Melissa Johnson scored a hat-trick as Aston Villa made it five wins out of five at the top of the FA Women’s Championship with a comprehensive win over Charlton Athletic.

The division’s top scorer made it ten league goals for the season and put her team ahead midway through the first half.

Emma Follis’ stunning free-kick sealed the win, before Johnson added her second and third of the game late on. 

Charlton are now on one point from four games, having yet to score a goal this season.

Villa started the game dominantly as Johnson weaved around Katie Startup only for her shot to be cleared off the line by Rachel Newborough. 

They had another great chance ten minutes later, as Emily Syme’s header was clawed away brilliantly by Startup.

News Shopper:

And in the 24th minute, Johnson gave Villa the lead, finishing from close range after Sophie Haywood back-heeled the ball goalwards. 

Charlton almost hit back within five minutes, as Sara Eggesvik freed Charlie Devlin in on goal, but Devlin’s shot was straight at Daniela Kosinska.

It should have been 2-0 before half-time, as Johnson set Haywood in, but Startup tipped her shot onto the post.

Villa got their deserved second goal in the 68th minute, as Follis’ 25-yard free-kick sailed past Startup, after a cynical foul by Charley Clifford.

The visitors then piled on the pain as Johnson scored a sensational solo third goal with 12 minutes left.

Johnson left it late to get her hat-trick but she finished from close range in the last minute after excellent work from Follis to maintain their position at the top of the table.

To follow the action, buy tickets and sign-up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit

Charlton Captain Grace Coombs said: "We’re really disappointed. We didn’t perform to the level that we want to and you’re not going to get results if you don’t. Villa are a great team and we didn’t bring enough today. We’ve got to reflect on that and move on.

“It could have been an entirely different game if we’d taken our chances. We want to get back to doing the basics. We want to keep clean sheets, create chances and then one day they’ll go in.

“Before today we’ve not performed that badly, it’s just that things haven’t gone our way. We’re not quite clicking yet but that’s something that we need to go away and figure out. We’ve just got to stick together and dig ourselves out of this little rut.

“We’re not worrying about where we want to be at the end of the season, we know that we need to get ourselves a win now and then we can go from there.”

Aston Villa hat-trick hero Melissa Johnson said: "We’re really pleased to get the three points. I don’t think this was one of our best performances of the season but we’re just happy to take the points on-board.

“It feels really good to have scored ten goals this season now, the girls have been playing well, linking up with me well and pretty much putting it on a plate for me, so it’s been really good. I’ve been really enjoying it.

“Each week we’re improving and trying to play better football. We’re happy that we got the points but we’ve still got a lot to work on and we’ll take that into next week.

“In terms of the goals for the season, everyone knows what we’re thinking and what we want to do. But again, we’ve got to take it game by game. We need to keep winning and keep focusing. As I say, we’ve just got to take it one game at a time.”