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Dave’s Villa Blog

CAST OF THOUSANDS

25-02-2010

Don’t all these smug Villa fans get on your nerves? Dave Woodhall’s just one of a cast of thousands.

That’s another obstacle out of the way. A crowd of over 31,000, reasonable in the circumstances, were at Villa Park last night to watch the all-conquering Lions of Aston push Crystal Palace aside as the three-fronted assault continues.

After a first half of domination and chances but nothing concrete it seemed we’d being going in at half-time with the scores still level and a few nerves beginning to twitch. Gabriel Agbonlahor’s header just before the break put paid to that fear.

The second half saw Villa have a few more chances, but Gabby missed a couple and Palace’s equaliser was no surprise to the terminally fatalistic amongst us. Luckily John Carew was on hand to win and then convert two penalties.

A surprisingly strong team had got through to the FA Cup quarter-final with little in the way of real trouble and no injuries. One or two of the players are starting to look a bit tired but that’s something to worry about another time.

Brad Guzan surely played his namesake Mr Friedel into the side for Wembley with another display that was short on confidence from both him and his defence. There’s no doubt Brad junior is a promising keeper and he’s done well to help us get this far but a cup final is no time to be sentimental.

Not long after leaving Villa Park the news came though that our opponents in the quarter final will be Reading, who managed the possibly unique task of equalising in the 94th minute and going ahead in the 93rd . At least, that’s the line I was using right up until their winner was timed at five minutes into extra time. Never mind; we won’t be playing the Albion.

As you can imagine, this pleases me immensely, not least because I can’t understand the idea that it’s good to see the local sides doing well No it isn’t.

It’s good to see the Villa doing well. Albion and Blues I would happily consign to local derbies with Tividale and Clements ‘83 respectively. And of course, Albion would treat the game a lot more seriously than Reading promise to.

And so it goes on. Wembley on Sunday – part one of the trilogy.

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