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This Season 
 Match Report 2000-01 - Aston Villa (h) 
 Premier Reserve League - North
Date: Tuesday 20th March 2001, 7pm

Venue: Kingston Park. 

Conditions:  Fine and wind-free for once, but bitingly cold.


Newcastle United 0 - 1 Aston Villa


Half time: Newcastle 0 Aston Villa 0

57 mins.  A corner from the Villa left was sent over by Standing and flicked on by Moore at the near post. Cooke was on hand in the centre of the goal to finish with a rudimentary headed goal from close range.  0-1

Full time: Newcastle 0 Aston Villa 1

Match Highlights

16 mins Debutant Cowan found himself the furthest man forward down the United right as he chased a diagonal crossfield ball from Glass. His challenging header on a closing defender saw the ball continue forward into the Villa box, but it ran out before Cowan could gain control.

30 mins The lively Moore burst down the Villa left and rounded McGuffie, despite the United player grabbing a handful of his shirt. His low cross passed dangerously across the United six yard line and was shepherded out for a corner by Beharall.

37 mins Bobby Robson took his seat in the stand. He'd missed nowt.

39 mins A speculative effort from Bonvin was diverted for a corner as the home side finally seemed to be waking up. From Boyd's setpiece, McGuffie climbed highest at the far post but his header was placed well wide - a poor imitation of Gary Caldwell.

41 mins A long ball out of defence from Beharall reached Coppinger, and he juggled the ball at his feet on the edge of the box before producing a weak shot that the visiting keeper gathered without difficulty.

43 mins Hylton and Mealugh sandwiched Gavilan in midfield to give away a free kick, the Paraguayan having picked up a miscued pass from a Villa defender. McClen wasted no time in whipping the ball out to the right, where Cowan returned it low and hard towards the Villa front post. A corner was won, but again came to precisely nought.

49 mins Coppinger and Bonvin combined on the left edge of the Villa box, only for the latter to blaze his shot embarrassingly wide of the goal.  

57 mins Opening goal for Villa (see above)

60 mins
More danger from the visitors through Bewers, who latched on to a pass to smartly turn inside a defender to the right of Karelse's goal and try a shot from 15 yards that the keeper was able to block.

80 mins
After a stream of poor challenges and one warning from the lenient official, Jay Smith was finally shown the yellow card after dumping Boyd on his backside in the centre circle.

86 mins A good save was required from Karelse as the United defence allowed Moore a sight of goal, the Dutch keeper flinging himself to his left and palming away a strong shot. 

90 mins
Gavilan roused himself from his slumbers for the only time in the game as his twisting run took him past a number of defenders. However, in keeping with the team performance on the night, he placed his low shot well wide of the Villa goal. 

We Said

A despondent Tommy Craig told journalists:

"That was a bad performance, we were poor throughout and didn't play at anywhere near the level we've shown recently."

"The biggest problem was that our passing game was lacking at times, there wasn't a lot happening out there. There were no runs from us or shots on goal, overall it was a poor performance and i'm disappointed considering the way we've been playing recently."

"Having been in the bottom three of the reserves league all season we had the chance to push up into the top five and didn't take it. We failed to take the opportunity."


Absolute cobblers i'm afraid. Barely a single memorable moment to report upon for the black and whites all evening, as a couple of team changes turned a winning side into a motley collection of directionless individuals.

Gary Caldwell's promotion to the Scotland U21 squad meant that McGuffie moved into the centre of defence and at right back David Cowan graduated to the reserve side after four previous non-playing sub appearance.  While the newcomer didn't do an awful lot wrong on his debut, the defence as a whole looked uneasy and McGuffie and Beharall in the centre didn't exude confidence. To complete the defensive ensemble, Stephen Glass hung around on the left flank but failed to contribute much to the backline, or the forwards to be honest.

Up front, Coppinger looked thoroughly miserable throughout, and was partnered by Bonvin, who had looked good against Liverpool playing in the "hole" behind Cort and LuaLua. Unfortunately this game again proved that the Argentinean is not a natural centre forward.....

With Gavilan back to his worst, it was left to the engine room of McClen and Boyd to try and provide a basis for mounting attacks, and the odd decent piece of play was swamped by over-hit passes and frequent loss of possession. The belated introduction of LuaLua for the invisible Dimas at least gave the crowd something to whisper about, but unfortunately after a few seconds of trying to pass the ball, "little treasure" reverted to type and tried to dribble through the whole Villa team. Whether the shouts of encouragement from the crowd were to blame for this is unclear, but he looked again far from the 2m plus player he should be.

On this evidence, the sooner this season of inconsistency comes to an end the better. The lads looked a thousand miles away from what they'd been in previous weeks, and a total failure to create chances or test the Villa goalkeeper was the most disturbing element, in stark contrast to our deserved 3-1 victory at Villa Park barely six weeks ago. If mitigating circumstances could be pinpointed, only five of the starting XI in the home game were those who started at Villa, but that's a  thin excuse.

We now have only one home game, left against Manchester United, (plus the Senior Cup final, assuming we can topple the might of Ponteland) and three trips to Yorkshire. Next Tuesday sees us at Bootham Crescent, York, against Leeds, then we travel to the two clubs below us in the league - Bradford and Sheffield Wednesday. At the time of writing the Owls have managed precisely two draws and thirteen defeats from their 15 games; it would sum up our season perfectly if we became the Hillsborough fall guys.....    



Page last updated 14 July, 2016