Georgia Stanway scored twice as Manchester City began the new FA Women’s Super League season with a 2-0 victory at newly-promoted Aston Villa.
Gareth Taylor saw his side gifted the early initiative in his first game as City boss as defensive errors by Villa handed the visitors a two-goal lead inside the first 22 minutes.
City were almost ahead inside the opening 60 seconds at Villa Park but Sam Mewis headed wide after Stanway’s shot had been blocked.
Villa looked nervous on their WSL debut and Stanway did not have to wait long for her first goal. Some casual defending by Natalie Haigh let the England international nip in to score easily after six minutes.
The same thing happened again shortly afterwards but this time Stanway was off target with her shot.
However, it was 2-0 after 22 minutes following another mistake. Goalkeeper Sian Rogers’ ball out to Marisa Ewers was short and Stanway again capitalised, blocking the clearance into the net from close range.
Villa were unlucky not to be back in the match just after the half hour mark Stine Larsen’s well-timed run and tidy finish was ruled out for offside. Television replays showed it was the wrong decision.
Stanway missed a golden opportunity for her hat-trick when she blazed high and wide with Rogers beaten.
Rogers made amends for her error for the second goal with a fine second-half performance, producing good saves to deny Janine Beckie, Stanway and substitute Ellen White to keep Villa in the match but the debutants finished empty-handed despite their improvement.
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