Reds in Reserve Liverpool 1 - 1 Villa

Posted by AdamS on March 23, 2006, 09:48:26 PM

In a game that finished with a spectacular 21 man brawl Liverpool will be disappointed to come away with only a point. Villa were the visitors to The Racecourse for the second game this week and physical is a word you could use to describe their approach. Dirty is another.

Liverpool fielded a very young side but still had the better chances in the game. They lined up with a 5-2-1-2 formation. Danny Guthrie playing in the hole behind Foy and Calliste. The goal scorer on the night was again Robbie Foy, who has been much improved since his spell out on loan.

There was a lively start to the game that promised much. Both teams were looking to have a go and get at each other. The first chance of the game came from a mistake by Roque. He couldn't find a red shirt and gave away possession. The highly rated Isaiah Osbourne found himself in possession twenty yards out but his effort wasn't good enough and Martin saved with ease.

In the third minute the agenda for the game was set. Lowry hit Peltier with a terrible late challenge and whilst we were expecting red all he got was a talking to. Peltier was down for a couple of minutes but was able to resume. He'd only been back on the pitch two minutes and was still limping when he made a great tackle and purposefully directed the ball to Calliste, he moved it on to Guthrie on the left wing and his wicked cross was volleyed over by Foy.

Guthrie was linking up with Barragan on the right wing two minutes later but this time nobody was able to get on the end of Antonio's cross. After a shaky start Liverpool were starting to look good. Just after the quarter of an hour mark awarded a free kick twenty yards out. Guthrie took it and went for a subtle curler. It was brilliantly executed but the ball didn't do quite enough to come back in and hit the post.

Villa were still fighting (not literally yet) though and could have took the lead when Mikaelssón headed wide. As the half drew to a close they nearly scored when Whittingham hit a great effort from twenty five yards. Martin looked beaten but similarly to Guthrie's effort the ball hit the upright.

There was a subdued start to the second half which in hindsight was the calm before the royal rumble. We spent the time perusing www.stuffonmycat.com on my mates lap top (there's a cracker on page 2). The game sprung back to life with half an hour to go. Bridges the Villa number 10 left his foot in on Antwi. It wasn't the first time he'd had a niggle tonight but this time he ended up worse off. As Antwi feel his flayling arm hit Bridges in the mouth. As if Godwin had done it on purpose the short Villa striker kicked him as he lay on the ground. Again expecting a straight red only a yellow was produced by referee Harwood.

Liverpool were still edging possession and chances, Guthrie saw a well hit volley go over and Foy was making a nuisance of himself. With fifteen minutes to go it was these two players that saw Liverpool take the lead. Barragan read a pass and intercepted it. He fed Guthrie who turned and picked out a great run from Foy with the most exquisite of passes. Foy made no mistake in beating the keeper.

Unfortunately the lead wasn't kept for long. Kabeya beat Godwin coming in from the right. He then fed Bridges who's charged down shot fell to Lund who couldn't really miss. Villa were back on level terms.

It was around now that the game started to get nasty. Osbourne who didn't live up to the player he is on Football Manager was making it his business to get in everyone's face, especially Peltiers and it was bubbling under all around.

As Liverpool broke from a corner Guthrie beat his man but was hacked down from behind by effeminate substitute Herd. He could easily have gone but again escaped with a yellow.

In the last of the three minutes of injury time things got very interesting. Osbourne saw the chance to have a go at Pelts. He came in with a very late tackle. Peltier had seen it coming but couldn't get out of the way. He reacted by getting up and squaring up to the tall midfielder. Before you knew it every player on the pitch with the exception of the goalkeepers were involved in a WWE style brawl. Calliste obviously saw the opportunity to outnumber the opposition and so ran off the bench and got involved too. It was ace!

The referee kept blowing his whistle and the lads kept on scrapping. I know this sort of thing is not to be encouraged and it's a bit cliche to talk about the team spirit etc, but these Liverpool lads were really there for each other.

In the aftermath there were three sendings off. Peltier had to go. I don't blame him for reacting though.     There were also two Villa players that saw red. Bridges finally got his marching orders and took an age to leave the pitch. Osbourne was also sent off. He left the field with some kind words from Robbie Foy, all I caught was "Y'are! Yer crying lad!". I had to laugh.

This was a great test of the mettle of these youngsters and a great learning curve. I think they did very well. They weren't intimidated or put on the back foot, even the smaller lads like Guthrie were showing for every ball and standing their ground.

MOM. I'll go for Foy. He worked his socks off and took his goal very well. Nobody had a bad game and I thought Guthrie, Roque and O'Donnell played very well again.

Team: Martin, Barragan, Smith, Antwi, O'Donnell, Roque, Peltier, Hobbs (c), Calliste (79 Lindfield), Guthrie, Foy.

Unused subs: Woods, Lancaster, Flynn, Barnett.

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