Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
FA Premier Reserve League – South
Villa Park, Birmingham
Tuesday 10th April 2007, 7.00pm
ASTON VILLA v SPURS
Stephen Henderson 1 Ben Alnwick
Aaron Hughes 2 Troy Archibald-Henville
Shane Lowery 3 Cian Hughton
Liam Ridgewell 4 Kieran McKenna
Stephen O’Halloran 5 Charlie Lee(C)
Eric Lund 6 Leigh Mills
Chris Herd 7 David Hutton
Steven Davis 8 Andy Barcham
Juan Pablo Angel(C) 9 Lee Barnard
Barry Bannan 10 Jamie O’Hara
Zoltan Stieber 11 Danny Murphy
Steven Clancy 12 Takura Mtandari
13 Tommy Forecast
Ciaran Clark 14 Jake Livermore
Matthew Roome 15 Tomas Pekhart
William Ricketts 16 Daniel Hutchins
Aaron Griffiths 17
Clark 88 O’Hara 28
Attendence:- Approx. 400
Assistants:- N.Field, M.Leach, G.Scott
It was a warm evening if a little overcast as a mixed Villa team of experienced players and youth players entertained a Spurs side that had a few players returning from injury.
Spurs lined up with Lee and Mills at the back with Archibald-Henville at right back for Phil Ifil who has been called into the first team squad, and Hughton at left back. O’Hara and McKenna took up their usual central midfield positions with Hutton on the right wing and Murphy having his first game back from injury on the left in place of Hallfredsson. Making his first start this season Lee Barnard partnered Barcham up front. Also back from injury was Pekhart on the bench.
Villa kicked off attacking the North End but were soon on the defensive as O’Hara tried his luck from the halfway line. This was followed inside ten minutes with Barnard’s first shot and five minutes later O’Hara hit a free kick over the bar.
Alnwick hadn’t had to make a save when we went in front when O’Hara collected the ball out on the right, carried it into the area and drove it into the centre of the goal. Henderson missed it as Barnard run across his line and it may also have taken a small deflection.
Just after the half hour mark Alnwick had to make his first save when Herd was played through on the right. With O’Hara and McKenna providing cover in the centre of the park, along with Murphy who had drifted inside, Alnwick had very little to do. Angel hardly showed with just a few lay-offs in a poor first half by the villains.
Barnard was put through on the right but his cross shot missed the far post with just over five minutes of the half left. Barney was on the score sheet with his first goal when he played a neat one two with Murphy to fire home from just inside the area with a minute to go.
The second half started with Spurs continuing their domination of the home side forcing Henderson into a double save when Spurs broke four on three. O’Hara’s 20 yd. effort was parried to Hutton who slipped it inside to Barcham who only managed a weak toe-poke which Henderson held. Clark found himself in space, but shot wide just after coming on and then the moment all the Villa fans were waiting for, Angel was played in only to put the ball wide of the far post.
Clive gave Pekhart a run out taking Hutton off and moving Barcham wide on the right. He was able to run at Lowery and had a couple of chances which he was not able to take. Livermore came on in place of Murphy and took a position in front of the back four.
Barnard went close again before Spurs tried to close out the game. It was a surprise when O’Halloran played in Clark down the left who beat Alnwick with a low drive. The remaining Villa fans tried to urge their team on, but Spurs created more opening during the final minutes.
Considering the experienced players Villa put out they played very poorly and the dominance that Spurs had made for such a one sided game, that it did not look like Villa would score. Spurs should have made the advantage tell more emphatically. Villa's youth players were showing up the likes of Angel.
It was a good run out for the Spurs returnees with Barnard dropping back into the grove quickly, Murphy looked sluggish and his passing was wayward. Pekhart still struggles at this level missing a good chance.
The next reserve game isn’t until the 23rd April, but with two more youth games before then there will be no rest for most of them starting this Saturday when they will be away to Charlton.
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