United beat Villa in friendly
Manchester United Women secured a first win of pre-season, beating Aston Villa 2-0 at Carrington.
Goals from new signing Martha Thomas and Kirsty Hanson inside the opening 17 minutes settled the encounter and the Reds could have had more in a game we dominated from start to finish.
There were late minutes for several youngsters, as new boss Marc Skinner aims to firm up his squad for the upcoming campaign.
The Reds - forced into a late change, with Lucy Staniforth replacing Hayley Ladd in the starting XI - scored with our first attack on goal, with Hanson cutting the ball back for Thomas to slide home for her maiden strike in a United shirt.
Provider then turned scorer as Hanson curled into the top-right corner after receiving a pass from captain Katie Zelem.
The Villans failed to have a shot in the first half, with United going close through headers from Maria Thorisdottir and Thomas, while Vilde Boe Risa pulled the strings in the middle of the park in what was only her second game since signing.
Alisha Lehmann had the visitors’ best opportunity 10 minutes into the second half, but fired wide from close range and United then reasserted our dominance.
Hanson should have scored when Leah Galton’s cross found her in the area and minutes later Galton was disappointed to see her effort ruled out for offside, even though the ball appeared to come off a Villa defender.
As can happen in friendlies, the game petered out a little towards the end after a raft of substitutes, but it was good to see Jess Simpson, Carrie Jones, Tara Bourne and Annie Hutchings introduced in the second half.
And Hutchings could have capped her appearance with a goal late on, only to shoot straight at the Villa goalkeeper.
Next up for the Reds is a trip to Scotland, where we’ll face Rangers on Thursday 19 August.
United: Earps (Baggaley 60), Blundell (Smith 60), Thorisdottir, Mannion, Batlle (Bourne 45), Zelem, Boe Risa, Staniforth (Fuso 70), Hanson (Hutchings 80), Galton (Simpson 80), Thomas (Jones 60).
Goals: Thomas 4, Hanson 17