Aston Villa 0-0 Leeds United (Aston Villa win 5-4 on penalties)
The FA Women’s Premier League Cup
2pm, Sunday 5 May 2013
Bootham Crescent, York City FC
by Rob O'Neill
Aston Villa lifted The FA Women’s Premier League Cup for the first time after a dramatic 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory against Leeds United in The Final at York City’s Bootham Crescent.
Leeds were the dominant team over the course of the 120 minutes - but a stubborn defensive display from Villa combined with a slice of luck ensured that the match finished 0-0.
And for the second consecutive season the Yorkshire outfit were left heartbroken after captain Clare Sykes saw her penalty saved by Megan Walsh to hand victory to the Midlanders.
Villa's second-half substitute Carly Davies stepped up to score the decisive penalty leading to scenes of jubilation from the Villa players and staff.
Villa boss Joe Hunt said: “We're over the moon with the victory. The girls who stepped up were very confident and didn't look like missing.
“Leeds are a very good team and we knew that. But we dug in and defended very well.”
Leeds manager Andy Burgess added: “I'm bitterly disappointed with the way we lost the game.
"We played on Thursday night and to play another 120 minutes was hard. Penalty shoot-outs are a lottery but I'm devastated not to win the game."
In a tight and edgy first-half neither team were able to work a real opening with the best chance falling to Leeds but striker Danielle Sheen saw her shot well saved by Walsh after good work by Carey Huegett.
The second half started with more urgency and Villa’s Chloe Jones shot forced Jules Draycott into a smart save five minutes into the half and from the following corner impressive Villa defender Jade Richards headed just wide of the far post.
Leeds then twice came close to breaking the deadline when first Emma Lipman’s looping header hit the post from a Rachel Lee free-kick and then were unlucky when Lee’s superbly struck 30-yard free-kick came back off the frame of the bar with Walsh well-beaten.
Extra-time continued in the same manner with both sides unable to break down some resolute defending and it went to penalties where Walsh emerged as the Villa hero.
Walsh, Vaughan, Mannion, Merrick, Petrovic (capt), Richards, Follis (Fergusson, 78), Moran (McCue, 55), Jones, Cusack (Davies, 100), Clarke
Draycott, Lipman, Emmonds, Lee, Sharp, Sheen, Sykes (capt), Huegett, Rich (Thackray, 83), Staneff (Coates, 120), Lee (Bass 46).
Referee Helen Byrne