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Then and Now At Villa (9)

Then and Now At Villa (9)
Examples of Consistent Entertainment

Having been stung by an almost obligatory opposition goal in the first few minutes, Villa stormed back against Norwich to lead 4-1 at the break. Great! But then the game morphed into Villa's usual stagnancy, coupled with hoof-football. No further goals materialised and only one attempt on goal from each side in the second half.

The managament will no doubt be happy that 3 points were obtained (and, yes, I am sure we are happy with that side of things too) but to go down to Villa Park on a wintry night is partly in the feint hope of being entertained I would have thought. These days, it's rare that we see a fair return on the ticket outlay but I suppose we have to be thankful for small mercies.

Nevertheless, I am left thinking that to be 4-1 up at the half-way stage must have put the players into a frame of mind that should have seen them set about their opponents to finish the job and rapidly improve on the season's goal difference. It was not that Norwich had much to offer in the second half except a bit more fight. But that sweeping end-to-end move that brought off Villa's third goal should have set the pattern for the night's play. It proved that Villa can play thoughtful yet swift football - so why play anything else?

There was a time when a Villa team winning 4-1 at the break would go on and considerably improve on the scoreline. I recall two outstanding examples, one as recent as season 1994-95 when Villa obtained their record score in the Premier League. A 7-1 victory was obtained over Wimbledon, a side that (until that day) had hitherto consistently been a thorn in Villa's side. Tommy Johnson (3) and Dean Saunders (2) were the Crazy Gang's main tormentors, and Dwight Yorke also contributed one.

But the 4-1 half-time scoreline that really led Villa's fans into a jig was on a November day in season 1959-60 when Charlton Athletic came to Villa Park. By half-time, Gerry Hitchens had bagged a hat-trick and later, when scoring his fifth, the shot was so powerful that it broke the keeper's finger when he attempted to stop it. All Villa's five forwards scored that day, with Peter McParland wrapping up the scoring with two magnificent goals late-on to end the scoring at 11-1. And Villa's fans even got a bonus: Villa won each of their next two matches 5-0, making 21 goals scored in 3 matches.

That, I am sure you will agree, was entertainment!

Up the Villa!

John Lerwill

For more history and stats , why not visit John's history site: www.lerwill-life.org.uk/astonvilla/. Further, why not enjoy an in-depth read of Villa's history? Click here for more info.

Writer:John Lerwill
Date:Monday March 3 2014
Time: 8:49AM

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Comments

0
Don't be silly man! Villa and play for 2 halves is not in our script! Agree another couple of goals and our goals diff would of been ready for the battering from Chelsea and man city! Can't moan to much as a win at this time of the season is a shot in the arm for all us fans and a nail in the coffin for our relegation rivals! Three more wins and we can look forward to the summers new dawn at B6.
brisbane lion
03/03/2014 09:11:00
0
I wondered who the other team was we'd knocked four goals against in the 1st half in our PL history. Question answered!
The Fear
03/03/2014 09:34:00
0
I was also left a little deflated in the second half after that 4 goal burst yesterday. But that is typical Villa isn't it...... slipping back into their usual slumbers...... awash with mediocrity.
Pride of Lions
03/03/2014 12:01:00
0
Yes ... Villa are certainly a one-half team, I grant you that. BTW, I omitted other matches of 4-goals-at-ht interest ... At Easter 1962, Villa won 8-3 against Leicester after being 4-2 at h-t and within 2 days led Notts Forest 4-1 at h-t and won 5-1.
the_lergy
03/03/2014 14:03:00
0
Defies belief to me that they can only play one proper half, this isn't just a Lambert issue either, seems to have been the way for years. I did hope they would turn it on big time v Norwich in the second half but it went scrappy and 'normal', however, we won and won by a good margin, so can't over grumble I guess!
The Fear
05/03/2014 11:28:00
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