Last night, a game of football happened. The home side won 4-0 and it really was very enterta… what? What have Man U got to do with anything? What the chuffing hell are you talking about David Beckham for? I am referring to, of course, Aston Villa v Small Heath in the Barclays Premier Reserve League South!
A comfortable win where we not only won 4-0 but had three goals disallowed, and I would like to see replays of all of them in all honesty – the scoreline probably should have been higher.
I won’t waste too much time talking about that shower, all I will say is that the goalkeeper Colin Doyle is very genuinely amongst the worst I have ever seen and the only player they had in the side that showed any sort of attacking threat was Akwasi Asante on the right hand side – they had better hope that their new owners really do have some cash to splash, because they wont get anything from that bunch.
Now, onto us. Sure the opposition were woeful but you can only beat what is put in front of you, and beat them we did.
At half-time, the Blosers were lucky to be only goal down; a mighty fine goal it was too. The impressive Marc Albrighton on his return from injury, danced his way around David Murphy before cutting in on his weaker left foot and curling a great shot past the useless Doyle.
Before that, we had a goal disallowed that was ‘scored’ by Andreas Weimann. The decision was offside, but it was very marginal indeed and I would like to have seen it again because I am fairly certain he was coming from behind the ball. It was tight though, in all fairness.
Weimann had also come close earlier in the first half, after a lovely dink over the defender almost in the style of Gazza in Euro 96 set himself up for a volley (in his defence, at a more difficult angle than Gazza!) that he sent wide.
The rest of the first half was generally a drab affair; SHA tried to force us back with some long ball tactics early on, but as the defence dealt with that pretty comfortably and the attacking players started to get a foothold of the game, the final outcome looked quite obvious.
In fact the only real threat we had on our goal came from a Bouma backpass as David Bevan let the ball roll under his foot in true Peter Enckleman style, but as he was further out on this occasion he was able to scramble back and just about knock it wide.
The ending of the first half was very frustrating, as we were through with Weimann getting in down the left and his strike partner Delfouneso waiting, but the ref decided it was time to blow up. Players, coaching staff and fans alike were less than impressed.
So as the second half kicked off, we did mention that our local rivals probably would’t be that bad in the second half; yet if anything, they were worse.
They started the same way they did in the first half, by trying to push us back but again we dealt with it comfortably. Around ten minutes into the second half we had disallowed goal number two.
Doyle threw the ball out of his hands straight to the nearby Weimann who knocked the ball into the net but the ref deemed it as ungentlemanly conduct. I am not convinced as it is not like he kicked the ball out of his hands, but these decisions rarely go the way of the attacker. Put it this way though, if it had been the other way around I would have been very angry at our keeper even if the goal was disallowed!
Delfouneso and Weimann are obviously benefiting from playing together a fair bit. Often at reserve level players don’t really get enough time to strike up understandings but these two have had most of the season together and it showed in the way they combined for the second goal, which was smashed home from the edge of the area by Weimann. Lovely move and a really terrific finish.
The third goal soon followed, with Albrighton putting Delfouneso through. He ran a good 20/30 yards or so before taking a shot that (just about) went underneath Doyle to put the already likely outcome in no doubt whatsoever.
He then grabbed his second with a few minutes remaining after being set up by some good work down the right wing from Albrighton, whose ever-accurate crossing was put to good use with a Delfouneso finish.
The Delfouneso-Weimann partnership worked nicely again as Weimann pulled the ball back for Delfouneso to finish well and seemingly get his hat-trick, but the goal was disallowed for offside. This one, I definitely didn’t need to see a replay of – it was probably five or six yards from behind the ball, so how it was given offside is beyond me. I know it was the reserves and not the first team, and I know that the game was well won by this point but I will still angry, because it was genuinely one of the worst decisions I have ever seen at Villa Park!
David Bevan – 5
He would have got a 6 as he didn’t have anything to do so didn’t warrant a higher mark, but his Encklemanesque error knocked a point off.
Eric Lichaj – 8
When Habib Beye signed it probably made sense to a lot of people but to me, having seen this lad a few times, I felt it was pointless. I just hope we don’t lose him because of it. Did very well, he (like that Luke Young bloke who can’t get in the team for reasons I can’t fathom) is a proper full-back.
Wilfred Bouma – 6
BBBOOOUUUMMMAAA!!! He had a few dodgy moments early on that you would not expect from a fully-flying Bouma but soon settled into his stride and did just fine. I am not sure if we’ll see him play for the first team again, although I really hope we do. I love the bloke!
Jonathan Hogg – 7
I am not convinced he will make the grade but I cant help but like him. He is definitely good enough to play at some professional level; it is just a shame he didn’t come along a couple of decades ago when you could still tackle! Full of energy, did well.
Ciaran Clark – 8
People still moan about the sale of the talented-but-overrated Gary Cahill, but for me he made mistakes at that age (and still does, albeit less of them) that I just don’t see Clark do. A proper centre-half who is composed on the ball, I really hope we keep hold of him.
Curtis Davies – 7
Defensively, he looked a class above the players he was defending against. On the ball, he still manages to do some passes that I would be angry at a schoolgirl for doing! Did fine, I think his time in our first team has been and gone though.
Marc Albrighton – 8
Delighted to see him back, took his goal well and was a pest for the Blues defenders all night. His crossing is easily the best of anyone at this football club, and I am still confused as to why he hasn’t been nearer the first team more this season, even with us being dumped out of Europe.
Moustapha Salifou – 8
The man who is apparently bullet proof (yeah, I am sure he wants reminding of that every time he sees his own supporters!) was calm, composed and always found space. While he divides opinions on supporters, I don’t think any of us would consider him ‘Best XI’ quality. But if I was him, and I saw Sidwell was ahead of me in the pecking order, I think I’d be off…!
Nathan Delfouneso – 8
Is he ready for Premiership football? Maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that he looks too good for this level. Cruelly denied a hat-trick by a decision that defies logic, he is another player that I certainly hope we keep hold of for the foreseeable future.
Andreas Weimann – 8
I first saw him quite a while back and didn’t really think a lot of him. The more I see him though, the more I like him and I think that last night was his best performance in a Villa shirt. He’s quick, he is capable of producing skilful moments and the finish for his goal would have graced any footballing stage.
Barry Bannan – 7
The wee lad had some good moments as he always does, but can and will do better. I think he looks better when he gets the ball in a more central position, as he was doing late on in the game.
I was DELIGHTED to see this lad get around 10 minutes. He came on for Bouma and slotted in at left-back. Didn’t have much to do but after been injured for the majority of the past couple of years, you just have to hope that – whether it is with us or someone else – he makes it as a professional footballer at some level.
‘The Hoff` came on for Salifou with around ten minutes left. He didn’t have a lot of time to influence the game but looked lively in the short spell he did have.
He came on for Bannan with about five minutes left, and still managed to knock three really good passes and go on a bit of a run. It was all very easy by then but if you’re only going to have five minutes, that is a good example of making the most of it. Good lad!
That Showers Line-up:
Colin Doyle, Alpalsan Ozturk, David Murphy, Ashley Sammons, Frack Queudrue, Fraser Kerr, James O’Shea, Jordan Mutch, Jake Jervis, Robin Shroot, Aswasi Asante. Subs: Luke Rowe, Jack Butland, Jakub Hronec, Brice Ntambwe, Nathan Redmond.
After chasing the ball down the wing only to be out-muscled and outmanoeuvred by Eric Lichaj, he took a kick at him which was just one of a handful of incidents that resulted in the Blosers left-back being booed by a crowd there to watch the reserves. That takes some going, you clown!
If you’re planning on making a career out of this lads, you had better go back to the drawing board because you didn’t even live up to the remarkably awful standards of officiating in this country!