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Reserves v Fulham 13th Feb Match Report


LancsVillan
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by me

you need to get down to watch the reserves screamed Scott - OutByEaster so given that work commitments found me in the capital on Tuesday I duly accepted the invitation.

Setting off from work to somewhere called Motspur Park on a somewhat fresh evening all seemed ideal.

However, in between the tube and the overland train it started to rain and then never stopped until, well I don't know as I was tucked up in my hotel room by then.

Enough of this drivel and onto the game.

Villa lined up with a weaker side than last week but it was noticeable that with Jlloyd, Crazy Horse Martin, Gardner, Izzy and Luke through the middle that there was a good deal of the first team squad in place.

Villa: Taylor; Lund, O'Halloran, Laursen, Samuel; Osbourne, Y Bellon, Gardner, Stieber; Moore, McGurk.

Fulham's only recognisable player being some big fat geezer in midfield who I was sure I'd seen before but having been on the phone when their team was read out I missed his name.

The first half flew by with Villa having four or five good chances and two excellent ones for Luke, all spurned. It seemed only a matter of time before we took the lead and the most likely threat seemed to be an O'Halloran header from excellent corners from Zoltan Steiber, being as he'd had three goes and had forced one good save. He did also put one effort out for a throw for a level of context though.

We played some good football and dues to a master class in central defending from Crazy Horse we were hardly troubled at the back. Indeed such was the dominance of CH and Jlloyd I forgot that Jlloyd is a left back.. yes he played very assured in this new position.

Half time we all went inside for a beer to be informed there was no bar and that only tha academy players could have toast. Explained pleasantries with Jack Woodward and asked him if he was actually commenting on the game this week. The sound of this remark going straight over (through!) his head was noticeable. Then a brief glimpse of Martin O'Neill - yes a chance to say hello, shake hands - but he was through the lounge quicker than I could even type those words. Not a glance or a word to the assembled Villa masses; that is mass by weight not numbers as there were about 10 of us all told.

The second half started and I relocated from my Billy no mates position to one near some othe Villans, but more of that later.

We started off brightly, Sam Williams replaced Adam McGurk who had picked up a knock in the first half and the game opened up somewhat. We still never looked like conceding when we did. The afore mentioned fat geezer found himself free 20 yards out, hard to imagine a hole big enough to give him that space, but it was there and then a sublime, I say sublime, I mean of those scuffs from one foot that catches the other and loops up over a helpless Stuart Taylor into our net. Even the Fulhamites were amazed. Not as amazed as we were when off did run, trot, the scorer to celebrate in fabulous style at the back of the burger van. Why wasn't I surprised he knew where that was! The scorer was one Ian Pearce... thought he'd retired and then I found out he's only 32!

This spurred our lads on as we assumed a position of dominance with both Zoltan and Yago Bellion hitting in some excellent crosses. we tested the keeper with some long range efforts, we tested the linesman with some light hearted abuse from the sidelines.

Further good work from Gardner and Izzy fed the ball to Bellion who just as I implored him to pass it back for Eric Lund, whipped in another cross, finding Luke in the middle for a very nice finish. 1-1.

Then another in the long line of strange subs this season. We brought off the hard working and creative Bellion for Jon Hogg. This changed our midfield somewhat and took us another few minutes to get it back together. As time was running out we were the only side looking likely to score when Sam Williams was felled by an awful tackle from some Fulham thug. We looked at one another, the players looked at one another, the crack from the collision was THAT loud. That must be a broken leg - luckily it wasn't and even more bizarrely Sam got up brushed himself down an played on. The thug was duly off and in the tub before he recovered though and rightfully so.

The game heated up for a little while and injury time saw us pressing without any real chances. The last being a long range effort but straight at the keeper from Craig Gardner.

Some ratings and notes:

Taylor 7 : Based on catching both corners and having very little else to actually do.

Eric Lund : 6 Dependable and did what he had to, the similarity in looks and even style with Laursen are spooky.

Crazy Horse Laursen - 8 MotM Class oozed from everything he did. When he mistimed a header in the 85th minute even the Fulham academy players behind me were amazed.

Jlloyd - 7 better in the air than you think it seems, still stroked the ball about like he doesn't have a care in the world but at this level looked like a first teamer should.

Stephen O'Halloran - 7 better than last week as he kept possession well and linked very well with Steiber on the left.

Yago Bellion - 6 a rather anonymous first half, but that could be because it was dark on that side and we couldn't necessarily see what he was doing! Second half he saw more of the ball and his crossing was very good.

Gardner 7 looked like player with first team experience; good tackling, quick feet, accurate passing.

Osbourne 7 as with Craig he looked a level up, especially from the Fulham players. His work rate is truly excellent.

Zoltan Steiber 7 On the smallish side I thought but makes up for that with his work rate. Up and down his wing and delivery of crosses (one in particular in the 1st half) and corners was excellent.

Adam McGurk 6 only on for the first half, looked a little lost after picking up a knock after 25mins. Before that he was lively and provided the link between the forwards and midfield.

Luke 6 For those who believe he could lead the line in the Prem, then you are mistaken as he couldn't do it at this level in the first half and he didn't look ar purvey an interest level I expected of someone looking to play soon. Second half he was far better when Sam Williams played the target role.

Subs:

Sam Williams 6 Played through the middle and is far more accepting of that physical requirement. Was very lucky to not break his leg.

Jon Hogg hard to mark but 6. Good battling when the game got heated never shirked a thing.

To be honest it was a game we dominated and really should have won. When I asked one of the coaches from Fulham they reckoned the difference was no Marc Allbrigton /JPA.

Credit to Luke too at the end. He was soaked and still answered the high pitched wailing from 'Puker' asking for a picture. And never let on that he surprised this request was actually from a 20something bloke and his brother!

We then retired to the pub where I found out that the chaps I was talking to were -Puker, Beast, Rich and Pritch, two of whom are lurkers on here. Beast is currently two thirds of the way through completing a season of attending every game - every credit and see you all in Barnet for the game next week versus some team called Arsenal

Al

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Luke 6 For those who believe he could lead the line in the Prem, then you are mistaken as he couldn't do it at this level in the first half and he didn't look ar purvey an interest level I expected of someone looking to play soon. Second half he was far better when Sam Williams played the target role.

hopefully against fulham we can see him upfront with big john playing the target man role.

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Luke 6 For those who believe he could lead the line in the Prem, then you are mistaken as he couldn't do it at this level in the first half and he didn't look ar purvey an interest level I expected of someone looking to play soon. Second half he was far better when Sam Williams played the target role.

hopefully against fulham we can see him upfront with big john playing the target man role.

He needs to play alongside someone who will do the physical stuff that is for sure. At times he looked totally disinterested and I hoped it wasn't him being 'billy big boots', he has the talent of that I'm quite sure it's just the application that I wonder about.

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Luke 6 For those who believe he could lead the line in the Prem, then you are mistaken as he couldn't do it at this level in the first half and he didn't look ar purvey an interest level I expected of someone looking to play soon. Second half he was far better when Sam Williams played the target role.

hopefully against fulham we can see him upfront with big john playing the target man role.

He needs to play alongside someone who will do the physical stuff that is for sure. At times he looked totally disinterested and I hoped it wasn't him being 'billy big boots', he has the talent of that I'm quite sure it's just the application that I wonder about.

I have heard of him showing this kind of attitude in reserve games before.

TBF i think when ever he has played in the first team he has worked hard for the team.

I have no real problem with him feeling he is better than playing reserve level football, there is nothing wrong with a bit of cockyness however if that attitude is shown in the first team and he doesn't back it up with performances then i'd worry for him.

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LM - he had the same attitude when playing for the youths when he was a reservist and occasional bench visitor for the first team. He needs to look at the way the other first teams applied themselves as they were all excellent.

Laursen kept talking to the 'kids' whenever there was a break in play.

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LM - he had the same attitude when playing for the youths when he was a reservist and occasional bench visitor for the first team. He needs to look at the way the other first teams applied themselves as they were all excellent.

Laursen kept talking to the 'kids' whenever there was a break in play.

TBF i would imagine most 16/17 year old lads after making it into the reserves of the first team bench would go back to their youth team mates with a bit of a cocky attitude.

As long as he performs well for the first team i don't see a problem with having a cocky attitude, he is still only 21 so i'm sure over time he will mature as well.

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Great report Lancs !

Looking forward to your Arsenal one, hope you didn't get too wet.

Hopefully you'll get to see Albrighton against the Gunners.

Luke only really sparked into life in the last game after he'd scored, he's a bit of a mood player in some ways.

Laursen is an awesome sight at that level though isn't he, and as you say, a great pro.

I think Steiber is only young, I hope he can grow. He's got some talent.

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hey as a villan exiled in barnet and living a spit away from underhill what time is the game and how do you get tickets...

for those going and in need of liquid refreshment there is the red lion, the queens head and the Weavers. Might be full of gooners though :?

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the game is on the 27th it seems not this Tuesday as I first thought. There is not need to get tickets there will not be that many there. I also think that with the Coca-Cola cup game just before and the CL just after that we'll see a lot of Arse's youngsters

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It was good to meet you on Tuesday Al!

I think you've pretty much managed to get everything in the report, even the 'Lukey-picture' incident!!

Let's hope our nickname of 'Crazy Horse' Laursen sticks...

Anyway, here is said picture in all it's glory:

l_dfb3267ce5b206a54f80b407f256c5cd.jpg

See you in Barnet.

Tub (aka Puker)

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