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Villa Women aim to heap more pain on relegated rivals Blues

Villa Women are out to rub salt into the wounds of their fierce rivals as they host Birmingham in tomorrow’s Second City Derby.

Aston Villa manager Carla Ward, right (PA)
Aston Villa manager Carla Ward, right (PA)

Carla Ward’s side finish their Women’s Super League campaign with a big clash at Villa Park (12pm).

And they will be determined to sign off in style against Blues, whose relegation from the top flight was confirmed courtesy of a 6-0 loss to Manchester City in midweek.

“It’s a derby, and no matter when it is in the season, you want to win,” said Ward.

“But there’s a lot added on to it with it being Anita Asante’s last game. Can we make it special for her?

“It’s the final game of the season, and it’s at Villa Park, so there’s a lot of factors there.

“Most importantly, for the club, the city and the fans, it’s absolutely one we want to win.

“It’s an opportunity for players that have never played at Villa Park.

“It’s one of the best stadiums in English football, so it’s one we’re looking forward to.”

As alluded to by Ward, former England star Asante is calling time on a glittering career.

The 37-year-old has been a regular at the back for Villa this season and previously won the quadruple with Arsenal in 2007.

She played 71 times for the Lionesses and also represented Team GB at London 2012.

Ward wants to give her a day to remember as she added: “I’ve said it quite a few times, but she’s genuinely one of the best people I’ve ever worked with.

“She’s humble and has an air of humility about her, and that leadership about her.

“What she’s done for the game, for women’s football, has been massive.

“So, as well as doing it for ourselves, we want to make sure one of the best players this game has seen goes out with a special day.”

Wolves finished off their Northern Premier campaign last weekend with a 4-0 triumph over Loughborough Lightning and are now gearing up for next week’s Birmingham County Cup final with Albion.

Wolves Women are preparing for their final against Albion Photo: Stu Leggett

The Baggies ended their league term with a 2-0 loss to Stoke.

In National One Midlands, Sporting Khalsa are going into the summer having finished in style at Peterborough United. Khalsa were 5-2 winners.

Among the rest of this weekend’s action, Stourbridge could seal the West Midlands Premier crown.

Having thrashed Lichfield City 7-0 in a top-of-the-table encounter last weekend, they go to Lye Town knowing a win would do the job.

Glassgirls boss Andy Fisher said: “We’ve got to treat it as just another match. We all know our jobs, we all know what needs to be done, we just have to play our football and trust in who we are. It is a bit different, though, knowing that it’s within our grasp.

“That can do funny things to you sometimes, so we need to make sure our preparation is right and we’ve all got our feet on the ground.

“I know full well that Lye will make us earn it.”

Lichfield go to Coundon Court hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s heavy loss, although it may prove to be too little too late.

In the semi-finals of the league cup, West Midlands North side Walsall Wood host Shrewsbury Town.

Wood are hoping to avenge a 5-0 loss to Shrewsbury in the league last weekend.

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