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Aston Villa vs. Rovers


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Aston Villa vs. Blackburn Rovers FA Cup Third Round.

After hearing about the draw and the fact that it was away from home, I had no confidence about his tie. Villa although atrocious away from Villa Park are not to bad at home and as the FA Cup is the only thing they had to play for this season, I expected a fullish strength team to be fielded. I was even more pessimistic with the fact that a) Souness had been saying the Premiership was his main priority, and B) with the Worthy Semi coming up that the reserves would have a game and wed lose in a dire game, especially if Andy Todd was playing.

What joy to hear that I was totally wrong, (except for the Todd part). Although fielding a weakened team, it consisted of, McEveley, Taylor, Todd (Boo!), Neill (Sorry John Curtis it definitely looks like your time is up), Danns, Flitcroft, Dunn, Ostenstad, Yorke and Jansen (Hurrah!), subs were Kelly, Tugay, Gillespie, Johansson and Douglas (who looks like a smaller, younger version of Yordi). Cole was rested for the visit to Merchandising United on Tuesday.

Anyway, we kicked off attacking the North Stand, where the Blackburn fans were in fine, if not slightly cold, voice. Anyway Villa, started the slightly stronger of the teams, with Rovers taking a few minutes to get used to a 3 man mid-field with Yorke dropping deep to link up play. Villa (Dublin) missed a sitter, and then another (could the gods be on our side?). Dunn was looking good marauding down the left flank and linked well with Jansen and McEveley who tried to go one better than last week against Boro, but ended up disturbing some pigeons at the back of the stand.

Then Glory, a ball from Ostenstad bounced over Samuel and then over Melborg to the waiting Jansen who struck it with glee. 1-0, a delighted Jansen, a delighted Rovers Team, a delighted Away Crowd, and Hannah who went into raptures, and had to have a quite lie down due to overexcitement.

Then it was all Rovers Postma did well to save from Jansen again, Neill just but a curler wide. Then disaster, Gareth Barry, one of the outstanding players for villa (although it was hard) cut in from the left, left Neill on the floor in his wake and put a shot in, McEveley cleared it off the goal line, but Angel was there to ricochet it of his arse (well shin but thats the only way he can score at the moment).

Half Time.

Subs to come on; Gillespie and Tugay for Danns and Ostenstad, Danns had a good enough game but he is not a wide right player, needs time to develop, but shows good promise. Ostenstad tried hard, but he is not a natural goal scorer.

One word of complaint; not enough staff behind the counter serving half time refreshments in what can only be described as a bunker.

Second half

The new 4-4-2 formation worked a lot better, from a corner (yes a corner) Yorke had a header blocked but managed to lash in the rebound, much to the disgust of the Holte End and the delight of the North Stand. Then Jansen scored from another corner (thats our quota for the season im afraid) with a header, and then a peach of a pass from Jansen freed Yorke to slide it past Postma into the net.

To be fair to Villa, they tried their damndest to get back into the game and salvage something, even if just pride. Dublin missed 6 sitters at least, Brad had to be at his best collect some crosses, and parrying one shot which came off McEveley and dribbled wide of the far post. Vassell came on and proceeded to fall over whenever he had the ball near a Rovers player. But Taylor, Todd (yes Todd), Neill and McEveley all stood firm, and with help from the effervescent Tugay, battling Flitty, and good cover from Gillespie and Dunn, we kept it to a thumping, and didnt let Villa back in. Cue lots of @#/? take from the Rovers fans as Dublin missed even more chances, and the Villa fans trooped off home after the 4th goal went in.

So we won, and won well. Yorke was fantastic, falling back to midfield to help out when necessary, Jansen was rusty, but the doom and gloom merchants can feel embarrassed because, even with the little football he has played, he was still great. Dunn was good on the wing, Danns was a little disappointing but he's young enough to use the experience for good. Flitty Solid, Tugay great, Todd, I hate to say this was very good, his best game in a rovers shirt, Taylor was quality again, Neill, was solid but got skinned for the Villa goal, but went forward purposefully and dangerously, McEveley was all we could ask for, fast strong a good tackler, Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge watch your backs. Brad was dependable as ever, thank god we have him. Ostenstad, was good, but never really looked like scoring. Douglas, came on didn’t do a lot but didnt really have the chance, we were defending at the time. Souness well great marks for team selection and waving to the away fans, but for gods sake man did your Aunt buy those clothes for you for Christmas? All in all a good win, and must breed confidence for Tuesdays game.

Marks

Brad 8

Neill 7

McEveley 8

Taylor 9

Todd 9 (Yes 9 I cant fault him)

Danns 6.5

Flitcroft 8

Dunn 8

Ostenstad 6

Jansen 10

Yorke 10 Man of the Match for overall Contribution

Tugay 7

Gillespie 7

Douglas 6

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