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Aston Villa Game 1 2008

The first team had the last game of a fantastic season under Martin O’Neill against the Hammers just the day after our event, and our Football Aid teams had a lot to capitalise on their success. Lining up where Agbonlahor and Mellberg had done only one week previously, the two teams were fully aware that the imminent game would mean Villa would definitely win their last game of the season at Villa Park, but which strip would they win it in...

Saturday 10th May 2008
Aston Villa Home Vs Aston Villa Away
Game 1
Villa Park
KO: 11:00 am
Match Officials: Rob Orchard, Neil Underwood and Andy Underwood
Legends: Charlie Aitken, Pat Hurd and Chris Nicholl

An immediate attack from the Home team started the game, with striker Paul Cridland immediately storming down the centre of the pitch. The Home Team were given plenty of space to make their way to the box, and as early as the second minute, interplay between Cridland and Adam Pearce threatened the Away side who were unlucky not to challenge the strong players as they dominated the left hand side.

Although guided by legend Chris Nicholl, the home team continued to govern the play, and in the eleventh minute Scott Jordan got in on the action with a left-footed attempt from the edge of the area. Although this could not make the target, his fellow players tried, with good play by striker Ross Clements squaring the inside to Andy Bridgman in 21 minutes, only for the Away defence to deny them a goal scoring opportunity.

Two minutes later, the ball was down the other end of the pitch, with a rare attempt by the Away team to get on the score board. With captain Jason Godfrey pulling the strings for his side, midfielder Sean Sweeney played the ball inside from the left to the feet of striker Roger Dale, whose strike swayed past home keeper Derek Shore and into the back of the net.

Persistence by the home team approaching the half hour mark made way for a great run by Cridland down the park and into the box for a shot into the goal. Away keeper Simon Dale was not about to see his teams lead drop, and instead made a great save to deny Cridland a goal. Andy Bridgman was the next home team player to try and level the score two minutes later, but his header was also refused entry into the back of the net.

With less than ten minutes left of the half, an astounding left-footed overhead kick by Paul Cridland inside the box allowed the Home team their much anticipated equaliser. Celebrations were soon cut short however, as down the other end of the pitch striker Wayne Crook for the Away team was brought down in the box, and Domhnall Fahey was the man who converted the penalty kick into the back of the net for the Away team to take the lead again as the teams went in for half time.

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

The Away team started as strongly as they had left off, resulting in Home keeper Derek Shore having to make another great save. The Home Team kept the pressure on their opponents however, and it was looking positive when Andy Bridgman managed to chip the ball over the Away defence. This however flew straight into the keepers arms.

Back on the attack, away midfielder Andrew Spencer found the ball, and his shot in the 23rd minute to increase their lead went just wide of the net. It wasn’t long before another goal was scored, and a cross in from the right to Away striker Roger Dale allowed him his second goal of the game.

Before long, the Home team manage to double their score line, when a scrambled ball by defender Des Greenhill hit the back of the net. It looked as though the Home team were going to equalise in the 89th minute, when a volley by Ross Clements looked as though it was going straight into the back of the net. Away keeper Dale could not have stretched any more as he kept the Away side in the game with a great save. This save ultimately won the game for the Away Team, as soon after the referee blew the final whistle and the game was won.

Full Time: Aston Villa Home 2-3 Aston Villa Away

Man of the Match (Home): Adam Pearce

Man of the Match (Away): Simon Dale

Moment of the Match: Paul Cridland

Home Team: Shore, Cooke, T.Lightwood (c), Greenhill, Nicholls, Bridgman, Pearce, Clements,
Jordan, Cridland Subs: Glynn,S. Lightwood, Baker, Ansell

Mascot: Summer Lightwood

Away Team: Dale, Pevreall, Thorpe, Metcalf, Fahey, Spencer, Sweeney, Crook, Godfrey (c),
Dale, Subs: Freeman, Dean, Ryan

Mascot: Harry Crook


There are a wide selection of fantastic action photos available from Matt Nuttall Photography for this match, please visit his website for full order details.

In addition there is a superb DVD available, it includes footage of the pre-match build up as well as full match action and can be ordered by contacting Shane Wilkinson on tel - 07976 509335, or by e-mail at -

A percentage of all these sales will go towards Football Aid’s nominated charities.