Aston Villa 2-2 Leicester City: Daly earns Villa a share of the spoils against the Foxes

Rachel Daly secured a point for Aston Villa in their final Barclays Women’s Super League match of the season at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

Leicester City put on a strong performance in the wake of Willie Kirk’s sacking following an internal investigation into his conduct – but Daly’s 75th-minute equaliser ultimately cancelled out Sam Tierney’s second-half header, after the teams had entered the half-time break with a goal apiece.

The hosts remain in seventh position, while Jenni Foster’s Foxes stay two places below the Villans in ninth.

As it happened

Undergoing a disappointing WSL campaign in front of their loyal followers after emerging victorious in only one of their eight home encounters this season, Villa flew out of the blocks in an attempt to right that wrong as Daly’s ambitious effort from distance was instinctively palmed behind by Leicester goalkeeper Lize Kop.

From the resulting corner, the Foxes’ number one produced a stellar double save by palming Anna Patten’s effort to safety before smartly getting to the ground to stop the rebound from Ebony Salmon.

Ward’s side eventually made that pressure pay in the 26th minute, as in-form Canadian international Adriana Leon fired home at the back stick courtesy of Ebony Salmon’s delicious cross across the face of the six-yard box.

However, it did not take Leicester long to get back into the game as Yuka Momiki took a clinical touch on the ball before expertly slotting the ball into the corner of the net – wrongfooting Villa goalkeeper Anna Leat in the process.

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Leicester then should have turned the first half on its head in the 35th minute, however, the Foxes’ leading scorer in the WSL this season, Jutta Rantala, struck the foot of the post before seeing Momiki’s rebound land harmlessly in the unoccupied stand behind Leat’s goal.

Looking the more likely to hit the back of the net next, Leicester did just that in the 56th minute as Sam Tierney headed Momiki’s beauty of a delivery past Leat into the far corner of the net.

In response, Ward readied a hat-trick of substitutions with Simone Magill, Georgia Mullett and Maz Pacheco all entering the Poundland Bescot Stadium for the final 25 minutes of the match.

Having scored in all three of her matches against Leicester in the WSL, Daly again got her name onto the scoresheet in the 75th minute by volleying home Jordan Nobbs’ pin-point pass after cunningly beating the Foxes’ failed attempt at playing the offside trap.

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Saori Takarada would come within inches of securing all three points for Leicester with time running out for either side to find a late winner. However, Leat was equal to her effort, by pushing the ball onto the underside of the crossbar.

Ultimately, the Japanese international’s strike would conclude proceedings in front of goal at the Poundland Bescot Stadium – as a point apiece keeps Ward’s undefeated head-to-head managerial record intact.

The lineups

AVL: Leat; Corsie, Patten, Maritz; Turner, Lehmann, Nobbs, Dali; Leon, Salmon; Daly

LEI: Kop; Bott, Cayman, Green, Howard; Takarada; Rantala, Tierney, Momiki, Rose; Petermann