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Standing up to be counted


LancsVillan
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Well last night saw Aston and I on our annual pilgrimage all of 20 miles across the county to Ewood Park. Once more we were delighted to leave a few hours later with a win and three points in the bag for the Villa.

When we parked in the car park - which it has to be said is probably the most organised football car park we ever see - it was noticeable that most of those around us seemed to be Villa fans.

Ewood it seems is turning into one of those away trips that everyone wants to get to and rightly so. We walked down the hill noticing Claret n Blue in the pubs, the Fernhurst was packed as per usual, HEITS resounded out of the open windows.

Normally I would go in, but the no U18s rule was in place, as per April and Aston at 11 cannot really get away with it.

So it was down to the ground to pick up the tickets, passing some tramp asking for spare change on the way and then into the ground. Immediately seeing that we had the whole of the Lower Darwen and that is was filling up nicely.

Aston and his mate, Jack (a united fan, so it's a start on the path to righteousness), went out and exchanged words with Scott Carson and Stuart Taylor who were warming up, made their night before the game even started.

The fans were singing as always and the players came out, the ref did one of a very few things he did right all night and kicked off.

Villa got the ball down and seemed to be taking up where we left off on Saturday, we pressed them into conceding a couple of quick corners from which nothing came. I could imagine Rob and Ryu on the match thread 'We're ace at corners'...

Blackburn as expected started to play themselves, they seemed at least our equal and were pressing, not as expected down our right, but mostly down our left.

Emerton and Ooijer were linking very well and Ashley was needed to support Bouma.

Three shots well saved by Scott Carson and a very tight offside goal ruled out later and we had weathered the storm of 20 mins. Then it was once more our turn to get the ball down with some nice passing moves without creating too much.

A rash challenge by some fat bloke on Ashley saw the aggrieved player swing in a cross, Samba left John Carew and Friedel came into no-mans land, only going to be one winner there. 1-0 Villa and although on the balance of play a little harsh on t'Rovers we were not arguing.

Half-time came and went with the lads reporting to me just how idiotic some Villa 'fans' can be, more details of which are on the main forum.

The second half started and as expected t'Rovers pushed on a little more. We were under pressure, but nothing that a couple of well timed challenges and clearances from the defence could not see off.

We broke and the ball was in the box, Gabby was adjusting his feet to blast in the second when he was firstly tugged back and almost simultaneously saw his standing foot knocked. Some will say he made the most of it and went down easily, but for me he was going to score, no doubt about it, so the pen and the Red Card were the right decision.

Gareth Barry slotted in the pen to make amends for missing in the same game last year. 2-0 Villa and the Villa faithful were having a party making it like a home game, though I've not heard us like that at VP for years barring the derby of 2006.

From there on in Villa played the ball around, Blackburn huffed and puffed played some nice stuff and had one good chance, this saw an absolute rocket shot get headed away by Freddie Bouma, I though at first it simply hit him but on the replay you could see him move to the ball, something he regretted for the rest of the match as he could be seen shaking off what will be one hell of a headache until the final whistle.

The third goal came from an excellent, skilful run from Olaf Mellberg, yes that's right MELLBERG was maruading down the right, slipped the ball to NRC who in turn found , Gabby. His cut back, meant I think for JC to be fair, found Ashley who cut in past his marker and hit a swerving dipping shot passed the outstretched hand of Friedel to send us all into raptures. 3-0 Villa and with pace being the trick it was a case of how many we would get as chances were spurned by the excellent JC, Gabby and Young again, though to be fair he was pushed and it should have been Pen no.2.

Gabby went down just as JC was readying himself to come off and so it was that the much maligned Marlon Harewood was to see himself restored to the first team fray. (Something I mentioned as being a good idea in a txt prior to the game to Bickster who was otherwise engaged along with Blandy for the night; when I say engaged they were with Interpol, not betrothed to one another)

To my surprise there were some boos mingled with the cheers, how anyone could boo a Villa player when we are three up away from home! The guy behind me and I had some playful banter. Marlon made a nuisance of himself, he always does. Could have been found by JC on one break; hit a shot in that was blocked on another and then he did it - he scored - JC was through again and his shot was saved but big Marlon was there to chest the ball down and volley in from fully 30, ok 8 yards. 4-0 and even Harewood scored.... Cue the guy behind me laughing all over his face at our abuse and him running off to the front to celebrate with his hero.

The game ended, the players came over to thank us four our constant singing and support, a good night for all and home by 11. Excellent

Ratings:

Carson - 8 for ten minutes hge kept us in the game with three excellent saves. Always in the right place at the right time

Mellberg - 7 Superb, kept Bentley (subbed) quiet and his run for the third goal was excellent.

Laursen - 6 strangely under par but it could simply be the expectation levels I have of him now. Found the Rovers front two a handful all night

Knight - 8. Simply superb from him last night. I though he was our best defender helping out ML when he was caught out twice and carefully deflected one shot wide.

Bouma - 7 so wants to get forward when we are winning. Good in defence even if Emerton was a their MotM I thought, especially 1st half.

Petrov - 8 Out of positions - or is he - covered loads of ground. One run of his was sublime beating three Rovers players with close control and pure skill before an excellent cross.

NRC - 6 Sorry but until we went a man ahead I could not see what he was adding to the MF. GB and Petrov were doing more scrapping. After that though he was a lot better in the space allowed to him.

GB - 7 Better from GB and again his mark could reflect the expectation placed on him, he may have been better.

Young - 7 Ashley when your own player is up against two you need to get back a bit quicker. Far better in the second half and nice celebration. BUT gloves!! it wasn't even cold

Gabby - 6 Ran, harassed won a penalty. First touch let him down a few times I though he wasn't quite there tonight.

JC - 8 MotM. Awesome a real handful all night created two and was involved in most of our good moves. His one on one with the Rovers DF (Reid?) towards the end showed how close he is to being the complete striker.

Subs:

Gardner and Harewood did what you expect of professionals coming on in that position not long enough to mark.

MO'N: 8 We have a way of playing. Pace is the key; it works we win. Superb to see him rollocking a player one second and waving to the masses the next.

FANS: 10 singing from start to finish it really was an honour to be there.

Oh yes back to the title.

Standing up to be counted.

1. The Villa fans, not for one second did we sit down and not once was their an issue with it, the police and stewards seemed to accept it. It can done and it can be safe.

2. Scott Carson - abused by their fans from start to finish, stood up to it with another clean sheet.

3. Gareth Barry - similar abuse put in the type of performance that got him into the England set up.

4. Of course it has to be....

....Marlon Harewood - regardless of the timing of his appearance he was up for it in warmup; during half-time and whilst on the pitch. Nice one.

Til Wigan....

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Nice report, Al. S'almost like I was there....

Really sad to see that idiots trashed the toilets. That type of thing is completely pathetic. It means Villa fans will suffer with heavy policing at future games, that the club suffers in terms of reparation costs, our reputation suffers.

Utter, utter, braindead w*nkers.

Anyway, a cracking result, a good performance, onwards and upwards.

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Really sad to see that idiots trashed the toilets. That type of thing is completely pathetic. It means Villa fans will suffer with heavy policing at future games, that the club suffers in terms of reparation costs, our reputation suffers.

Utter, utter, braindead w*nkers.

indeed.

feckin loo-sers ..... :winkold:

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Really sad to see that idiots trashed the toilets. That type of thing is completely pathetic. It means Villa fans will suffer with heavy policing at future games, that the club suffers in terms of reparation costs, our reputation suffers.

Utter, utter, braindead w*nkers.

indeed.

feckin loo-sers ..... :winkold:

yeah...completley potty....

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Nice one, Lancs.

Shame about the rule you couldn't go in for a beer because of Aston and his less-informed mate. Can you carry a beer out of the pub in a plastic cup?

Can you believe the FoxSoccerChannel that aired the game actually began the Blackburn Fullham replay instead? So that I didn't tape the match to see later because I thought they were playing Fulham Blackburn...then later on they switched it to live but I was already gone to work, no Villa Blackburn to watch until I got home.

Tossers.

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