Brighton 0-1 Aston Villa: Lehmann earns Aston Villa all three points in Crawley

Alisha Lehmann’s second goal in six days earned Aston Villa a sixth away day success across the 2023/24 Barclays Women’s Super League campaign, in the form of a 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Broadfield Stadium.

The victory confirms seventh position for the Villans in the WSL standings, however, Carla Ward’s side will finish at least 10 points adrift of last season’s tally of 37 with only one match remaining – against top-of-the-table Manchester City at Villa Park on May 18th.

As it happened

Preparing for life without Ward after the announcement she would be stepping down as Villa manager at the end of the 2023/24 WSL season to spend more time with her family, the visitors began brightly in the penultimate game as top goalscorer Rachel Daly fired straight into the arms of Melina Loeck.

At the opposite end, after accumulating only a solitary victory in the WSL against the backdrop of the Seagulls’ support, Brighton were brilliantly denied the game’s opening goal by Anna Leat as she got the better of Japanese superstar Lee Geum-min.

With the conclusion of the first half nearly on the horizon, Kirsty Hanson came within the paintwork of the crossbar of giving Villa the lead. However, despite being Loeck all ends up, the thunderbolt of a strike from a distance out agonisingly cannoned back off the crossbar.

After opening her account for the 2023/24 WSL campaign against former club West Ham United last weekend at Villa Park, Lehmann once again got on the scoresheet in the 64th minute, following brilliant build-up play from Daly, as an instinctively-struck strike nestled nicely in the far corner of the net beyond the outstretched grasp of Loeck.

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In a game with limited opportunities on target for either side, despite registering a combined 19 attempts on goal, Villa successfully manoeuvred themselves through eight minutes of second-half stoppage-time to celebrate a victory in Crawley.

The lineups

BHA: Loeck; Pattinson, Bergsvand, Thorisdóttir, Carabali; Symonds, Losada, Zigiotti-Olme; Haley, Geum-min, Terland

AVL: Leat; Patten, Maritz, Turner, Mayling; Taylor, Nobbs; Dali, Hanson, Lehmann; Daly