Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday February 5 2009
Attendance: 24 203
Villa are in the 5th round.
That is the only thing that matters really!
Listening to that orrible geezer Tony Butler on Radio WM as I drove home you'd think we'd lost 20-0 and that Villa were not only out of the FA Cup but also relegated!
What is it with the negativity?
I repeat, Villa are in the 5th round.
The game wasn't pretty - it never was going to be - and Doncaster Rovers weren't ever going to be a walkover, in fact if they had been able to finish, things could have been VERY different. BUT things weren't different and if I haven't mentioned it as yet, Villa are in the 5th round.
The game wasn't really that engaging. The Rovers fans were great, they came in their droves - over 4000 and with 26 official coaches - and our lot were having a quiet night most of the time so the atmosphere was a bit strange - not to mention absolutely sodding freezing...!
Villa took an early lead in the 15th minute with a fairly easy tap in for the otherwise fairly anonymous Steve Sidwell (come on Sidders, time to click now!) following a good shot from Craig Gardner which was palmed away by Neil Sullivan.
The 19th minute Villa all but killed the game off when John Carew took a shot FROM OUTSIDE THE BOX (so good to see that, we do it so seldomly!) which took a nice deflection to loop over the head of Sullivan who had no chance at all of stopping it.
That should really have been it, game over. But hey, we all know the Villa, why do it the easy way when you can stress out the fans!??!?! Just before half time Nathan Delfouneso (I think we'll go with the Fonz in future, I really can't remember how to spell that, I keep missing the e, not like me that!!) tried to play the ball out from our box and lost it leading to a well taken Doncaster Rovers goal.
At this stage I feel I should apologise. I wore a hat. I seldom if ever wear a hat. My fault, it was an unlucky hat, a very naughty hat and one that has now been put in the recycling. Anyway, I received a text enquiring as to why I'd got said hat on. I took it off, apologised and from thereon in, Villa were fine. The Fonz scored a great goal via neat cross from Nicky Shorey, directing a lovely header into the back of the net and that really was game over.
Rovers didn't stop coming forward and did try from start to finish, but the quality we had in the finishing stakes made the difference. They did moan about the ref but I thought he was just average both ways, fans sat there amazed at some of the free kicks and Martin O'Neill certainly spent a few times calling to him asking 'how the hell was that a free kick'.
I think it is clear that some of the second string are simply not good enough but that has to be a worry for another day. As said, the game wasn't pretty, who cares, we are winning, it might be ugly but Villa are in the 5th round... I get the feeling I've mentioned that before but with all the doom and gloom you often hear, I think it is worth mentioning.
Next up, Everton who dispatched Liverpool in the dying moments of extra time last night. We face Everton at Goodison Park where we have a fantastic record. Bring on the Toffees and bring on a cup run. We owe it to the fallen heroes and holteenders in the sky Johnny Dixon (captain of the 1957 FA Cup winning team) Vic Crowe and the much loved and much missed Paul Birch.
Date:Thursday February 5 2009
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