Lambs take the lead, but it ends all square
02 August 2007
A bumper crowd packed The Lamb on Thursday night, as, after their game the previous night against Stoke City and with Inter Milan their opponents on Saturday, Aston Villa brought a side made up of reserves and youth academy players to the Lamb for Gary Mills’ squads penultimate pre-season fixture.
Mills made a number of changes to the side that defeated Walsall the night before as he took another chance to look at combinations of players in his squad.
Damian Bellon had the first shot at goal after 4 minutes but screwed his shot wide from 15 yards and the Lambs won a corner on 9 but it came to nothing. However, from a Villa throw Tony Thorpe stole the ball and advanced for goal only to see his attempt foiled by the visiting defence.
After a few minutes of midfield battle Tamworth won another corner on 18 but the chance came and went.
Thorpe played Anthony Robinson through on 20 with a deft header but under pressure the former Stratford striker chipped his shot over the bar.
Villa won their first corner on 29 but Jose Veiga claimed at full stretch in the middle of his area to deny any chance and when another corner came shortly after, the end result was the same.
Zoltan Steibler finished a move for the Villains on the half hour mark, but shot wide of the far post from inside the area.
Michael Briscoe put his body in the way of two Villa chances in quick succession on 34 and conceded a corner in the process, but the Lambs defended strongly from the flag kick and nothing came of it.
Villa tried hard to pen Tamworth into their own half as the half went on, but lacked any real threat in the final third of the field until 44 when Damian Bellon found himself with a shooting chance at the far post and blasted high over the bar. And less than 30 seconds later he did the same again but Tamworth broke from the goal kick and when Thorpe received the ball at his feet in the area he took it past one defender and rounded the keeper to make it 1-0 to the Lambs.
Villa equalised on 49 via a well placed header under pressure from Chris Herd who connected well with a pinpoint cross from the left to send the ball into the near corner past the dive of Veiga. (1-1)
The Lambs won a freekick on the right corner of the penalty area on 52 but Rikki Bains header cleared the bar.
Stieber tried his luck from distance on 55 but Veiga was equal to the driven shot and from a freekick on the right on 58 the same player struck low but Veiga was well placed to stop the effort once again.
A Lambs freekick came on 61 this time on the left of the area and David Bevan punched Mario Pedro’s effort clear of danger.
Villa substitute and Tamworth born Marc Albrighton set up Yago Bellon with a striking chance on 68 which Veiga did well to smother and on 71 Albrighton went down in the area but the ref waved his claim for a spot kick away.
On 75 Albrighton burst through only to be denied by a superb tackle from Adie Smith and some good forward movement from both sides in the closing stages meant both defences had to be on their mettle but both had to settle for a goal a piece.
Veiga, Tuohy, Ullathorne, Briscoe (Bampton HT), Bains, Mills, Sheridan (Storer 60), Smith, Robinson, Thorpe, Williams (Pedro HT)
Subs: Clarke, Lyttle, Langdon, Edwards, Waldrum
Bevan, Lund, Earls, Clarke, Lowry, Bellon D (Forrester 84), Bellon Y (Bannon 72), Hogg, Mikaelsson (Albrighton 67), Herd (Griffiths 84), Stieber (Collins 84)
A small number of programmes are still available although a further print run of the 'triple header' is expected on Saturday.