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My First Trip To See Villa Live

My First Trip To See Villa Live

Q: Who was the last Villa player to score a Hat-trick at Villa Park?

This was the question posed on the video screen behind me as I took my seat 176 in row 4 Lower Holte an hour before kick-off. Myself and my mate Rob had travelled over from Dublin on a 6AM flight and the effects of the 3 coffees I had, to counter the lack of sleep, were starting to wear off.

'I know Moore scored a hat-trick but that was away', I said. 'It was Angel against Wolves or Coventry', said Rob. 'I think it was someone before Angel', I replied. Then it came up. Savo Milosevic in 1995. 'Oh well. Someone will match that today', I joked...

I was buzzing. My first time at Villa Park, having started supporting Villa in 1990 as a 14 year-old in New Zealand. Moving over to Ireland meant I got to see some matches on the TV but I hadn't made the trip across the sea until now. I was finally in the hallowed ground and I was in awe. The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky. A perfect day for football. The pitch looked amazing, and I couldn't believe how close to it we were.

The match kicked off. Was surprised how quiet it was at first but then the Upper Holte kicked in. Petrov missed a sitter at the other end and before you could draw your breath we were a goal behind. The Geordies were going mental and I was temporarily blinded by the light bouncing of many of their naked torsos.

The rest of the first half was a write off. We competed but the Ref was against us giving 4-5(mostly absurd) freekicks in a row in the Toons favour. How Ashley didn't get a Peno was beyond me. I didn't see the first handball claim from where I was sitting. Petrov seemed to be in another world running past the ball under no pressure to audible groans. Ashley was getting triple-teamed at one stage. It was not the riposte to the Fulham downer we had hoped, expected.

Half time came and I was enjoying the experience if not the result. 'They're only saving the goals for the Holte End',I said to Rob. 'They've(Newcastle) a rubbish defence. 3-1 to the Villa, I reckon.'

Well you know the rest. Maloney, for me was instrumental in kick-starting the revival. Swapping Young to the right and Maloney on the left bamboozled the Newcastle defence. When I saw the equaliser, it was almost in slow-mo, the shot heading towards goal, Given reacting correctly, the deflection, the beautiful moment when it went a foot behind Given's outstretched arm goal-bound with no one to stop it. Instant Euphoria! And even greater when I saw the number 3 emerge from the scrum of players celebrating. Go on Freddie, you legend.

After that who wasn't having a stormer. Carew stole the show. Marlon was running like a man possessed. I have managed to watch on TV 17 Villa games in Dublin this season. But here I was with players no more than 10 feet away from me. After the second goal Marlon chased a ball that he had no right to win and forced a corner. As he jogged to the box, I yelled 'Marlon... MARLON,' He looked over, 'You're awesome mate, havin a great game!' To which he put his hand to his ear and a chorus of 'MARLON, MARLON' broke out. It was great too, giving Carew his standing ovation as he came straight over to us after the final whistle.

I cracked up when the Holte-enders started singing 'One nil and you f***ed it up' at the Toons. To the Geordie's credit, they made a good turn out, made themselves heard at the start and were applauding us after the final whistle. The whole day was a great advertisement for football.

Q: Who was the last Villa player to score a Hat-trick at Villa Park?

I hope it's not another 13 years before Carew's feat is emulated again, but next time it is, I can say I was there for the last time, and what a great day it was!

Date:Monday February 11 2008
Time: 9:00AM


Great article there kiwi. Definetly ousted Fear for the articles now. In a different world you article to Fear's. Isn't that right Jonathan? lol
10/02/2008 21:17:00
Kiwi thank the lord you were there. I hate to think what the result would have been had you failed to turn up.
10/02/2008 21:58:00
Glad you enjoyed your first taste of Villa park Kiwi. Great first game to see (well 45 minutes of it anyway). Hopefully you'll be back for more soon.
11/02/2008 10:22:00
Wasnt Benito Carbone the last to score a hat-trick at VP? when we beat Leeds 3-2 in the cup
11/02/2008 10:58:00
Did anyone else notice that the first 3 paragraphs on the "Flash Back from this week in Villa History" page in the program all talked about Villa hat tricks. Luke Moore at MiddlesVilla being the first Villa teenager to score a hat trick 2 years ago. Which was the first league hat trick for Villa since Dublin at Southampton in 98. Next paragraph was about Saunders hat trick against Swindon in 94. Finally there was (Super) Tommy Johnson's hat trick in the 7-1 mauling of Wimbledon 13 years ago. All in this week in history!!
Adam Deuce
11/02/2008 11:23:00
: ) Excellent, welcome to Villa Park Kiwi, a wonderful result for your first trip, now don't be a stranger
11/02/2008 11:26:00
Adam Deuce is it a conspiracy your hinting at, are newcastle in that bad a shape that they may have taken a bribe to let us get a hat trick just to blance the historical books :))) Kiwi Great read chap hope you get the chance to see many more.
11/02/2008 14:05:00
Whatr about the Carbone hat-trick? I know it wasn't league but it was at VP.
11/02/2008 15:21:00
Used to love Carbone, remember when he did that overhead kick against us for Sheff Wed? Think he joined us after that season but that goal, even though it was against us it was pretty impressive **** to watch. Was it him that did that thing where he took a shot and then turned around and put his arms up in the air before it had got passed the keeper?
11/02/2008 15:33:00
Dont be a stranger kiwivillan. Your club needs you! Carbone, he was good for us. A talent indeed.
11/02/2008 16:16:00
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