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Aston Villa Game 1 2006

Football Aid Championships, Sunday 14th May, Villa Park, Att 210

Aston Villa (Home) 2 Aston Villa (Away) 3

A wonderful solo goal from skipper Caldicott gave Villa Away the edge in one of the most closely contended games of the Football Aid season.

Morley’s men enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but on the half hour, it was the Away team that carried the greater threat.

Hamilton’s team came forward with Silva and Salerno working hard to penetrate the area. Finding space, midfielder Salerno struck hard at goal. An on form Massey acrobatically chested the ball away and while Silva was quick off the mark to the rebound, he lashed his shot off target.

4 minutes later, striker Greatrex made no such mistake, despatching a ferocious finish past the despairing dive of Massey to hand Away the lead.

Due to injury, Massey came off in the 35th minute, replaced by skipper Caldicott. Away were quick to try and take advantage and the Home defence worked hard to support their new keeper, denying Away on several occasions. The score coming into the interval remained a hard fought 0-1.

Both teams came blazing out the blocks in the second half, hungry for goal. Hamilton’s men barely had time to celebrate doubling their lead through a Hadley Silver strike in the 5th minute when Home retaliated with a glorious goal of their own.

With a turn and change of pace, Scott Jordan deftly danced past two defenders before letting rip with a scorcher of a shot which whipped out of keeper Holland’s reach into goal.

Fired with new found confidence, the midfielder was the architect of another aggressive attack only minutes later, charging down the left flank before sending a beautifully crafted cross into the penalty area. Substitute Cadwallader was onside but his attempt flew just wide of goal.

The game looked to be all but over after a wonderful solo goal from skipper Caldicott lengthened Away’s lead to 3-1 but a determined Home squad continued to hit back with impressive forward play.

Just as frustration was starting to show, a rampant Roberts finally broke through the Away defence and struck home in the 39th minute. The centre half then pulled off a magnificent sliding tackle immediately after the restart to prevent Away pulling further ahead in the dying minutes.

Despite a brave comeback from a valiant Home side, Away clung onto their lead to make the final score 2-3.

As Nathan Roberts commented after the match, “ Absolutely amazing experience! Just to have the chance to play at the hallowed turf of Villa Park was enough but to score a ‘wonder’ goal and then celebrate like an untamed animal was the greatest experience of my life! Thank you sincerely for this opportunity. Hats off to you Football Aid for the chance of a lifetime!”