Aston Villa drew 2-2 with Bristol City on Saturday and will now be without England striker Rachel Daly for three matches after an apparent elbow on opponent Megan Connolly – an incident missed by the match officials
Aston Villa striker Rachel Daly has received a three-match ban from the Football Association for violent conduct during her side’s 2-2 draw with Bristol City on Saturday.
Daly, 32, appeared to elbow Vixens defender Megan Connolly in the face in the 39th minute of the draw.
The incident, which took place off the ball in the Bristol City penalty area, was not picked up by match officials at the time. Connolly went down after the elbow to the face, but with no video assistant referee (VAR) technology in the women’s game, Daly was permitted to stay on the pitch without reprimands or consequence.
However, Daly’s actions were picked up by television cameras. And the Lionesses star has admitted to the charge and accepted the punishment. A three-match ban is the automatic penalty for violent conduct.
The punishment will see Daly miss Villa’s League Cup quarter-final against Brighton on Wednesday as well as crucial league matches against Tottenham and Liverpool.
Villa were able to proceed through to the quarter-finals of the League Cup despite the club’s fielding of an illegible player in January signing Noelle Maritz in their 7-0 win over Sunderland. Villa were forced to give the three points to Sunderland, who progressed to the knockout stages, controversially, at the expense of Manchester United.
Daly has struggled to match her form from last season, in which she claimed the league’s Golden Boot courtesy of 22 WSL goals scored. Even so, she is Villa’s top goalscorer this season with six WSL goals so far.
Following a dire start to the season, compounded by injuries and absences to key players, Carla Ward’s side sit eighth in the league and five points off bottom-of-the-table Bristol City.
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