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Season 2011-12
Aston Villa (a) FA Premier Reserve League

Date: Monday 5th March 2012, 7pm

 Villa Park

Incredibly one-sided.
Dry but chilly.

Aston Villa Res

Newcastle Res

  4 - 0




34 mins Gardner shot 0-1

Half time: Villa 1 United 0

50 mins
Streete own goal 0-2

56 mins
Riley own goal 0-3

68 mins
Carruthers shot 0-4

Full time: Villa 4 United 0


Travelling to face a team top of the table and unbeaten at home all season was always going to be a tricky assignment for a Newcastle reserve side who had conceded six goals in their last two away games.

And fielding a side largely comprising of academy lads and soon-to-be former Magpies, the inevitable landslide defeat followed at Villa Park on Monday night.

Somehow Willie Donachie's side escaped with a four goal reverse, thanks to some wayward finishing from the more experienced home side, with no less than six Villa efforts striking the goal frame.

18 year-old goalkeeper Alex Baird also did his bit to keep the scoreline credible, with the reserve league debutant standing behind a back four in which teenage defenders Steven Logan and Alex Kitchen were both blooded at this level with 45 minutes apiece.  

Naming a starting XI with several first team fringe players, Villa coach Kevin Macdonald was forced to replace striker Nathan Delfouneso midway through the first period.

By then United had also had an injury worry, when centre forward Phil Airey took a heavy knock in a 50:50 with home 'keeper Benji Siegrest. However he was able to continue after lengthy treatment.

Villa began to push forward more by the half hour mark and a weak back pass from birthday boy Michael Riley was almost punished, only for Alex Baird to make a double block and preserve his clean sheet.

Within five minutes though he was picking the ball out of his net after England U21 midfielder Gary Gardner broke through and blasted home the opener from the edge of the United area.

And Villa quickly came close to doubling their advantage, with Samir Carruthers striking a post with a 20 yard effort and Daniel Johnson making a hash of the follow up.

Baird was then called into action again just before the interval to deny Gardner and Carruthers, before a rare Magpies attack ended with Mehdi Abeid seeing his 20 yard curler tipped round the post by Siegrest. 

United used their only two outfield replacements at the interval, with Michael Richardson playing 45 minutes on his comeback from injury. Striker Dan Taylor came on in his place, while one debutant defender made way for another, Steven Logan replaced by 16 year-old Alex Kitchen.

The Magpies fell further behind on 50 minutes, when Carruthers was allowed to get his centre over and the ball ended up in the back of the net - a lack of celebration by substitute Callum Robinson possibly indicating that the final touch had come from Remie Streete.

Getting into their stride, the home side were on the attack again almost immediately and Republic of Ireland youth international Carruthers again caused the danger, this time striking the goal frame with an attempted lob.

And there were question marks over the identity of the third goalscorer on 56 minutes, when a carbon copy of the second goal ended with Michael Riley looking to get the final touch ahead of Andreas Weimann.

The Newcastle goal seemed to lead something of a charmed life, headers grazing the paintwork twice within a minute and another chance narrowly wide soon after.

A fourth goal though was inevitable and duly arrived on 68 minutes, after Baird had made contact with both the ball and an attacker, leaving Carruthers to slam home.

Johnson then thought he'd made it five only for play to be pulled back for an earlier offside before Newcastle came close to reducing the arrears, Jeff Henderson seeing his goalbound header from Airey's corner saved on the line. 

More relentless Villa attacking then saw Nathan Baker head on to the United crossbar for the second time in the half, before the lively Barry Bannan also struck the woodwork with a fierce shot from distance before the referee took pity and blew his whistle.

And while both Dan Gosling and Mehdi Abeid played the full 90 minutes, neither did anything near enough to suggest that they'll be pressing for a first team squad berth in the near future.

Niall MacKenzie


Page last updated 08 March, 2012