30th August 2003 - Glasnevin FC (H) - LEAGUE

New season, new match day, new kit (sort of), new players. Same old Villa???

Definately not! The Villa team today played with pride and a never say die attitude. In the last couple of seasons going a goal down would have meant our heads dropping and the team awaiting the inevitable second, third, etc goals. But it was us who had the majority of the possession, did the majority of the tackling, passing and creating. In the first half Glasnevin had one shot and they scored from it. To be honest it was sloppy defending that led to the chance for their tricky right winger, but from the moment it left his boot it was a goal and there was nothing Hylo could have done about it. Even though we pretty much dominated the first half clear goal scoring chances were at a premium, not for the lack of running by our forwards John and Hugh and great support play by Dave Peate and Robbie O'Boyle (who was making his Villa debut) and was certainly a contender for man of the match.

The general concensus at half time was if we kept playing the way we were we would get a break. We started the second half like we finished the first on top in virtually every area of the pitch. Then the break we were looking for came With about 10 minutes to go the ball was flying around their penalty area when it struck the arm of a defender and the ref had no option but to point to the spot. The spot kick was delayed by a bit of gamesmanship on their part, refusing to retreat the required yards from the penalty taker. With shouts of "over the bar" ringing in his ears the Doc ran up and placed the ball neatly into the bottom left had corner of the net (pressure? what pressure?!!). A little wave to the Diggers supporters was just to rub salt into their wounds....

From the restart they came at us and won a corner, which we cleared. Unfortunatley the clearance fell to their midfield who helped the ball to the mouthy No.3 who shot and in attempting to block it the unfortunate Alan Arkins deflected the ball past Hylo, a real stroke of bad luck as Alan had played a great game. But the heads never dropped and a throw, in line with the edge of their 18 yard line saw the ball launched into the area and landing at the feet of Alan who made up for his earlier unfortunate deflection by slotting home the equaliser.

The last few minutes were played out and the game ended in a 2-2 draw, most of the goal action coming in the last 10 minutes or so. We probably deserved to win the game for the effort we put in and the attitude we showed, but a draw is not a bad start to the new season either.