Bristol City 0-2 Aston Villa: Carla Ward's side record first Women's Super League win

Aston Villa players celebrate
Aston Villa had lost their first five league matches of the season

Aston Villa struck two late goals to beat Bristol City and record their first Women's Super League win of the season.

Substitute Ebony Salmon inspired their opener in the 77th minute, seeing her cross for Rachel Daly deflect off defender Megan Connolly and beyond keeper Olivia Clark at the near post.

And Salmon continued to influence the visitors, doubling their lead nine minutes later with a powerful shot from a tight angle that squeezed through Clark.

Villa deserved the win, which eases pressure on manager Carla Ward and lifts them from the bottom of the WSL table, above Bristol City on goal difference.

Win eases pressure on Villa boss Ward

Villa finished fifth in the league last season and this summer geared up to challenge the status quo and build towards a top-four finish.

Instead they came into Sunday's fixture as the only WSL side yet to pick up a point this campaign having lost each of their first five matches, although they did thrash Sheffield United 5-0 in the Continental Cup on Wednesday.

Ward's team dominated possession but struggled to create many clear-cut chances before Salmon came on for Adriana Leon in the 65th minute and influenced both goals with driving runs.

They face West Ham in their next match next Sunday, a side who have also lost four of their opening six matches. It will be another opportunity for Villa to rise up the table.

'Chances for us to get points'

Bristol City manager Smith believes the current WSL table "does not reflect" where her side will finish this season.

Despite Villa's possession, Smith's side had the best chance across the first 75 minutes when Rachel Furness' shot from range was tipped over the bar by Villa goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar in the first half.

Indeed for much of the second half it looked as if City would back up their win over West Ham last week with a credible draw at Ashton Gate.

"It is an open league and I think what we're seeing this year is that the gap between the top and bottom teams it's getting smaller," Smith told BBC Radio Bristol.

"We're still in a growth phase, we're shifting through that. There are chances for us to get points."

The Robins could be without regular goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese for some time after she was replaced by Clark in first-half injury time after colliding with the post.

"I don't have a lot of updates on the actual injury, she was in a lot of pain when she came off," added Smith.

"Hopefully that's not as bad as it looks."

City face Everton in their next WSL fixture next weekend.