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Aston Villa Game 1 2013

Our hugely exciting Aston Villa Game 1 took place on the morning of the 17th of May at the famous Villa Park Ground. The day dawned bright and clear, with conditions perfect for the excellent game of football that occurred. Both teams of Villa fans showed great prowess and the 1-6 score line wasn't necessarily a fair reflection of how well both teams played and how close the thrilling match turned out to be.

Date: Friday 17th May 2013
Venue: Villa Park
Aston Villa Home vs Aston Villa Away
Game 1
Kick off: 11:00 am
Legends: Mark Kinsella and David Norton
Match Officials: Julian Hitchcock, Stuart Haden, Gary Dolphin and Adrian Garrard

Before the game kicked off both teams were prepping in the changing rooms. There was discussion of tactics, stretching and plenty of encouragement given in spades by Legends Mark Kinsella and David Norton as the teams psyched themselves up for the match ahead. The Away side won the toss and decided to kick off, but the Home side were immediately up in their half, harassing them and preventing the ball from being played forward.

The early action saw the Away side exhibiting some great passing skills to manoeuvre the ball out of their half and some great tackling to retrieve the ball from the Home side as well, and they almost opened the scoring in the first 10 mins.

The Home side were not to be outdone though as they exhibited much the same level of play, allowing No 6 Miles Langford to get into space and get a shot off under pressure which Chris Annable in the Away goal did well to dive on. The Home side continued their attacking streak, keeping pressure on the Away side and using some creative passing in the process. However the Away Defence stayed strong and the Home side were denied again and again.

The Away side then gave the Home side pause for thought as a brilliant through ball allowed Nick Medlicott to go one on one with the keeper after the lively No 9 out-paced the Home Defence. Sadly he was unable to finish off the promising move, sending the ball straight at Home Keeper Tony Hine. The next chance came when Home No 6 Langford ran over half the pitch, outpacing the defence at the same time, only to lose out after a brave challenge from Keeper Chris Annable, who put his body on the line to snuff out the danger.

More good passing and ball control resulted in the Away No 6 Matthew Bethell being allowed time to get in a great long shot on goal, that looked like ending up in the bottom left corner had it not been for a great save by Home Keeper Tony Hine. The game continued to be dominated by attacking play, with the Away team going for goal again after Striker Steven Lochrie showed off his ball skills and proceeded to beat Legend Mark Kinsella. He followed this impressive feat with a cross into Medlicott, who under pressure, sent the ball just wide of goal.

The Home side then started to control the game again, in possession and territory, but failed to make many chances as the Away defence held firm. Home No 6 Miles Langford was proving difficult to stop though, as he got into space and sent a swinging through ball off the outside of his boot which almost found his Captain Brett Newton. The Away defence continued to have problems immediately after, requiring Keeper Annable to dive on the ball, while narrowly avoiding being booted in the face by his own teammate at the same time! The same thing happened again a min later, when Langford found his Captain Newton again, however he volleyed the ball high over the crossbar.

Langford continued to look exceptionally dangerous, using his pace and excellent ball skills to cause trouble for the Away side. However despite this it was the Away side who struck first in the 28th min. The Away side collected a misplaced pass by the Home team and went on the attack, with 3 men up front to the Home’s 2. With one man on the ball and one man looking to prevent a cross, Away No 6 Matthew Bethell was left wide open for No 9 Medlicott’s pass and he hit a superb shot from just inside the box straight into the top right hand corner of the net, well out of reach of the keeper (0-1).

Both sides played with renewed vigour after the opening goal, both striving to get on the scoreboard or extend their lead. The Away side nearly did just that when a great through ball from No 11 Lochrie found fellow Striker Nick Medlicott, who got a shot off under pressure but pushed it just wide. The Home side were not to be forgotten however, as Legend Kinsella sent a beautifully weighted long pass up the pitch to No 5 Ben Roberts, who one on one with the keeper, and under pressure from the closing Defenders, hit a shot that didn't have enough power in it and the effort rolled into Annable's arms.

The Home side made up for this narrow miss moments later though as they surged forward once again. A clever back heel from Langford played the ball to No 10 Steven Diggory, who gave it back to Langford as he continued his run. Langford then put the ball across the face of the goal but it was unable to find the boot of No 11 Jonathan Connett. This appeared to be the end of this chance but the ball was collected by No 9 Steven Foreman, who sent it back to Jonathan Connett, who proceeded to slide it past the Keeper and level the scores in the 36th min (1-1).

The Away side tried to strike back to take the lead again. Some quick passing led to a through ball that Steven Lochrie shouldered through two defenders to get to, before taking an accurate shot on goal that worked the Keeper, who couldn’t hold onto it the first time. A poor clearance by No 1 Tony Hine then resulted in the Away side seizing the ball from the opposition, despite multiple attempted tackles from the Defenders. This left gaps in the Defence and soon it was 3 on 1, with only the Keeper to beat. After desperate challenge from the Keeper, which Scott Whensley was easily able to dodge, the No 8 sent the ball into the back of the net to put his team back into the lead again on 41 mins (1-2).

Again the Home side tried to quickly draw level. A long pass was swiftly sent to Langford who took the ball all the way down the pitch, only to be denied by the Annable again. With seconds to go in the half the Home team pressed forward again in search of an equaliser and Langford unselfishly set up an opportunity for No 2 Brendan Maxwell, however the Full Back was unable to apply the finish the move deserved.

The Ref's whistle blew shortly afterwards, with the Away side edging an incredibly exciting, end to end 45mins by the odd goal in three.

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

Half time saw intense discussion in both changing rooms on how to improve their play and they were soon out on the pitch again to see if their tactics would pay off. Both teams were constantly searching for their next goal, and in the early stages the Away side looked to be dictating play, with chances coming thick and fast. Another effort on goal occurred when a long pass up-field eventually found No 11 Lochrie, who was well in the clear. The Striker's shot looked good, but it cut across the face of goal and went just the wrong side of the left hand post.

Both teams continued to pass back and forth, up and down, trying to open up a gap or find their forwards in the clear but to no avail. Steady play continued for some time, only broken up by a free kick for the Home side, which despite being from well out was made into a dangerous chance as it found the head of Steven Foreman, however the Striker's effort was just gathered by the Away side's impressive Keeper Annable.

Chances continued to occur at a steady rate but goals continued to elude both teams as they couldn’t quite breach each other’s Defence. A close chances did occur in the form of Home side Legend Kinsella with a long shot on goal which was deflected and almost picked up by No 7 Newton, but Keeper Annable came charging out to deflect his shot. And it was to be the Away team that scored next, with an unfortunate miss-placed pass giving the ball to No 50 Steven Leeson, who after a short run in on goal just managed to get the ball past Hine and into the net. He then proceeded to do the classic airplane celebration before being jumped upon by his fellow teammates (1-3).


The Away side nearly scored again soon after, when a long pass down field to Steven Lochrie allowed him to make his way into the box and lay the ball off to strike partner Nick Medlicott. He fired in a great shot on goal which was just tipped onto the bar by Home keeper Tony Hine. However Steven Lochrie’s next attempt met with much more success. Another long pass ahead put the No 11 well in the clear and he manoeuvred skilfully around the keeper and slid the ball across the line with ease. While the Home side might claim he was off-side, after several replays we can confirm he was in fact on-side. Lochrie's clinical strike increased the Away side’s lead with 67 mins on the clock (1-4).

The Home team responded well though and immediately went on the offensive, looking to close the gap despite being 3 goals down. Intelligent passing and skilled footwork from No 16 Matthew Richardson and No 9 Steven Foreman allowed Richardson to slip a pass into the box, however sadly it was cut out by a Defender. The Home side continued to look strong after this, with several shots on goal, put none managed to make it past the safe hands of Away GK Chris Annable.

Despite the dominant attacking play of the Home side, the Away team pulled even further ahead in the 73rd min after their players showed great ability and awareness in getting another long pass up field to Striker Nick Medlicott. With time and space to get into the box, the No 9 sent the ball cleanly into the bottom right corner, putting his side 4 goals ahead with time running out for the Home team (1-5).

The Home side had a chance to strike back mins later though, after an excellent free kick was put into the box by No 16 Matthew Richardson. The kick found Foreman, whose shot was redirected by No 15 Andy Richardson into the back of the net, however Foreman’s shot was deemed a pass forward and Richardson was called off-side, cancelling out what looked like a great goal.

Despite the Home side creating chances, they were unable to convert these into goals. By contrast the Away side, despite creating fewer chances, seemed to score almost every time they made it down the Home end! A well executed chipped pass from No 50 Steven Leeson to No 26 James Leeson, allowed Leeson Jr to exploit a gap in the defence which he squeezed through, and then he managed to power it past the keeper into the bottom left corner. There then followed a carbon copy of Leeson Snr's aeroplane celebration to mark the goal (1-6)!

Things were looking bleak for the Home team, who were now 5 down with only 10mins to go. Despite this deficit their heads didn't go down and they strived yet again for another goal. No 15 Andy Richardson charged forward and played a through ball to No 16 Matthew Richardson, but he was unable to find the net, as once again Chris Annable got his frame in front of the ball.

With the clock ticking down the Home side were under pressure to regain some pride and try and get on the score-sheet again, however their determined efforts were to no avail. Despite creating a few more opportunities they just couldn’t quite turn them into goals and the Away team retained their 5 goal advantage when the Ref's whistle drew things to a close.

Full Time: Aston Villa FC Home 1-6 Aston Villa FC Away

Man of the Match Home: Steven Foreman
Man of the Match Away: Richard Leeson
Moment of the Match: Steven Leeson

Home Team: Tony Hine, Brendan Maxwell, Mark Kinsella, Daniel Pennell, Ben Roberts, Miles Langford, Brett Newton (C), Stephen Cullen, Steven Foreman, Steven Diggory, Jonathan Connett, Kevin Banks, Andy Richardson, Matthew Richardson, Matthew Pennell
Home Mascot: Harrison Pennell

Away Team: Chris Annable, Neil Geeling, David Norton, Jules Leeson, Richard Leeson, Matthew Bethell, Jason Godfrey, Scott Whensley, Nick Medlicott, Ricky Robson (C), Steven Lochrie, Steven Leeson, James Leeson, Nick Thompson, Ryan Leeson
Away Mascot: Calum Thompson & Bethany Thompson