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Aston Villa Reserves v Spurs Reserves, 05.11.07

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

      FA Premier Reserve League, South  
          Bescot Stadium, Walsall 
       Monday 5th November 2007, 7pm
       ASTON VILLA    V       SPURS   
      (Claret/Blue)          (White/Blue)                     
          4-4-2                4-4-2
          3(0)                 1(0)
     Thomas Sorensen  1 Tommy Forecast
           Erik Lund  2 Cian Hughton
  Stephen O’Halloran  3 Joe Martin
          Chris Herd  4 Tom Huddlestone
        Ciaran Clark  5 Troy
       Curtis Davies  6 Yuri Berchiche
   Moustapha Salifou  7 Wayne Routledge
     Isaiah Osbourne  8 Jake Livermore
   Marlon Harewood(C) 9 Tomas Pekhart
   Nathan Delfouneso 10 Simon Dawkins
   Tobias Mikaelsson 11 Danny Rose

         Yago Bellon 12 Lee Butcher
         David Bevan 13 Jamie Davis
       Damian Bellon 14 Dorien Dervite
         (7)81Mins.     (3)68Mins.
     Andreas Weimann 15 Andros Townsend
     Harry Forrester 16 Andy Barcham
        (5)12Mins.      (10)68Mins.

       T.McAndrew       C.Allen

   Mikaelsson 56, 63    Huddlestone 54 pen
   Harewood 81 pen

                        Rose 41(Late)
                        Archibald-Henville 57
                        (Kicked ball away)

Sent Off:-              Livermore 75
                        (Kicked player)
Attendance:- 453

Referee:- J.Farries
Assistants:- R.Robertson, A.Maton, A.Luckett

There were fireworks inside the stadium as well as outside last night, as the League leaders entertained Spurs at the Bescot. Chris Hughton was in the crowd alongside Colin Calderwood and David Pleat. Also present was Stevie Perryman. It was a cool evening at the start but it warmed up on the pitch as tempers flared. Both sides had a mixture of players from the first team to the Academy.

Spurs lined up with Archibald-Henville at the back with Berchiche alongside him and Hughton at right back and Martin on the left. Huddlestone had Livermore to do the running in central midfield with Routledge on the right wing and Rose on the left. Pekhart and Dawkins were up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the north end with the ball played back to Forecast. His clearance was charged down by Harewood as Villa closed down quickly all night. Villa's best player Salifou, from Togo, had the first effort which went over the bar after five minutes with Rose firing over a few minutes later.

Clark broke his nose jumping for a ball with Pekhart and had to be replaced early on. Routledge was giving O’Halloran the run around and Rose was getting the better of a running tussle with Herd on the other flank. Unfortunately Salifou and Osbourne were getting the better of a languid Huddlestone and Livermore in the centre.

Routledge put in a good cross for Pekhart to head home just after twenty minutes only for the linesman to rule it out. Forecast had to save from Salifou before Routledge hit a free kick over with Allen indicating that Huddlestone should have taken it. Routledge the provided a centre that Dawkins failed to reach. In the fortieth minute, Osbourne struck a shot that hit the crossbar and hit Forecast before going for a corner. Rose then got booked for a late challenge on Mead after he was fouled. Rose was later caught by Osbourne which had Allen berating the Ref for playing on. Mikaelsson had a shot saved before Davies headed over from the corner.

In the opening minute of the second half Salifou hit a shot wide. Dawkins then wriggled his way through to hit a shot that Sorensen failed to hold. Harewood was having a poor game and put a chance wide before Spurs took the lead. Rose got the better of Herd who tripped him as he went into the area for a penalty. Huddlestone went for power and it went in off the underside of the bar.

The lead did not last long as Forrester crossed from the right to the unmarked Delfouneso to head goalward for Mikaelsson to chest it over the line to claim it. Archibald-Henville needlessly kicked the ball away after the Ref stopped the game for a foul with the predictable result. Harewood then came close to scoring but Forecast was out to block.

Villa were beginning to get the upper hand and Salifou drove the ball in for Forecast to block with the ball looping up off the bar and out. Osbourne had a weak effort saved before Mikaelsson collected a loose ball scored with a drive across the keeper.

Allen sent on Barcham to add more weight to the attack in place of Dawkins and Dervite made a welcome return in place of Martin with Berchiche moving to left back. Dorian looked very rusty as he collided with Forecast and missed a couple of tackles, one left Salifou on the ground which the Ref could have punished. He did find his feet as the game went on.

Villa were breaking forward more and Forecast had to save a free kick from Salifou and O’Halloran headed wide. Livermore was caught as he tried to force a way through and kicked out at Salifou in anger. With the partisan crowd baying for blood, the Ref showed him the red card. Routledge dropped into the middle with Barcham moving wide, and it was one way traffic from then on.

Forrester had a free kick saved before he was up-ended in the area by Berchiche. Huddlestone had been robbed by Salifou, who was stopped in his tracks by Dervite with the ball running into the path of Forrester. This was the only way Harewood was going to score and he carmly put the ball to Forecast’s left. Salifou left the pitch to a standing ovation having done so much in his second game for Villa. Davies had another effort just over before Barcham broke away and forced Sorensen to save. Weimann had the last shot which he put over the bar.

Villa increased their lead at the top of the table with a victory that was mainly down to Salifou who outshone the rest with his work-rate and determination. Harewood, who some thought might come to Spurs, had a stinker of a game. It does not seem possible as he scored a hat-trick in his last game. Huddlestone also had a stinker, as he wanted too much time on the ball and was very lax in some of his passing. Routledge has shown that he is too good for this level over the last few games and should be given a chance at a higher level. It was good to see Dervite on the pitch again and I look forward to him regaining full fitness. With the next Reserve game not until the 26th November, he has the time. As Reading play a strong side we will need him and it will be a better test for Routledge.


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