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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Hull City 0 - Aston Villa 2

KC Stadium

21/04/2010

Attendance: 23 842

Glensider at The KC Stadium

Seventeen down (away games that is), two to go, as the five of us jumped into the old jalopy, and hit the road towards the East Riding of Yorkshire, and Kingston Upon Hull, The Kingston Communications Stadium in particular, home of relegation threatened Hull City Football Club.

Buoyed by Sundays rather laboured victory down at Fratton Park, we were all in boisterous and confident mood as we left Brummagem behind, all eager for ninety plus minutes of hopefully quality football from our lot, and three more points as we end the campaign looking to finish top six again if possible, overhauling along the way, last seasons points total.

Of course our hosts needed the points too, and they have a decent home record to boost their confidence, but without wishing relegation upon them, I think its quite fair to say that no one of the claret and blue persuasion, and I think that we can for this particular game include West Ham United in that grouping, cared too much about Hull City's predicament. We just wanted to be traveling back home to Birmingham with another away-day victory.

No surprise with the line-up for the game, Mart went with Sunday's starting eleven, leaving Luke Young, Habib Beye, Steve Sidwell, Nigel Reo-Coker, Emile Heskey, Nathan Delfouneso and Brad Guzan on the bench.

The team:- Brad Friedel, Carlos Cuellar, Richard Dunne, James Collins, Stephen Warnock, Stan Petrov, James Milner, Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, John Carew and Gabby Agbonlahor.

Great atmosphere inside the stadium, the locals were certainly up for it, while the traveling Villans, who really have been top draw this season, turning up in huge numbers no matter where or when the game, although heavily outnumbered, weren't going to be outshouted.

Very bright start by our lads, putting the hosts on the back foot immediately, taking the game to The Tigers, in the hope we could grab an all important early goal. The lads looked sharp and very much up to the task, and that was good to see after concerns we might be heavy footed after Sunday's exertions.

Hull's team selection had been something of a surprise, with Vennegoor of Hesselink the lone striker. You would have thought that in what really was a must win game for the home team, Iain Dowie would have been more attack minded. Presumably his thinking was that to go at us all hell for leather, might just have left his charges susceptible on the break. With Hull playing very deep, Vennegoor of Hesselink looked somewhat isolated up front, and with The Tigers needing goals, it looked a very strange tactic.

Carlos Cuellar headed a Stewart Downing's cross straight at the home keeper when he should have done better, and then James Miller shot from twenty-five yards, only to see his effort flash wide.

At the other end Kilbane fired over, before Gabby Agbonlahor stunned the home crowd with a superb opening goal. Some poor defending by the home side saw the ball fall to Gabby via John Carew's back, and Gabby sublimely curled a beauty past the Hull keeper, with two defenders standing on the goal line, completely helpless (excellent Neil Young song that, 'Helpless'). Great start from the claret and blues.

Hull seemed happy to allow us plenty of possession and we kept the ball well, looking to attack at every opportunity down either wing. Their 4-5-1 though just wasn't helping their cause.

We looked well on top, in control, and didn't look in any trouble, until Cuellar, attempting to run into midfield lost possession to Boateng, who robbed Carlos easily, and crossed for Vennegoor of Hesselink to fire straight at Brad Friedel who made a fine stop, but the ball fell perfectly into the path of Kevin Kilbane. The veteran couldn't miss, or so we thought. Kilbane struck the ball first-time, and again Brad Friedel made a fine stop, but could only parry the ball back out to the same player.. An easier chance, got to be a goal, but the ball was somehow deflected over the bar by James Collins. Great defending, but really a very poor piece of finishing by Kilbane. We could breathe again.

Stephen Warnock took a nasty knock that left him clearly in pain, and it looked for a while as if we'd have to do without his services for the rest of the evening. Trooper that he is though, Stephen did what we all should have known he would do. He signaled to the bench that all was well, and he continued to battle for the claret and blue cause. What a tremendous signing he has proved to be. Inspired piece of business by MON.

Towards the interval Hull came more into the game without really threatening, and when the half time break arrived the Villa support was fairly happy at the way the first forty-five had played out. It was obvious to all, that Dowie's lot had to try something different in the second half if they were to find a way to breach this Villa defence, which I'm pleased to say, looked very much back to their best after recent games, where in my opinion they've looked slightly porous...or definitely extremely porous if you care to take Stamford Bridge into account.

We needed a second goal though to finish Hull off, because we felt that Dowie would fire them up during the interval, and they'd come out firing on all cylinders. After all, a draw was of little use to them, let alone a defeat.

Hull got the second period underway, and immediately picked up from where they left off in the first half, by coming forward, pressing us back, and making a real contest of it.

From a Hull corner, Richard Dunne and Vennegoor of Hesselink challenged for the ball, and they clashed heads. It immediately looked serious, both players suffering what looked like very bad injuries. Richard Dunne recovered first and left the field to receive stitches, but the Hull striker lay motionless for some considerable time, before being stretchered off in a neck brace. He was replaced by USA international Jozy Altidore.

On seventy minutes it was celebration time as James Milner doubled our lead from the spot. John Carew made a superb break into the Hull City half, he squared the ball to James Milner, who was brought down by ex-Villan Boateng inside the penalty area. A clearer penalty decision you will never see, and referee Mike Dean had no option other than to award a penalty. Milly stepped up, and converted with relative ease, sending goalkeeper Duke the wrong way. 2-0, party time at the KC Stadium.

Hull started to push more men forward as they desperately tried to get back into the game, but in truth it wasn't going to happen. We were a class above.

The fourth official indicated ten minutes of added time, something you only usually see at Old Trafford if United are losing, but we saw it out with ease.

Away victory number nine, only four defeats in eighteen away games. That's an impressive record in anyone's book. Who says this club isn't making progress?

So that's us moving on to sixty-one points, yet another impressive stat, and now we turn our attention to Sunday's Brummagem derby. Three points from that, easier said than done of course, as we all know how fired up McLeish's shower will be, and this great club of ours will be well and truly back in the mix.

Well done Martin and the lads. I enjoyed my trip to Kingston Upon Hull. Now, before I retire to beddy-byes, it is almost 2.40 a.m. after all, I'll give you the Glensider crew (five of us remember) marks out of ten, for what was a very professional team performance. Enjoy the remainder of the week guys, and here's hoping we do the business in style on Sunday.


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Star Player

James Milner and Gabby Agbonlahor

Player Ratings


Brad Friedel 7

.

Carlos Cuellar 6

.

Richard Dunne 7

.

James Collins 7

.

Stephen Warnock 7

.

Stan Petrov 6

.

James Milner 8

.

Stewart Downing 7

.

Ashley Young 6

.

Gabby Agbonlahor 8

.

John Carew 7

.

Emile Heskey 5

.

Steve Sidwell 5

.




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The Journalist

Writer: Glensider Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 22 2010

Time: 9:06AM

Your Comments

excellent as ever and thanks for staying up so late to make sure this was done sir!
The Fear
You won at a canter last night, it was very disappointing for us Hull fans, though it was hardly a surprise. I take issue with your away support though, how can a club the size of Villa get nowhere near selling a 2000 seat away allocation ?
lambrettaman
Because it was a midweek game and travel to Hull is a long way. as you can see Glensider didnt get home till 2 in the morning, not easy for those who have jobs/kids etc. plus 2000 Villa fans outsang the 9000 Hull fans for 90 mins so it matters not eh?
RosettaStoned
did anyone else think craig fagan was on a red card wish last night? he seems a petulant boy. fair play to the lads for not reacting (too much) to his niggling little kicks and pushes here and there. now bring on the clowns!!
steodub
A rather biased account, which I suppose you have every right. A few of your players were still performing for the West Bromwich and District Amateur Dramatic Society and the referee directing the Play. Maybe sour grapes but we have to grasp at something at this stage of the season. If Stephen Hunt was in Kilbane's position he would have ripped the net open and whoever was in his way. We have no defenders and no one to find the net now! But in the final analysis it was not and easy ride for you, just finishing and defending the difference. You will not finish 4th, I do not think, and neither will we!!!!!! Ian Dowie is no manager, Phil Brown is the man for us, but it is too late now. You got it wrong Pearson, ballsup in my mind!
HedonFreedomFighter
steodub, Fagans a nose, what do you expect?
steff_the_villan
Mr G, excellent report as always, the faithful do us justice yet again.
steff_the_villan
I always enjoy reading these glensider, thanks for taking the time to write them out :)
thorpyuk
Agree about Warnock. Great player, but then again we have so many at present, just a couple of additions needed and a bit more rotation to rest the legs. Fagan needed his face punchng last night - well done to the boys for not lowering their standards to his... Ever heard Nick Cave's version of 'Helpless' by the way? Sunday is goona be one great afternoon! Death to the bluenoses!!!! (metaphoricaly of course...)...
ljkal
...ps. Hull is a bugger to get to when I've benn up there, terrible transport links! Interesting place though! Yeah, u guys should have kept Phil...shame...
ljkal
Great report as usual Kev. yes we were cruising until Carlos Tangle foot decided to try and prove he was a footballer ! That Rosenthal like miss from the Baggies reject spurred them on for a while but we held our nerve and ran out easy winners . Special thanks to (headless) Chicken George for the penalty!
villan57
You mean Steven Warlock the talk of the West Bromwich and District Dramatic Society, a great big wimp. One tickle and he's on the floor like a Muhammid Ali opponent. He must have brought those bad habits with him from Blackburn of the Rovers.
HedonFreedomFighter
We must have been at different games HedonFreedomFighter. As for penning a 'biased account', I object profusely. I have attended every Villa away game this season, as has been the case in previous campaigns, and rest assured I know well enough whether we are good, bad, or indifferent, and I think others would willingly testify that I'm never slow to say when we've left something to be desired in our performance. As for last night, we won comfortably, playing well within ourselves, against admittedly a very poor excuse for a premier league outfit. Your suggestion that our team includes a few 'actors' is I suggest, a retort meant as a sly dig, to at least have the satisfaction of being able to make a jibe against a team that has taken you to the cleaners four times now since your surprise arrival in the top flight. Good Luck to you in your 2010-11 Championship campaign, but somehow I dont think we'll be seeing you back in the premiership anytime soon. As for your verbal assault on Stephen Warnock, you very definitely picked on the wrong player to label a wimp. If you knew your football pal, you'd know he's anything but. 100% committed to the cause, week in, week out, a battler, a scrapper, rarely misses a game, but above all, a very talented left full back, one of the very best in the premiership.
glensider
Thanks by the way for the kind comments gents, glad you enjoyed the read. Always easier writing a report if you know that fellow Vital Villans are going to take the time and trouble to read it.
glensider
Thank you for your reply Mr Glensider but the fact that he played for Blackburn Rovers, that's Mr Warnock, gives me an excuse to rib him. He might be a good full back but I do not like him anyway. I do hope you did enjoy your trip to the KC but taking us to the cleaners is a bit strong. If we do go down, which you are probably right, we will be back, one day, and hopefully give your lot a 'a good cleaning' as a thank you. That is, of course, that your team will still be residing in the Premier League. You could be seeing Accrington Stanley on the way up bypassing you. Nothing is certain nowadays Mr Glensider but I still say you will be lucky to get 4th spot. Villa are not the team of old, winning trophies, you do not have enough top quality players in depth. Downing was a waste of money, he never looks good enough to me even at Middlesbrough. You need a couple of 'bruisers' in midfield to help young Milner, if you can keep hold of him. Your defence is good, on some days! I like watching Villa play well, but too many draws for me. They have the right coloured strip, CLARET and Blue. I shall say no more, but as you have gathered I'm a windup merchant and I enjoy the banter, good god it's only football! Nice having a chat with you and good luck for the end of the season. I still don't like Warnock, is his Dad Neil, cos I don't like him either.
HedonFreedomFighter
Easily outsung the Hull fans! :D Was a great night, and a great result.
AstonVillaFC
Excellent as usual Mr Sider love these reads
tubbz
Could you please in future also recount the best chant of the night? Thanks in advance
tubbz
 

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