View: International break arrived at the worst time for free-flowing Aston Villa Women
It finally all clicked into place against Brighton. After months of looking for the perfect attacking performance, Carla Ward’s Aston Villa side finally hit fifth gear as they battered the Seagulls 6-2 in an onslaught of inch-perfect football.
Supporters were served up a treat as Villa ran riot in the first half, netting five goals in the space of half an hour.
A hat-trick from Jordan Nobbs, a brace from Rachel Daly, alongside goals for Lucy Staniforth and Kirsty Hanson, highlighted the goals were well spread around Ward’s attacking resources – a problem that has bugged the manager all season long.
However, just as Villa found a way to find alternative goalscorers to Daly, their momentum has been brought to an abrupt halt by the international break, which means the team won’t take to the field until Sunday, 26 February, against West Ham.
The break from WSL action simply couldn’t have come at a worse time for Ward. Having stretched their unbeaten run in the league to four games with the comprehensive victory against Brighton, and having propelled themselves into the much-desired fifth spot in the league, things were looking up for Villa.
The fixture list is also extremely favourable towards the Villans, with upcoming matches against the Hammers, Everton, and Leicester City next up on the calendar.
If ever the club had a chance to string together a run of form that could cement their position in fifth spot, this was it.
But the upcoming international break is like a speed bump being placed on a beautiful stretch of road. The last thing you want to do is slow down your pace, but Ward must now once more rest up and cross her fingers in the hope that all of her players return to the West Midlands unscathed.
If any of the likes of Daly, Nobbs of Kenza Dali were to pick up an injury during the upcoming international schedule, it could prove pivotal to the remainder of Villa’s season.
In other Aston Villa news, the club face competition from Barcelona to secure the signing of a striker at the end of the season.