consecutive loss. It is also their third game in a row without scoring. With relegation within touching distance, manager Marcus Bignot will hope to turn this around. However, the Lions face league leaders Chelsea in their next match.