• limpid

      Just visiting?   27/12/16

      Please click "Sign Up" and login to use the full functionality of the site.

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'r&r'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Administration
    • Welcome Forum
  • Football
    • Villa Talk
    • C:Derby h
    • C:Bristol City h
    • Other Football
    • Supporters Clubs
  • Off Topic
    • Off Topic
    • Games and Gaming
    • Tech Room
    • Travel
    • North American Sports
    • Site Issues
    • Hall of Fame
  • Current Season
    • Season 2016/17
  • Previous Seasons
    • Season 2015/16
    • Season 2014/15
    • Season 2013/14
    • Season 2012/13
    • Season 2011/12
    • Season 2010/11
    • Season 2009/10

Blogs

  • A Badly Cleaned Blackboard
  • The Optimist
  • Lancs' Laments
  • Aston Villa Review
  • Trinity Road
  • My Geeky Youtube Channel
  • Deadly Doug Ate My Hamster
  • John's Blog
  • VillaTalk blog
  • HalfTimePost: Villa Rants
  • leviramsey's Blog
  • Sam's Blog
  • Analysing The Squad
  • GaryDavis
  • The Villa View
  • Pride of Witton

Categories

  • Articles
    • Match Reports
    • Match Previews
    • Club Stuff
    • Reserves
    • Youth Team

Categories

  • New Features
  • Other

Calendars

  • VillaTalk Calendar

Found 153 results

  1. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  2. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  3. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  4. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  5. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  6. This was a game of two halves. We scored twice in the first half, might have put the game beyond doubt and were a constant threat to the visitors who appeared to be there for the taking but we then snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. I suspect that our players thought that they would be able to comfortably coast through the second half but Simon Grayson’s half-time words stung Preston into second half action and they dominated the second half as much as we had controlled the first. They got into our faces and scored the vital third goal of the match on 64 minutes which led to our players showing the anxieties and frailties that they are still prone to. Our visitors ran the show in the second half and were level on 76 minutes with their second goal in 12 minutes. We were fortunate that they did not push too hard for a winner that would have shattered our unbeaten home record. Each game we play seems to put a play-off place further away from us. We are now 9 points off sixth place. Defeats for the fourth, fifth and sixth placed clubs gave us an opportunity to close the gap on them further but we squandered that chance yesterday. We need to go on a run of wins now to make up the gap between us and sixth spot and to leapfrog the teams (including yesterday’s visitors) that stand between the top six and us. Sadly, we draw too many home games and lose too many games away to make us going on such a run look a realistic prospect. Before the game, I along with others were left wondering why on earth Gabby was in the starting line-up yet again. We now know. He was in the team because Ross McCormack has in recent weeks developed the sort of fitness and attitude issues that he had himself displayed over recent years. It is almost amusing that the recent behaviour of McCormack which mirrors that of Gabby over a longer period has ensured Gabby’s extended run in the side at a time when we had hoped McCormack might take the opportunity that the absence of Kodjia and Ayew on international duties offered him to show he could get goals for us as regularly as he has for others in the past. We now have some time available to reinforce further the team that will travel to Brentford with new signings and players potentially returning from international calls. That time will also offer McCormack an opportunity to begin to change his attitude and to try to seek the forgiveness for his misdemeanours that Gabby has been granted for his by Steve Bruce. My player ratings from a game before and during which we remembered Graham Taylor are: Sam Johnstone – 6 – Had the quietest of first halves. He appears to like to take the option of punching rather than trying to catch the ball when he has the choice doesn’t he? Given that, he needs to try to get some more distance on those punches on a more consistent basis if they are to become a reliable safe option. Grabbed an 82nd minute header near the goal line and has a level of confidence about him. Alan Hutton – 7 – Made some decent forward runs particularly early on and this must go down as one of his better games for us. James Chester - 7 – Won everything in the air. Was left flat footed on the edge of the box as Hugill took the ball to his right and hit their opener before Amavi could get a challenge in. Nathan Baker – 7 – Another competent performance by what is our most improved player this season. He certainly learnt some good things during his loan to Bristol City last season and has now become one of the first names on our team sheet. Jordan Amavi – 5 – Lost possession more often than he would be expected to and disappointingly looked less effective as the game wore on prior to his late substitution. Albert Adomah – 7 – MOTM – Albert scored a brace of goals which should have been enough to secure the win. His first was a tap in from around a yard when unmarked but he was in the right place at the right time to put us ahead on 22 minutes and the referee let it stand despite vociferous appeals from the visitors for a foul by Gabby on the keeper. Sent Maxwell the wrong way from the spot after 36 minutes for his second. He had been found on the edge of the box by Amavi and ran on only for McGeady to win the ball but bring him and concede a penalty that incensed the visitors. Had an 88th minute shot kept out by Maxwell at his near post. Henri Lansbury - 7 – Pinged a couple of excellent passes and looked comfortable on the ball. He also takes a good corner which makes a pleasant change to what we have grown accustomed to. His lack of recent games started to tell in the second half as Preston took control of the midfield and he was substituted on 77 minutes. He will get even better with games and with another new midfield maestro alongside him shortly. Ashley Westwood – 6 – Started well and looked to be enjoying playing alongside Lansbury but faded somewhat as the game wore on and the opposition found him less of a barrier to their progress through the middle than they would have the injured Jedinak. Hit the ball just over on 32 minutes after Lansbury had played a terrific ball to find Adomah. Jack Grealish – 6 – Needs to try to impose himself more on games than he did yesterday and to remember as he had started to do up until yesterday that he has a role to play when the opposition have the ball as well as when we do. Given little protection from some rough treatment from opponents by a referee who appeared unconcerned that they were using this tactic to nullify his undoubted but too rarely seen talent. Hit a stoppage time cross behind Gabby when a late winner had for a fleeting moment looked possible. Might have won this one for us at times but didn’t quite produce the final touch to do so. Andre Green – 6 – Missed a good opportunity to open the scoring on 12 minutes when he headed Gabby’s cross wide when he really should have at least been on target. He clearly has potential and the ability to take on and beat defenders. He needs games and the increased confidence that a run of first team appearances should give him. Gabby Agbonlahor – 6 – Gabby’s starting place is now unlikely to come under any serious threat until Kodjia or Ayew or both return from international duty or we sign another striker. Gabby did well enough yesterday and worked very hard. It was asking a lot of him to play as a lone striker but he did win a couple of balls in the air and pressed defenders. He does not have the pace he once had and what goal threat that he once possessed has now almost entirely been extinguished but he will no doubt claim an assist for our opening goal. Grealish chipped a ball over a defender for Gabby to run onto inside the box but his attempt to chest the ball down only led to the ball bouncing out of his reach. He tried to get his foot to the ball as he collided with the keeper and the ball ran loose to be tapped home by the unmarked Adomah near the line for our first. The ball ended up in the side netting on 33 minutes when he looked to have an opportunity to add a second. His best display for us in a long, long time but that is not saying that much, is it? Substitutes: Leandro Bacuna – 6 – Replaced Henri on 72 minutes. Hit an 83rd minute shot from the edge of the box that Maxwell held easily enough. Gary Gardner – Replaced Amavi on 89 minutes. Not on long enough to merit a rating. Keinan Davis – Replaced Grealish on the 93rd minute and was also not on long enough to get any sort of rating. Perhaps he should have been given a chance earlier? Up the Villa! John Lewis
  7. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  8. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  9. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  10. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  11. Our 5-game winning home run came to an end last night but we remain the only team in our division not to be beaten at home. We can thank the linesman who pointed out the hand ball from Liam Cooper that referee Roger East had missed or ignored in much the same way as had the Leeds defence and their manager for that. But justice was done when we scored our now familiar late goal to take a point. We refreshingly started this game by pressing our visitors during the opening minutes. We shaded the first half but Leeds then bossed the second half. The first goal always looked as though it might be crucial and it was our visitors that claimed on the 54th minute only to be pegged back by a late equalizer. We needed a better performance than this one against a Leeds side that are currently on a terrific run but we failed to produce it. What we did show was resilience and the ability to get something from a game in the last few minutes of it. Leeds will claim with some justification that they were worth a win. They had looked likely to get it for most of the game but it was Villa that ended up the more likely side to find a late winner. My player ratings from a game we needed to win but could not afford to lose are: Mark Bunn – 5 – I have always felt that he has an error in him waiting to come out and so it proved in the 54th minute when Jansson was left unmarked and unchallenged to put Leeds ahead. Bunn with Roofe’s outstretched leg nearby allowed the header to squirm through his hands and over the goal line. Was relieved to see the scorer’s shot rattle against the bar a couple of minutes later after a Chester header had fallen to him unmarked inside of the box. Did well to come out and block Sacko’s effort with his legs on the 77th minute. Alan Hutton – 6 – Alan was steady at the back but he was the closest player to Jansson when he scored their goal without being challenged. Likes a cross as much as Count Dracula does. James Chester - 7 – Headed a nice ball into the box from Amavi just wide of the post in the 32nd minute. Nathan Baker – 7 – Another solid display. Jordan Amavi – 5 – Was fortunate not to pay a heavy price when he lost possession inside the box when trying to let the ball go out for a goal kick on the 40th minute. Was also relieved to see Sacko’s 88th minute shot hit the bar after losing possession and being brushed aside by the striker who was a constant thorn in his side. Jordan Ayew – 4 – Hit a shot wide on the 74th minute. Had a couple of fleeting moments but this was a noticeable drop on the performance he gave and the energy he produced when appearing as a substitute in our last game. Ashley Westwood - 6 – Had a decent game particularly in the first half. Mile Jedinak – 6 – A solid enough midfield performance and won more than his fair share of headers. Tired prior to his substitution and hit his usual share of stray passes. Leandro Bacuna – 5 – Did not reach anything near the level he produced in his last outing. Jack Grealish – 6 – Substituted on 49 minutes having been unable to run off a first half knock. Leeds became increasingly dominant in his absence. Jonathan Kodjia – 7 – MOTM - Took the ball off Phillips in the middle of their half and then beat the same player before hitting a 30-yard shot that took a deflection off a defender before Green parried the ball away to his left. Three minutes earlier he was found on the edge of the box by a poor attempted pass from Phillips but Jansson did well to get across to block his effort that deflected wide of the post. Got in a cross in first half stoppage time that was too firm for anyone to get on the end of after some good work on the edge of the box. Had a 67th minute shot pushed away by Green. He was as cool as a cucumber on the 86th minute when he sent Green the wrong way from the spot for our equalizer and the ball thudded into the right-hand corner of the net. He might have gone on to win it for us in the 91st minute when the ball ran to him on the edge of the box after an aerial challenge between Gestede and a defender but his shot deflected off Green’s shoulder to safety. Jonathan might have considered the alternative of playing the ball to the unmarked McCormack who was in a great position to tap it in on his left. Will be much missed during his coming absence on international duty. Substitutes: Ross McCormack – 6 – Replaced Jack on 49 minutes. Played his part in the build up to our penalty award. Rudy Gestede – 5 - Replaced Jedinak on 78 minutes in what may prove his last appearance for us. It was his head that Cooper decided to push the ball away from with his hand to concede a late penalty after McCormack had played the ball over his head for both players to challenge for. Albert Adomah – 7 - Replaced Ayew on the 78th minute and gave us pace and a threat down the flank that we had been previously missing. Up the Villa & A Happy Promotion New Year to all readers! John Lewis
  12. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  13. This was our first Boxing Day win since 2005 and the first time we have won 5 successive home league games since season 1992-93 when we won 7 on the trot and Villa Park was a fortress, as it now threatens to become again. Burton arrived for the first ever game between the two teams to face an all but full Villa Park. We opened the scoring after 15 minutes but instead of pressing for a decisive second goal we then surrendered too much space in the midfield to our visitors. Burton came increasingly into the game and scored a spectacular equalizer 16 minutes after we had gone ahead. For much of the rest of the game they had looked the more likely of the two sides to get a winner and they were perhaps unlucky to leave Villa Park with nothing to show for their efforts. But our first two substitutions made a real impact on this game and rather than concede as the end of a game neared we continued with our new-found habit of clinching a late winner. This was not the sort of game that will have the extra visitors to Villa Park wanting to rush back to see more of the same but it again demonstrated that under Steve Bruce we have found the happy habit of winning games when we are below par. That gets teams promoted but we may need more than that later this week to win a sixth successive home game against high flying Leeds United. We owe them one after our recent defeat at Elland Road and we need to cut the gap between us and them sooner rather than later. My player ratings from a Boxing Day game that 41,337 fans attended and which took us above the club that dwell on the dark side of the city are: Mark Bunn – 7 – Reacted very well to get a hand to a Brayford header in the fourth minute of stoppage time having got down low to save a shot from the edge of the box from the same player on 25 minutes. Had no chance with Ward’s 31st minute equalizer from a Brayford cross but although the finish was sublime he was allowed too much space with both Hutton and Gardner staying static some way off him. Mark was relieved to see Dyer’s shot hit the post on 73 minutes when beaten. Made decent saves from Ward on 35 minutes and from O’Grady on 77 minutes. Alan Hutton – 5 – Not the easiest of afternoons for Alan and he found some difficulty in coping with Dyer at times. James Chester - 6 – Solid when he needed to be. Nathan Baker – 7 – A rock in our defence who did the simple things right without any unnecessary frills. Jordan Amavi – 6 – Seemed to have his mind elsewhere early on but got more into the game as it wore on. Albert Adomah – 6 – Hit the ball harmlessly over on 62 minutes after a Bacuna cross had fallen to him after Kodjia had failed to connect with it. Gary Gardner - 5 – Substituted at half time having picked up a knock on 43 minutes. Mile Jedinak – 6 – Solid as a barrier in front of our defence which is what he is there for but he cannot be expected to do the whole of our midfield’s job on his own. Leandro Bacuna – 7 – MOTM - A good hard working all round display if still a little bit below the Champions League standard that he set for himself last year! Scored our opener on 15 minutes. He started and finished the move playing the ball out wide to Adomah who hit an inviting cross into the box which Leo headed home powerfully having run on into the box. Hit an effort just wide of the post 4 minutes earlier after the keeper had pushed out a Hutton cross to him inside of the box and McCormack had not got a touch to help the ball in as it sailed past him. Ross McCormack – 6 – Hit our late winner on 78 minutes. Adomah fed Ayew on the right who hit a nice low cross that evaded both McLaughlin and Brayford before Ross controlled the ball at the far post with his left foot and hit it home with his right. I hope he will take confidence from this goal as we will need him to have his shooting boots on next month. Jonathan Kodjia – 5 – Hit a fierce shot from the left on the 80th minute that was off target. Some way off his excellent penetrative best yesterday. Substitutes: Jack Grealish – 7 – Replaced Gardner at half time and brought us some needed creativity. Played a one-two with McCormack before jinking into the box and hitting the ball with his left foot which deflected off McLaughlin into the path of Kodjia who tapped the ball in on the 52nd minute only to be adjudged to have been offside. Jordan Ayew – 7 - Replaced Jedinak on 75 minutes and looked keen to make a positive impression in the short time that he had available to do so. Claimed an assist with the low cross that produced our winner and proved a significant threat to Burton following his introduction. An impressive few minutes and a marked improvement on what he had produced in recent games that he has started. Gabriel Agbonlahor – Replaced Kodjia on the 86th minute and showed some energy by chasing down opponents but was not on long enough to gather a rating. Up the Villa & A Happy Promotion New Year to all readers! John Lewis
  14. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  15. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  16. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  17. This forgettable game was settled by an unforgettable winning goal from Jack Grealish in the 88th minute. Wigan came to Villa Park with limited ambition. They came to frustrate and to claim a point as will other teams as we climb further up the table this season. We started the game well and finished it even better but for over an hour this match appeared to have goalless draw written all over it until Jack struck with his stunning late goal. It is so nice to be scoring late goals rather than conceding them now! We lacked movement up front from forwards who were starved of service by a midfield that lacked creativity. Wigan worked hard, got men behind the ball and on those occasions when this did not prove sufficient resorted to making strong/illegal challenges particularly on Jack Grealish and Jonathan Kodjia in an attempt to keep them both quiet. That worked pretty effectively for them during the first 87 minutes until we went ahead and claimed our fourth successive home win to move just 3 points off the play-off places. We bounced back from defeat at Leeds as we so needed to do yesterday. We did not win with a swagger but successful teams win games when they are some way off their very best and this we did. I hope we also began another lengthy unbeaten or dare we hope a winning run yesterday? That will be put to the test at Norwich in midweek and at QPR next weekend. My player ratings from a game that we collected only our second home win in nine league games against yesterday’s visitors are: Pierluigi Gollini – 6 – A very, very quiet day at the office. Could have sat on a deck chair in the goalmouth for most of this game but it was not really the weather for that. Alan Hutton – 6 – Worked hard and looked solid at the back if something less than a threat when moving into the Wigan half. James Chester - 6 – Another solid and composed performance on a day when our defence was seldom tested. Tommy Elphick – 6 – Tommy eased through this game with little cause for concern being provided by the visitors. That might not have been the case had Wigan been a little more adventurous and started the game with or introduced late substitute Will Grigg earlier than they did. Jordan Amavi – 7 – Another encouraging display. He looks so confident and effective defensively of late and poses a threat when getting forward as he has always done. Clipped an effort just past the post on 7 minutes from inside of the box and Jaaskelainen dived low to his right to gather a shot from outside of the box 4 minutes later after he had picked up a loose ball from a corner. Albert Adomah – 5 – Failed to make the same sort of positive impression on this game that he has done in others lately. Gary Gardner - 5 – Put in a shift as he always does prior to his substitution but he has it in him to impose himself more upon opponents. Mile Jedinak – 6 – Another solid midfield display. Opponents must feel like they have run into a brick wall when they are challenged by Mile. Hit a shot from the edge of the box on 72 minutes straight at Jaaskelainen who gathered the ball easily enough. Jack Grealish – 7 – MOTM – Hit a spectacular winner to claim all three points for us in the 88th minute. A McCormack cross was headed out by a defender and picked up by Jack just outside the box. He then hit an unstoppable shot past Jaaskelainen and into the top right hand corner of the net. Jordan Ayew – 4 – Jordan was disappointingly quiet again yesterday and needs to make a bigger impact on games like this. Lost the ball more than once and noticeably a couple of times near the end when we particularly needed to keep possession. Jonathan Kodjia – 5 – Might have opened the scoring for us in the 14th minute when Adomah found him nicely inside the box but his attempted chip over Jaaskelainen was kept out by the keeper’s outstretched arm. Substitutes: Ross McCormack – 6 – Replaced Gardner on the hour and introduced a bit of much needed energy. Rudy Gestede – 4 - Replaced Adomah on 73 minutes. Rudy provided no threat up front and made little if any positive impression after coming off the bench. Leandro Bacuna – Replaced Jack in the 4th minute of stoppage time so he was not on long enough to gather any rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  18. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  19. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  20. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  21. I think that we are all growing a little more accustomed to that winning feeling that has been absent from Villa Park for far too long. We have now gone five league games unbeaten since the arrival of Steve Bruce and have gathered 11 points from a possible 15 which is promotion form. Brucie has got us organised and appears to have stamped out that habit of conceding late goals that had cost us so dear earlier this season. Our new boss gets the best out of the players that are available to him and has done this since his arrival as he did with his previous clubs. Steve Bruce might have been pleasantly surprised to hear his name being sung with such gusto by the Holte End yesterday but I think this could well become a very regular occurrence. This was a game that looked on paper as a likely home win. So, it proved but only after we had gone a goal behind due to a well taken headed goal from the free-scoring Gallagher who is on loan from Southampton. We at best matched our visitors in the first half and there was little to choose between the two teams until two clinical finishes from Kodjia gave us a second successive home win for the first time since May 2015. My player ratings from a game that cemented our position as the only team in our division not to have tasted a home league defeat this season are: Pierluigi Gollini – 6 – Did well to keep a 20th minute header from Gallagher out at the post and helped a Marshall free-kick from the edge of the box over the bar 5 minutes later. Was left flat footed by Gallagher’s goal which found the corner of the net. Alan Hutton – 5 – His final ball was again found wanting. James Chester - 7 – A very calm and assured display. Nathan Baker – 7 – Faced a difficult opponent in Gallagher who only once got the better of him when he climbed above him to put them ahead. Jordan Amavi – 7 – He is looking better with every game. Albert Adomah – 7 – Provides a wide option for us. Played in some nice crosses and made some decent runs forward yesterday. Gary Gardner – 6 – Miscued on the third minute when an Adomah corner unexpectedly found its way to him past the group of players that lined up in front of him. Hit a powerful shot from outside of the box on the 61st minute that Steele turned around the post. Brings something to our midfield that we had been missing and looks like he is beginning to feel increasingly comfortable in our starting line-up. Mile Jedinak – 7 – Mile is now looking like the player we had expected to see from the start of this season. Produced another solid encouraging display yesterday. Jack Grealish – 6 – Earned us a penalty that led to our equalizer with a nice run into the box on 57 minutes that was only ended when he was brought down by Greer. Jonathan Kodjia – 8 – MOTM – Had a 23rd minute effort punched away by Steele and hit an Adomah corner that fell to him over the bar on 35 minutes. Stepped up with confidence to hit a powerful well struck spot kick into the corner of the net which evaded the reach of Steele on 57 minutes. Hit our winner on 70 minutes but took a knock in doing so that led to his substitution. Jedinak found him wide and he ran towards the near post where he did so well to thread the ball past Lowe and Steele inside the far post with the inside of his right foot. Ross McCormack – 5 – Had a 42nd minute header at the far post from an Adomah cross saved by Steele. Was flagged offside on the hour when he somehow contrived to hit the ball wide from very close range. Turned well and hit an effort that beat Steele on 64 minutes but hit the side netting. Substitutes: Gabriel Agbonlahor – 6 – Was our first substitution when he replaced McCormack on the 68th minute. This represents a surprising rapid return to the fold. The player might not have anticipated this or the warm reception he was given by supporters upon taking the field. Did as well as could be expected considering his need for game time and match fitness. Ashley Westwood – 5 - Replaced Kodjia on 74 minutes to solidify our midfield with the points ours to hold onto. Tommy Elphick – Replaced Grealish on 90 minutes to help shore up our defence in stoppage time but was not on long enough to gather a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  22. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  23. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  24. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  25. What a difference two wins can make. Having won away for the first time in 437 days on Tuesday night we went on to win our second home game of the season yesterday and pulled five points clear of the bottom three. But enough talk of the bottom three we can now look at the top six that we are within six points of. We are coming to get those clubs that currently make up the top six as well as the knuckle draggers from the dark side of the city next weekend. There was to be no late goal conceded by us this time and for a second time within a week it was us that claimed the three points with a late winner. We might have added another two before the final whistle was blown as we finished the game very strongly. Two more wins that would take our winning run to 4 games could well see us in the top half of the table and who would have thought that likely three weeks ago? This was not our best performance although we threatened to run away with the game after taking the lead. It is not a game that will live long in the memory unlike the goal that won it for us which was so well taken. I do however wonder whether it might just be a second win that proves to be a turning point in our season? My player ratings from a game that brought Brucie his 7th point from his first 3 matches and our visitors their first away defeat are: Pierluigi Gollini – 6 – Made a decent save at his near post from Aluko on 44 minutes and tipped a cross over for a corner in the third minute of stoppage time. Alan Hutton – 5 – Did a decent enough job. James Chester - 7 – Looked very good alongside Baker and appeared to have enjoyed wearing the captain’s armband. Nathan Baker – 7 – A solid display and Elphick may not find it too easy to displace him when he recovers from injury. Jordan Amavi – 7 – His best game for us since his return from injury. Looked solid enough at the back and good when coming forward. Leandro Bacuna – 5 – Did a job for us in the middle but I suspect Tshibola might be able to do a better one. Gary Gardner – 6 – Has made a difference to our midfield which had been struggling badly before his introduction. Mile Jedinak – 5 – Played today with players alongside him that have the pace to help him see games out albeit not through to their conclusion. Jordan Ayew – 6 – Forced a one-handed stop from Button on 27 minutes and had a 65th minute free-kick from the edge of the box tipped over the bar by Button. Should have put the result beyond doubt on the 82nd minute when he was put clear by a nice ball from McCormack only to steer the ball wide of the post. Jonathan Kodjia – 7 – MOTM - Hutton found him inside the box and his 10th minute shot from a tight angle was well kept out at the near post by Button. Scored our 80th minute winner after Button’s clearance from outside of his box went straight to Adomah who rather than have a shot himself as the keeper struggled to get back crossed for Jonathan to volley the ball at waist height into the corner of the net. What a great finish that was and it was one that was worthy of winning any game! Headed the ball just wide of the post late in injury time after Button had pushed Adomah’s shot towards him. Rudy Gestede – 4 – Given another start but did little to warrant a further one next weekend for me and I think his place will now come under increased pressure from McCormack. Substitutes: Albert Adomah – 7 – Came on for Gestede on the 55th minute and his introduction played a big part in our improved performance. Made our winner and made a nice run into the box in injury time before getting into a shooting position and forcing a save at his near post from Button. His direct approach and running at defenders makes him a player that can win games for us. Ross McCormack – 6 - Replaced Jedinak on 73 minutes and looked lively. Ashley Westwood – Replaced Ayew on 86 minutes and was not therefore on long enough to gather any rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis