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Fulham Reserves 0 - 3 Aston Villa Reserves


limpid
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Tubby provides the match report from the latest victory by our more than capable second string. This time it was Fulham who were on the receiving end in what was a comfortable 3 - 0 Villa win.

I got to the game twenty minutes into the first half thanks to South West trains so I can not comment on that period but for what I can, I can't really add too much more to what choffer has already said. It was all Villa and I can't really remember Fulham having a proper shot at goal.

Isaiah Osbourne ran the first half, he was strong, clearly more developed than any other player on the pitch and looked a class above. He linked well with his midfield colleagues, but Fulham were resolute and broke up most of the play and the ball rarely got forward to Nathan and Andreas. The break through that was the penalty came at a time of pure pressure by Villa, Nathan had the ball on the left side of the box, moved the ball (from what I could see as my view was impaired) and was tackled from behind leaving the ref no real choice. BB slotted the ball hard a left into the bottom corner.

That was it for the first half, however Nathan was clearly left uncomfortable from the challenge that forced the penalty which resulted in him leaving the play a few minutes into the 2nd half being replaced by James Collins. An early goal was well deserved as Villa flew out of the blocks and carved Fulham open. Weimann picked up a through ball and rounded the keeper twice before placing it into the now empty net. This half was dominated by the defence who were impeccable. Clark and Baker at the back dealt with everything that came their way and looked like seasoned pro's. They were ably assisted by Roome on the right and Lichaj playing on the left (I think it was that way around) who both tackled hard and cut out any wide opportunities. That left Bannan to take over from where Osbourne left the first half and absolutely dominate. He was everywhere and caused so many problems for Fulham that it opened the game up for Albrighton and Hofbauer on the wings to provide crossing opportunities for the big man up front and the the ever threatening Weimann. Shots came for everywhere at the Fulham end, as did set piece opportunities and goal mouth scrambles. Their keeper was very good saving most of what came his way as the Villa started trying to be too fancy and almost trying to hard, James Collins the main culprit here. The inevitable third did come eventually as Weimann made an opportunity in the box count (possibly on the break I can't quite remember) slotting low from 12 yards out with a minute to go. Following the goal Forrester and McGurk came on but had little time to add much.

On what was a night of pure dominance by the Villa 2nd string, here are my ratings:

Marshall 6 - Nothing to do all night, was very vocal as previously suggested.

Roome 7 - Did everything expected him and supported Albrighton well.

Lichaj 7 - See Roome and replace Albrigton with Hofbauer.

Clark 7 - Didn't even get of first gear but looked class all the way.

Baker 7 - Helped closed down attacks through the middle from a poor Fulham attack.

Albrighton 7 - Needed the space in the 2nd half to make and impact but was excellent with his crossing as always.

Hofbauer 6 - Much quieter than his colleague on the alternate wing but worked well with Weimann up front.

Bannan 8 - MOTM, he was outstanding in the 2nd half, picking the ball up from deep and moving forward with devestating intent. Good player, still concerned about his size though.

Osbourne 7 - Dominated the first half, was clearly too good for this level but not Premiership class.

Weimann 7 - Many a chance and made 2 count, the first being an excellent individual finish. He has good composure and makes good runs, will be interesting to see how he develops.

Delfouneso 6 - Won the penalty following a break beyond the defence that was not his first of the game. Otherwise he was constantly battling in the air but didn't win much in a tight first half. I hope he get's some first team action this season.

Collins 6 - Replaced Nathan early in the second half and worked well with Bannan and Albrighton though was wasteful and clumsy at times.

Forrester and McGurk had little time to make an impact.

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