Jump to content

Reserves vs Watford


blandy
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Moderator

Another top reserve offering by the intrepid OBE

A young Villa side went down 2-1 to a hard working Watford in a tetchy encounter at the Bescot.

After the last few weeks of stellar line-ups featuring players like Laursen, Angel, Moore, Hughes and Berger: tonight saw a reserves team made up of some of our younger players, with Osbourne the only player with any first team experience, and Stieber, Albrighton and O’Halloran leading the next generation.

Sadly Adam McGurk was absent for what would have been an opportunity for 90 minutes.

An early arrival at Bescot saw a very full car park, I thought for a moment the reserves bug had caught on. Alas, I think it was Bingo night at the social club as a crowd of around three hundred settled down for the evening’s entertainment. Looking around, it’s worrying to notice how many middle-aged men sitting on their own can mouth all the words to Shakira’s “Hips don’t lie”

Watford have a decent hard working side whom it was apparent were a little older and physically a little more developed than our boys, and they started very well, so well in fact that I worried we might be overrun.

Henderson didn’t do himself any favours by scuffing his first kick straight to a Watford player who hoofed over from thirty yards out.

The longer the game wore on though, the better we got, settling down to play some pretty good football, particularly when Marc Albrighton had the ball. Buoyed by his recent England under 18’s call up, he produced a series of excellent crosses, which we might have done better with, and tormented Watford’s left back.

The first period remained quiet though other than the occasional shout from Kevin McDonald at Yago Bellon, who looks the kind of youngster that needs a lot more stick than carrot. McDonald kept him on his toes throughout.

The game sprang to life however when Lee Williamson, Watford’s combative blue booted midfielder landed a poor tackle on Steiber and picked up a booking. He’d been involved in running arguments with Isaiah Osbourne for most of the evening and it seemed his temper was starting to fray.

It was no surprise then when two minutes later in an aerial challenge with Albrighton he thrust a hand into the Villa mans face.

More of a surprise was that our referee, Miss Rayner failed to send him off, to be fair she was on the wrong side of the incident and received no help from a linesman who was only a few yards away, but tempers were fraying and it was no bad thing that the half time whistle was the next one blown.

The second half was dominated by running skirmishes between Williamson and the Villa midfield, notably in a few scraps with Ozzy who more than held his own. Jonathon “Boss” Hogg was booked after clattering into him from behind, and Williamson should have been sent off after pushing Hogg to the ground towards the end.

Unfortunately, whilst Villa’s youngsters were showing admirable pluck against their more developed counterparts, Al Bangura was quietly beginning to run the game, and it was he who opened the scoring from inside the box on 65 minutes after sloppy play from Hogg, Lund and Lowry had allowed Watford to break.

A minute later, Isiah Osbourne caught one unlucky lad full in the face with a high boot, the noise could be heard all around the ground, and you won’t have heard a more resounding “Oooooh” outside of the some of the more specialised elements of the Swedish film industry.

Thankfully, no damage done, but from the resulting free kick the ball fell again to Bangura whose weak shot seemed to take a bobble or a deflection before nestling into the bottom corner. In all honesty it was no less than he deserved.

A toothless Villa were never likely to come back from that.

Barry Bannan came on for Bellon with fifteen minutes to go and again showed why he’s a big favourite of mine. He’s four foot two and four foot of it is heart. He can play a bit too; he showed some good touches and brought plenty of energy to our attack.

A push in the box allowed him to have his moment in the sun right before the final whistle as he calmly slotted home a spot kick, sending the keeper the wrong way.

It was never going to be enough though, and while we gave it our best, we were ultimately beaten by a more experienced hard working Watford side with their fair share of talent in players like Bangura, Doyley and McNamee. There was no shame in this performance from our youngsters though.

Some ratings:

Henderson (7) – Started a little nervously, scuffing a kick, but didn’t do too much wrong after that. His handling was good; he showed good command of the area and made one very good save. He might be disappointed with the second Watford goal.

Christopher Herd (5) – Struggled with the pace of McNamee, and seemed to get turned too easily. Worked hard though, and gave it his all.

Eric Lund (6) - Equal parts good and bad, he’s big enough and a reasonable athlete, tackled and tracked men well at times but has a tendency to flap at the occasional ball. I think that’s something he’ll grow out of. Didn’t get forward much tonight.

Shane Lowry and Stephen O’Halloran (7) – I thought both did pretty well, they’re tough uncompromising defenders who relished the physical parts of tonight’s encounter. Defended very well but didn’t add much when we had possession.

Isiah Osbourne (7) – A Captains performance, after a comparatively quiet first half he got involved in everything and with everybody, driving through the midfield and tackling anything that moved. At times he looked as if he might lose his composure, and he occasionally looked like a man without a plan, but he certainly put in a days work.

Marc Albrighton (7) – Started really well, bamboozling the Watford right back throughout the first half and producing some lovely balls into the box. Ran out of steam in the second half.

Jonathon Hogg (5) – An unspectacular performance, he struggled to make his mark on Watford midfield two and was guilty of giving away the ball on a couple of occasions.

Tobias Mikaelsson (6) – His height gave us a presence up front, but he didn’t threaten the Watford goal often enough. Still can’t figure him out, a bit like Chris Sutton without the aggression.

Yago Bellon (5) – Not sure this is really his sort of game, and he never really got going down the left hand side. He’s definitely got ability, he just didn’t seem able to get involved enough to show it.

Zoltan Steiber (6) – Perpetual motion from young Zoltan, his good movement and the occasional good cross or set piece meant that he was always involved, but his slight frame meant that he was reasonably easy for the defence to deal with. Ran his heart out for 90 minutes, and if he can keep his work rate and come back bigger next season he could be a cracker.

Subs

Barry Bannan (7) – Some excellent touches, never stopped running and judging by the reaction of his teammates he’s a popular lad around the club. He has no fear and happily took on Watford’s centre halves in the air and on the ground. He’s too big to be this small.

Ciaran Clark (?) – Wasn’t on long enough to get a rating. (Unless he was the player fouled for our penalty, in which case; well done.)

So, a defeat but lessons learned and confidence grown in young men with more than a smattering of talent, ability and pride.

Your next chance to see them: 19th March 19:00 back at the Bescot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He is a treasure.

The game tonight was appalingly bad.

Watford were miles ahead of Villa, not a lot of promise for the future shown from the kids on display tonight.

O'Hallaron had a decent game, Osbourne got stuck in but is let down by his passing, i though Herd had a decent game, but then its all about opinions, Michealsson was simply awful, no pace a poor touch and no strength.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
it’s worrying to notice how many middle-aged men sitting on their own can mouth all the words to Shakira’s “Hips don’t lie”

:lol: I feel their pain. It's just not the same without the video though ;)

And it's 'Isaiah' Osbourne.

Top report though. I'm now a fan of Bannan and I've never even seen him :thumb:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is Bannon really that small?

He's about the same size as Aston and he's 10!!

Fortnight ago he was dwarfed by the schoolboy ballboys

Cannot wait to see him in action.

Seriously?

That is ridiculous. He must be some player if he is still mixing it at that size. How old is he?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is Bannon really that small?

He's about the same size as Aston and he's 10!!

Fortnight ago he was dwarfed by the schoolboy ballboys

Cannot wait to see him in action.

Seriously?

That is ridiculous. He must be some player if he is still mixing it at that size. How old is he?

18.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a lad 34 years ago (just after Brown, the Little brothers, Giddy & Co won the FA Youth Cup) called Ally Cook or Cooke. He was about 5'2" or maybe less and a striker. A sensational little player. Was told he was too small and would never make it, and went back home to his parents' in Carlisle and found another job.

I do hope young Bannan can be stretched. Will there be racks for this at Bodymoor Heath?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is Bannon really that small?

He's about the same size as Aston and he's 10!!

Fortnight ago he was dwarfed by the schoolboy ballboys

Cannot wait to see him in action.

Seriously?

That is ridiculous. He must be some player if he is still mixing it at that size. How old is he?

18.

To be that old and still with the club suggests that maybe he has a future in the game. Does anyone know exactly how tall he is?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

exclamation-mark-man-user-icon-with-png-and-vector-format-227727.png

Ad Blocker Detected

This site is paid for by ad revenue, please disable your ad blocking software for the site.

Â