21st February 2004 - DHL (A)

This was the latest in a worrying series of pathetic Villa performances. With kick off moved forward to 12:30 it appeared that we decided not to start playing football until 2:30, unfortunately by then the match was long over!

We were behind inside 1 minute. We were asleep from the kick off and when the ball fell nicely to their centre forward he sent an inch perfect lob over a stranded Hylo. After that we picked up the pace and played with a bit of the passion that had got us a great victory last week. But for all of the pressure we put DHL under through a series of corners and attacks their defence held firm.

Their second came from a break away. Their quick No 9 received the ball in space and the despairing last ditch tackle from John H quite correctly resulted in the award of a penalty. John was lucky to stay on the field. The ref said there was a defender between the felled striker and the goal - didn't see him myself. The No 10 struck the penalty low and hard and Hylo very nearly saved the day but it ended up in the net.

More Villa pressure but no real strikes on target and with DHL's confidence growing they managed to score twice more before the interval. 4-0 at half time and everyone was feeling pretty down about the whole thing.

We came out in the second half determined to win the half for pride if nothing else, but again resolute DHL defending and profligate Villa finishing meant that we went another game with zero in the goals for column. DHL notched up 2 more. The final score of 6-0 was probably a bit harsh on us, but we certainly did not deserve anything out of the game. In my (humble) opinion we are missing someone to link the midfield and attack - our defensive midfielders are playing very well but when we get the ball up to the forwards they have no back up from midfield. It is also my belief that we are playing a risky offside game and are being caught too often. Holding as high a line as we are is a risky game, especially if opposing teams have quick centre forwards as was the case on Saturday.