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Villa Old Stars 3 Streetly Select 1 - Match Report


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by "stato"

This afternoon I decided to pop down the road to Veseyans Rugby Club in Streetly and see the Vila Old Stars take on a Streetly Select in the glorious sunday sunshine.

A crowd of 500 plus witnessed a Paul Birch hatrick give Villa a comfortable 3 - 1 victory and if it wasn't for an inspired performed by the Steetly keeper, it could have been triple the scoreline.

The star attractions in the Villa side were European Cup winners Tony Morley, Sid Cowans and Des Bremner. Also in the starting line up were players such as Paul Birch, Bryan Small and Phil King, who I was glad to see given this week's announcement of the pre season friendly matchup with Inter!

Small started at left back, Darren Bradley at right back and the two centre halves were Neil Rioch and Des Bremner. King was in the middle of the park with Sid whilst Morley and Birch were on the wings. Upfront, Ivor Linton (who was a centre half wasn't he?!?!) partnered Darren Roberts who actually use to play for Wolves, but was a guest player for the Villa today due to him scoring a hatrick against Blues on his debut! Nobody seemed to know who was in goal unfortunately.

Villa dominated pretty much throughout and the impressive Birch had a penalty appeal turned down in the first action of any significance. Bremner made a run forward down the right but his cross was put over by a falling Ivor Linton. Cowans then rolled back the years with a raking through ball to Birch who brought a fantastic save from the Streetly keeper. Shortly afterwards, Streetly produced their first attempt at goal after some great build-up play, but the striker couldn't keep his volley down from about 8 yards out and fired over. Bryan Small, on one of his many marauding runs up field from left back, cut in and shot right footed to force another good save from the keeper. Tony Morley shortly after did the same thing and with the same outcome. Phil King, increasingly coming into the game, then had a great header brilliantly pushed wide of the post by the man between the sticks for Streetly. Birch finally broke the deadlock when a cross found it's way through a number of players to him all alone at the corner of the box. His slightly sliced volley looped over the keeper and into the top corner. 1 - 0 Villa. Streetly looked dangerous coming forward a few minutes later but the attack came to the end when their number 2, who was bizarrely playing up front, went arse over tit for the 2nd time in the game! Villa were then awarded a penalty after a bouncing ball in the box struck a hand. Up stepped Bryan Small. But he could only balloon the ball miles over the bar, nearly into the car park. There were some Rugby posts not far behind the goal, so maybe he was aiming for these? Next up the Streetly left winger tried to imitate Gareth Barry's wonderstrike at home to Spurs last season, but his curling effort unluckily came back off the crossbar. It didn't get any better for Small moments later when his downward header bounced up and onto the bar! Villa had a couple more wayward efforts before the ref called an end to the first half proceedings.

Ian Ward replaced Roberts at the break. Small was forced off through injury early on the 2nd half after falling awkwardly in the Streetly box. Morley was coming more into the game and caused all sorts of problems down the left, winning a number of corners. King then fired in from long range which saw the keeper sprawling to his right before just getting his hands to the ball. From the resultant corner, the ball found it's way to Birch who's right footed effort was deflected into the net to double Villa's advantage. Shortly afterwards Bradley smashed a shot against the top of the post as Villa looked to press home their advantage. Morley had another effort blocked by the keeper before Linton did well to turn and get in a shot only to see it turned out for a corner. Bradley fired over before Linton replicated his previous effort but again couldn't find a way past the Streetly keeper. A raking corner from Cowans found Birch at the back post, but his volley crashed off the cross bar to deny him his hatrick for a few minutes longer. Streetly then made a rare foray forward but were caught offside which brought a chorus of boos from the crowd who wanted to see them get back into the game. I sure didn't! Moments later they WERE back in the game after being given a penalty when the ball was punched off the line by a Villa defender. Streetly's number 8 calmly slotted the ball home with 20 minutes to go. Ivor Linton somehow missed from 6 yards out before being denied once more by the keeper. Ward then found himself through on goal after a great flick from Morley but the inspired Streetly keeper once again denied the Villa onslaught. Birch finally put the game to bed, completing his hatrick, tapping in at the far post after a great run and cross from the left by Cowans. Ward then controlled inside the box before volleying on the turn straight at the keeper. King threaded Bradley in but he embarrassingly kicked nothing but air with the goal at his mercy. Ward blazed over when it was easier to score, before a majestic pass from Cowans was headed goalwards by Roberts (who had come back onto the pitch by the way!). Once more the keeper plucked it out of the air. Morley then had his ankles clipped and was none too happy, spending the next few minutes chuntering away to himself. The final act of the game saw Roberts unable to score when he really should have done.

An enjoyable afternoon out in fantastic weather. Well worth the 3 quid entry fee!

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Ha ha ha! Bryan Small misses a penalty! Some things will never change. I hope he hasn't broke anything from his fall, if he has I may actually consider going to the Masters.

Marauding run?! Bryan Small? I nearly choked on my Hob Nob!

Nice to see that Birchy is doing the biz still, a really nice bloke who was a favourite of mine as a kid.

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Why do you hate Smally so much? Is it cos 'e iz black?

No I have loads of black friends, I play snooker with some of them, right on! LOL.

It is primarily because he is a blose badge kisser. Not really much else other than him being shit for us and something about his personality. Smally was always a poor mans 'Big time' Neil Cox, I didn't like him either by the way.

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