And so it was we locked horns again with Ashurst Wood. After a pulsating game earlier in the season when they squeaked past us 4-3, the feeling in the Villa camp before kick off was that we could turn the tables this time round. With Josh dropping out last minute we welcomed hot-headed hot-shot Drew in at right back, with some North and Central American flair brought in by our own Mexican Bandit Victor carrying on where he left off at centre back, and 'American' Jon Alston coming in in place of the injured Sean.
[caption id="attachment_931" align="alignnone" width="150"] Victor Mayorga[/caption]
We were out of the traps and into them straight from the off, hassling and pressuring them all over the park, giving them not an inch. Grant in particularly was running round like a lunatic, or in fact like a Kev. Indeed he managed to out-Kev Kev for most of the game, which is no mean feat, and he even avoided serious injury to his reproductive organs. His energy paid dividends after just five minutes, when a poor clearance fell to him and he pushed through on goal and beautifully toe-punted in into the corner. Bingo!
Within another five minutes it was two-nil. This time a beautiful corner swung in from Nnamdi saw Grant lose his man and power an unstoppable header past their flailing defence. What a start for the Villa. We had them rocking, and were finding time and space on the ball in the midfield. As the half wore on they came back into it, and it took a few last ditch challenges from both Victor and Nic to prevent them pulling one back, as well as a great display from Adam in goal, even though he'd only had 13 minutes sleep the night before.
We went in at half time still two up, and on the whole felt we were good value for the lead. Our Glorious Leader Bill reminded us once again to keep things simple, keep our heads on the game and to close down as much as possible. They were a decent outfit who had good movement up front, but towards the end of the half we had given them a bit too much time in midfield which had allowed them to play their balls to their front two.
[caption id="attachment_932" align="alignnone" width="150"] Bill Clifford[/caption]
Unfortunately for the mighty Villa, after a solid start to the second we found ourselves giving more and more free kicks away inside our half as they increased the pressure on us all over the park, and they took advantage of two mistakes to pull level within about twenty minutes. But we were not finished yet, and Kev's final contribution of yet another all-action display was to bury one, via their defender's head, with twenty to go. Hobbling off, he made way for Aidan to come on for an entertaining cameo, having one header cleared off the line before they finished off a good move to pull level once again, and then burying a beauty from an exquisite Jack cross which was then controversially ruled offside. When the final whistle blew a draw felt about the right result, though it was hard not to feel we should have nicked the three points. Never mind, dear reader. It was a great game to be part of, another gritty Villa performance, and another game without defeat. Onwards!
Scorers: Grant (2), Kev