Mansfield 1-3 Villa
Villa opened our pre season game schedule against Mansfield earlier tonight, and had to battle back from a goal behind to take victory.
It was a typical pre season friendly, especially the first one of the summer, neither team really got into first gear let alone out of it, it was training pace what I saw and all about fitness and getting the run out rather than anything particularly dramatic.
Without breaking much of a sweat, if any, Villa were pretty good value and should've been three or four up - especially with a hattrick of chances that fell to Leandro Bacuna - before Mansfield got their noses in front, but even then it didn't really change the pace of the game or our control on it, although the purist would say even though we more than coped with their efforts to break into the box, we really shouldn't have given them that much time on the ball outside of the area in the first half especially, and at periods in the second.
With two different sides played it was a good 45 minute run out for the players, and we went into the half time break one nil down.
Lambert rung the changes at half time, and we saw the return of the rest of the bombsquad, Shay Given started. Charlie N'Zogbia, Darren Bent, Alan Hutton and Chris Herd made their return to our shirt and the pitch.
Things then livened up slightly, but nobody really broke a sweat either.
After the hour mark Hutton went for a wander down the right hand side and put in another teasing ball but this time Benty connected and scored his first of the night, and our leveller. Having been provided with similar attempts from Kieran Richardson and Andi Wiemann, it was time for Gary Gardner to get on the scoresheet as he started and finished the same move five minutes from time that saw him grab a tap in as well.
Benty made it two on the stroke of full time as Weimann put in a plumb cross for him and the game ended three one in our favour.
Trialist, Sutton, Dempster, Riley, Marsden, Trialist, McGuire, Bell, Trialist, Palmer, Fisher.
Clucas, Howell, Rhead, Bell, Thomas, Spencer, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.
Villa first half:
Given, Lowton, Okore, Clark, Bennett, Bacuna, Carruthers, Delph, Tonev, Cole, Agbonlahor.
Villa second half:
Steer, Herd, Westwood, Baker, Hutton, El Ahmadi, Gardner, Richardson, N'Zogbia, Bent, Weimann.
Subs: Grealish, Stevens.
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