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Doncaster Rovers 3 - Aston Villa 0

Belle Vue


Attendance: 10 590

The Lion Tamers


Put it a few times in case you can't believe your eyes. Not only was it 3-0 but it was a deserved 3-0 by a team with more pride, more passion, more bottle and more skill than our premiership outfit.

The players, quite simply, are not playing for the manager. When that happens, only one thing should happen. O'Leary is like a rabbit caught in the headlights, out of his depth and hiding behind yet more excuses. If he has an ounce of dignity, he will resign. If he doesn't, then the board should relieve him of his post immediately. In his interview tonight he trotted out the same old rubbish. The decisions went against us - which is tripe, the ref was right to give the penalty and should have given one on 13 minutes as well when Ridgewell shoulder barged Lewis Guy in the box. Then he mentioned the pitch was 'crusty'. Oh get lost. Our pitch - he told us recently - was too hard, now their pitch was 'crusty'. Do both teams not have to play on the same pitch?

As John Gregory said, this results 'hurts' especially because Doncaster, man for man, were better than Villa. We had no shape, no purpose and no ideas. To lose 1-0 in a cup happens, to be thrashed by lower league opposition should not.

I had all my fancy notes ready to do the report but what would be the point? All you need to say is they outclassed us. A league one team outclassed a team worth over 30million.

Under O'Leary we have adopted the long ball tactics, he and Aitkin will tell you differently, they are convinced we play free flowing, attacking, passing football. But we play long ball. We hoof the ball up to our small strikers who don't have a prayer of retaining possession, let alone shooting. The only thing that O'Leary has done since coming to Villa is prove what some of us thought, that it was George Graham who set up Leeds United for their great run of a few years ago. How they must wish he never left for Spurs.

The Doncaster fans summed it up tonight. 'Premiership, you're having a laugh, Premiership, you're having a laugh' which they replaced with 'easy, easy, easy'. We have Newcastle and Bolton away then Manchester United at home. If the board don't take action, this season could descend into ....................

I feel gutted for the Villa fans that travelled up there tonight and really pleased for the Donny fans who saw their team show what football is meant to be all about. Well done to Doncaster, you deserved the win.

Doncaster had 7 shots on target, Villa had 4
Doncaster had 14 corners, Villa had 2
Doncaster had 53% possession, Villa, oh you do the maths!

Player Ratings

Doncaster Team

Seremet, Mulligan, Coppinger, Foster, Guy, Thornton, Heffernan, Roberts, Ravenhill, McIndoe, Fenton. Subs: Budtz, Fortune-West, Oji, Roberts, Green (for Guy 87).

Villa Team

Sorensen (booked 63), Samuel (booked 54), Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Milner, McCann, Davis, Barry, Angel, Baros. Subs: Hendrie, Taylor, de la Cruz, Phillips (for Samuel 59), Moore.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 29 2005

Time: 10:31PM


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