Ebony salmon scored late as Aston Villa defeated Bristol City by 2-0 in Ashton Gate, registering their first Women’s Super League victory of the year.
After 77 minutes, it looked like the two bottom sides would cancel each other out. But England’s Rachel Daly was in the perfect place and at the ideal time to put Villa ahead via Megan Connolly.
Substitute salmon then settled any nerves that remained by adding another four minutes to the end of time.
Villa was grateful for the fine save by Daphne van Domselaar who prevented Rachel Furness, who had a strong drive in the middle of the first half to give City the advantage.
The visitors were the ones who dominated the possession and carried the greatest threat in the last third. They deservedly took the three points to end their five-match losing streak.
City, who had won their first match at West Ham the week before, suffered their third consecutive defeat in front of home fans at Ashton Gate, dropping to the bottom of the table by goal difference, behind Villa.
Villa, still searching for their first victory of the year, dominated the possession during the first period without being able to produce the opportunities that their superior territory demanded.
Rachel Corsie missed their best opportunity after City had failed to clear the corner. Star striker Daly also headed wide.
The Robins were unable to hold possession long enough to exert sustained pressure but they still posed a danger on the counter-attack. Villa goalkeeper Van Domselaar was alert and had to stop an angle shot by Ffion Moor after Abi Harrison had set the wingback free.
Van Domselaar, encouraged by the near-miss, was again called to action, and this time he took off behind a Furness blockbuster.
The match was slowed down by a series of injuries. City suffered a setback in stoppage time, when City’s goalkeeper Kaylan Markkese injured herself while saving Daly’s header. She had to be substituted with Liv Clark.
After the half, Villa continued their pressure and Daly wasted the best opportunity they had so far. She sailed her shot over the goal face and past the far post when Laura Blindkilde put her through.
Kirsty tried to make a play from the outside of the box but Clark was equal to it as City continued their resolute defense.
City’s sub goalkeeper excelled again when he went full-length in order to stop Sarah Mayling curling free-kick, as Villa increased the heat.
Clark was powerless to stop Daly from breaking the deadlock with 14 minutes remaining. The England striker applied a finish from close quarters after the substitute Salmon burst past City’s defence.
Salmon, who had provided Daly with the assist, scored her own goal in the 86th minutes, sliding the low shot past Clarke at 10 yards.