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Cold Wind - Wigan Away Report


JohnCresswell
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By Blandy (Sorry, missed it off to begin with!)

Another handily local game, for me, even if the kick off time was handy for no-one, but Sky TV.

As is traditional with these match reports, I can remember more about the build up to the game, than about the game itself. Today perhaps that's no bad thing as the game was, as you'll probably know by now, scoreless.

To make up for the lack of goals perhaps, the pre-match build up started for myself and Paul "the Pants" Johnson on Saturday night. We decided to go for a couple of pints, meeting up at 7 in the (most excellent) Taps, in Lytham. As is often the way with these things "a couple of pints" turned out to be slightly more than a couple, but why not? Good beer, good pub, good company - can't beat it. Having missed my tea, I made do with wolfing down a chicken kebab sometime after 11. During the course of the conversation Paul offered to drive to Wigan, thus saving me from the travails of North West Trains replacement bus service, or of driving myself.

And so to this morning. We made the short trip to Wigan, and "the Anvil" pub for a couple of (excellent again) pints of nourishing ale.

A quick walk up to the "JJB" under clear blue skies, a chat in the ground with Drat, Villain and Chris and to our seats.

Stan Petrov was out, as was Laursen, and Gav, so Whitts came in on the left, with GB in the centre and Ozzy keeping his place. On the right we had the threat of Gabby.

Almost from the kick off, Wigan playing towards us would have scored but for a great save from Tommy, from a header by McCulloch. For the next 30 minutes Wigan were by far the dominant side - our midfield was not getting hold of the ball, and the defence looked shakey. Gary Cahill was, perhaps unsurprisingly looking a bit tentative in his second game back.

Fortunately for Villa, Henri Camara had replaced his shooting boots with a pair of bananas and as a result he lashed several good chances well wide. Tommy also made further saves.

In the last 15 minutes of the half we finally got a grip and the game became more even. Whitts might have scored, and JPA had a volley deflected wide.

The second half was similar to the first in that Wigan had control of the game for the first half hour, and then it evened up. Subs for Villa helped us in that respect - Whitts was replaced by Agathe, who did well, GB moved to the left and Stevie D came on into the middle (replacing JPA) also to good effect. Gabby moved into the middle.

In this second half our best chance fell to Gareth Barry who was put through by a nice "leave" by Sutton, but he lashed over with his right foot, when he should perhaps have gone across the keeper, or found Angel in the middle.

We had a fair bit of pressure late on, in front of the Villa fans, but the sequence of corners came to now't, and shots were blocked.

We shivered through to the end and collected a point, rather than dropping two points.

A result for being obdurate, rather than for any great flair, but a result all the same.

Some marks

Tommy - excellent - 8

Olly - passing not great on occasion - 6

Freddie Bouma - did quite well - 6

Ridge - Solid - 7

Gary Cahill - seemed nervous - 5

Gabby - took a while to get into the game, but got better as it went on -7

Whitts - another looking a bit timid - 5 (Agathe 7)

Ozzy - committed - 6

Gareth Barry - some lovely passes, better when moved left - 7

JPA - 5 (Steve Davis 6)

Sutton - 7

The ref, Steve Bennet, had a decent game - "sensible" I'd call it.

To all the fans who went, top marks and a woolly hat for chrimbo. And thanks to Paul.

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Nice report.

Fortunately for Villa, Henri Camara had replaced his shooting boots with a pair of bananas and as a result he lashed several good chances well wide..

:crylaugh: Brilliant. His shooting was really terrible.

I can't claim the "banana" thing as my own - someone started a chant "he's got bananas on his feet" and then when he dived it was "he must have slipped on a banana" and so on.

Little things that keep me happy :)

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I thought you were a bit tough in your marking of Bouma,but thats only my opinion.Considering how young that AV team was I was extremely proud of how they played.I was watching from New Zealand & with the way Mr. O'Neil has got them playing I almost feel I want to come home( only kidding).IT DOES MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD.

Des

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By Blandy (Sorry, missed it off to begin with!)

Gary Cahill - seemed nervous - 5

In my opinion, Cahill deserved more than 5/10. 2 clean sheets away from home is excellent for us.

Nice report.

Indeed. From my TV vantage i'd have given him a7. At least as good as Ridge, IMO.

2 cleanies from 2 Cahill games, both away from home against tough opposition. Good work fella :)

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Thanks Pete! Like the Banana comment and after he scooped that shot in 1st half how the Villa fans sang "Are you Heskey in Disguise"

As ever the fans sounded great despite not having a lot to sing about!!

and to their sub with red boots - 'He'e got tomatoes on his feet' - before he'd even touched the ball.

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