Villa v Sunderland (Reserves)
Villa vs Sunderland
Villa: Parish, Lichaj, Baker, Devine, Lowry, Carruthers, Osbourne, Salifou, Hogg, Collins Jnr, Halfhuid
Sunderland: Gordon, Angeleri, Adams, Weir, Kay, Madden, Cook, Colback, Healy, Noble Luscombe
Reserve action swung back into action at Villa Park this evening as Kevin MacDonald took charge for the first time since moving back to the role from the caretaker managers job since Gerard Houllier's appointment. There was a few hundred at Villa Park for this game.
Sunderland started brightly and David Healy tried his luck from outside the area but Elliot Parish wasn't going to be beaten from that distance. Villa then got into the swing of things, Hogg passing to Carruthers who's cross was too high for James Collins Jnr. Nathan Baker then took a bang and came off for Durrell Berry.
The match was scrappy for a while until James Collins Jnr hit a low shot but Gordon was equal to it. Collins was having a lot of the ball and then made Craig Gordon work. He cut in from the left and hit it with his left foot making Gordon tip it round the post. Then the goal finally came, Collins did well down the left, cut it back across goal and Durrell Berry fired it home. Terrific finish, 1-0 Villa.
Osbourne had a decent chance but his shot was tame and was easy for Gordon. Berry who was looking strong then made a good run down the right, sent it in but it was too high for Halfhuid. Osbourne then fired a shot in from about 25 yards and it rattled the post.
Sunderland had the early chance of the second half with David Healy who tried to chip the ball over Parish but the Villa goalkeeper was equal to it. Sunderland then equalised. Cook cut in from the left, fired at goal, took a deflection and Elliot Parish got a touch but it ended up in the back of the net. Not great goalkeeping I must say. Salifou then made a terrific block to deny Colback.
That was about it for the second half. Villa played better the first but let Sunderland back into it in the second half. Gerard Houllier was in the directors box along side Gary McAllister, Gordon Cowans, Robert Duverne and Rafa Gonzalez. Disappointing Villa couldn't hang onto the win but Sunderland deserved a point overall.