Berkhamsted-based Watford Ladies secured their first league win of the season as they triumphed 1-0 away at a strong Aston Villa side with a fantastic team performance.
On her first start for the club, Ellie Mason’s stunning second half strike proved to be the difference between the two teams.
The Watford defence then held firm for a second clean sheet in three games, helping the Golden Girls to move off the bottom of the WSL2 table.
After seeing plenty of improvements from his side over the last few weeks, the winning feeling was finally back for manager John Salomon.
“I’m really pleased to get that first win of the season, it was a tough game,” he explained. “Only a few weeks ago we were standing here having lost 4-1 to Villa, so to have turned that around and won 1-0 today shows how far these players have come in a short space of time.
“It’s a massive credit to them because they’ve worked incredibly hard at training after we reviewed things and tried to change things slightly. I’m pleased for the players and obviously it’s great to get off the mark and get the first win.
“We did the same thing when I first took over as manager; it took a few games to get it right and that’s happened this season.
“To throw something completely new at the players only two weeks into the start of the season meant that it was going to take time. There’s still a long way to go but to be here and to have made that improvement so quickly, it shows how dedicated they are.”
Recent signing Ellie Mason grabbed the winning goal for Watford and Salomon was pleased with that and her performance.
“It was a great goal,” he said. “My view was a little bit blocked so I didn’t see it completely but you could see the technique from the edge of the box to get her foot around the ball and strike it.
“It was pinpoint, right in the top corner.”
Salomon added: “Their keeper made some good saves before that, she’d denied Kate Natkiel on a couple of occasions and had made a few other saves, it was going to take something special to beat her today because she’s a good keeper.
“It’s not just a goal for Ellie today, it was a very solid all-round performance. That’s a really good sign for us, we’ve brought in a player that we knew a lot about and she’s showing the qualities that we wanted from her which is great.”
The first three points of the season for the Golden Girls moves them off the bottom of the table ahead of London Bees, with a chance to build on that next weekend.
“We’re under no illusions,” Salomon said. “One win doesn’t mean we’re going to carry on this run now, we’ve got to get our heads down and work hard again this week in preparation for the Millwall game.
“Our other point this season came against them so it’s another opportunity for us to go and show we’ve progressed and moved on since that point.
“We now have to focus on giving this level of performance again if not more and trying the best we can to get the three points against Millwall. Things will then look very different on that league table.”