View: Aston Villa Women fringe players thrive in 11-0 rout v AFC Fylde in FA Women's Cup
Aston Villa offered up a treat for fans during their 11-0 win over AFC Fylde in the FA Women’s Cup, with eight different players finding the back of the net on Sunday night (29 January).
Carla Ward’s side dominated the encounter against their lower league opposition from the outset at the Poundland Bescot Stadium, with the Villans racing into a 3-0 lead after just 11 minutes.
Rachel Daly ended the night with four goals to her name, while defenders Anna Patten and Maz Pacheco also scored their first goals for the club.
Villa ended the night having attempted 31 shots on goal in a match that was only ever going to have one winner.
Although Fylde put up little resistance, and the match didn’t really offer any kind of challenge to Villa’s crop of international players, the performances of a number of fringe players will please Ward greatly.
Emily Gielnik scored a well-deserved goal, as she was given a consecutive start for the first time this season, while Olivia McLoughlin was undeterred by playing in an unfamiliar right-back position from the first whistle.
The comprehensive nature of the scoreline allowed Ward to tinker with her side in the second half and give opportunities to academy duo Megan Shaw and Georgia Mullet from the bench.
Shaw, who was called up to England’s Professional Development Phase squad in November, was handed her first-team debut as a second-half substitute by Ward and didn’t look out of her depth at all.
Such opportunities are brilliant exposure for these academy graduates and highlights to players further down the club that Ward is happy to hand out opportunities if you make the grade.
Villa now await their fate in the fifth round of the FA Women’s Cup but will firmly believe they can go deep into the competition considering the strength of their fringe players on show against Fylde.
In other Aston Villa news, Carla Ward must find a contingency plan in case Rachel Daly gets injured for her side this season.