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Aston Villa Game 1 2011

There were perfect conditions at the magnificent Villa Park stadium when the Claret and Blue fans arrived for Football Aid's first game of the day. The players were thrilled to have the chance to pull on their personalised kits alongside club legends Mark Kinsella and Martin Carruthers, marching out the tunnel to grace the hallowed turf. And their nerves were settled as well as Managers Chris Nicholl and John Deehan were on hand to pass down their experience onto the excited players before the 90 minutes ahead of them.

Monday 27th May 2011
Aston Villa Home vs. Aston Villa Away
Game 1
Kick-Off: 14:00pm
Playing Legends: Mark Kinsella and Martin Carruthers
Managing Legends: Chris Nicholl and John Deehan
Match Officials: Julian Hitchcock, Stuart Haden, Adrain Garrard and Lewis Garrard

Home Captain Hunter won the toss and the famous Claret and Blue got the game underway at Villa Park. The Away side in all Black instantly closed down winning the ball back; Ryan Leeson lobbed the ball over the defensive line as Captain Scott Whensley battled his way through,  striking the ball from the edge of the box into the goalkeeper's bottom corner for an early lead. (0-1)

Despite the Away side taking the lead, the Home side through Carruthers created the next chance to level the game. Nice build up play down the right and a dangerous 1-2, saw the legend Carruthers lay the ball back into the path of team mate Steven Diggory. But the No 10's left footed snap shot from the edge drifted past the post.

Both side battled for the ball well in the midfield but it was the Away side that grabbed the second goal of the game. The Captain again played a good ball that bounced behind the Home defence into the path of Ryan Leeson. His first time half volley drilled into the bottom corner past the stretching goalkeeper. A great start for Whensley side. (0-2)

The Claret and Blues got the game underway again not feeling phased by being 2 nil down. The tall No 9 Stewart James was heavily involved in trying to grab an equaliser, producing some great link up play and runs into the channels. Unfortunately Chris Nicholl's side just couldn't trouble the Away goalkeeper Allen.

20 mins into the game the Home side created their best chance. The play started from the back-line down the right wing. A simple pass was played to the centre circle for Weale, his superb ball round the back of the Away defence put Captain Hunter through. A great first touch set him up nicely for his shot but Allen made a great save, just tipping the ball round the post. A real opportunity for the home side to pull one back!

The resulting corner was cleared and a scramble in the centre put goal scorer Ryan Leeson 1-on-1 but an outstanding save by Christopher Bloore saved his side from conceding another. Great save!

Captain Hunter had another great chance but his shot was hit straight down the throat of the goalkeeper. A few minutes later No 10 Diggory put his shot just over the bar but it looked promising for the Home side to get back into this game.

On the half hour mark the Away team's Scott Whensley perhaps should have done better; with the goalkeeper rushing off his line he controlled the ball with his chest and lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper but his effort floated just over the back netting. Mark Kinsella was delighted to see that go over and straight after his team managed to pull one back. Great build up play again saw the impressive Diggory drive forward with the ball, laying it through to Roberto Savage. The No 11 showed great composure in lifting the ball into the far top corner. The Claret and Blues were delighted as teammate James Taylor tackled the goal scorer to the ground in celebration. (1-2)

The pressure kept piling on the Away defence as Mark Kinsella floated a delightful ball towards the back post. Stewart James found himself in some space but his first time volley attempt didn't connect fully, putting the ball out for a goal kick.

John Deehan's Away side seemed to be growing in strength in the last 10 mins of the half, showing some great link up play, but they just couldn't break into the box and they failed to trouble the goalkeeper seriously.

As both sides walked up the tunnel both managers were happy at the performances produced. However the Home side might be a little disappointed not to have levelled the game before the referee's whistle went though.

Half-Time: Aston Villa Home 1 - 2 Aston Villa Away

The Away side got the second half under way and instantly took control of the game. Constantly getting the ball down and playing it on the ground and it looked like it would only be a matter of time before they grabbed another. And they should have done 8 mins in, as a shot dragged wide by Cooke went straight to the feet of Steven Leeson. But the No 4 leaned back, putting the ball over the bar from inside the 6 yard box. It should have been number 3 for the Villa Away side!

The Home side it back when Stewart James drove behind the defence into the box, beating 2 players by dipping the shoulder. He struck the ball with his left foot but it took a deflection off Richard Leeson's out-stretched leg, gaining his side a corner. You could see the disappointment coming from the No 9, who was desperate to grab an equaliser.

However with the team in Black starting to create chances it looked like it was only a matter of time before they opened the scoring in the 2nd half. Bloore yet again pulled off a great save from Cooke and then stopped Smalley from collecting the loose ball. A few minutes later the No 1 again made himself big but Steven Leeson's shot was dragged past the post regardless.

Shortly afterwards Jonathan Smalley picked the ball up on half-way and dribbled forward before delivering a dangerous ball over the back line. The Keeper rushed out but Andrew Cooke lifted the ball over him and just under the bar. A great finish by the No 9, with the Striker showing great technique to get the ball up and down. (1-3)

The Claret and Blues seemed to tire late on in the game and the chances started to come. Waterhouse beat the last defender but could only pull the ball wide of the post. Then Whensley hit the post from the edge of the area before Ben Leeson had a chipped attempt. But unfortunately they couldn't hit the back of the net and increase their lead.

The full-time whistle went, signalling a deserved win for the Away side and their Manager John Deehan. Man of the Match Darren Dalby was a stand out for the Away side, not putting a foot wrong and using his experience and defensive positioning to thwart the Away side time after time throughout the 90 mins. Chris Nicholl could sympathise with the Claret and Blues who played some really attractive football but just couldn't get the ball across the white line enough times to bother the Away side in the end.

Full-Time: Aston Villa Home 1 - 3 Aston Villa Away

Man of the Match Home: Steven Diggory
Man of the Match Away:
Darren Dalby
Moment of the Match:
Christopher Bloore

Home Team: Bloore, Phipps, Martin Carruthers, Mark Kinsella, O'Sullivan, Weale, James Taylor, Mark Taylor, Hunter, James, Diggory, Savage, Quinn, Dale, Zeall, Fisher.

Manager: Chris Nicholl
Mascot: Freddie Dale

Away Team: Allen, Thomas, Smalley, Steven Leeson, Ben Leeson, Dalby, Murray, Ryan Leeson, Cooke, Whensley, Richard Leeson, Waterhouse, Geeling, Tulley, Tuhoey.

Manager: John Deehan