Reserves in Reverse Liverpool 1 - 6 Aston Villa
Posted by AdamS on November 1, 2004, 09:45:50 PM
There was an attendance of about 300 at The Racecourse tonight, much of the pre-match chatter was about the sickening injury to Cissé and the somewhat tasteless reporting of the injury by all and sundry. Neil Mellor was playing and so not being considered for the Deportivo match, so tonight was a chance for him to make his mark.
I got my Bovril and in the absence of the programme man who'd "gone to away for the week" I managed to blag my very own copy of the team sheet on WAFC headed paper!
It started pretty well, despite Villa having an early free kick in a dangerous position, it came to nothing and Liverpool went straight from defence to attack. Potter slipped the ball through to Mellor who was about two yards onside but the referee blew up. 3 minutes later though the linesman got it right as Smyth timed his run well and was sent through by Foy. He ran a bit wide on his approach, but still managed to slip it to the side of the goalkeeper and in to the back of the net. A good start! I began to feel optimistic, especially safe in the knowledge that Villa hadn't won away all season.
Nothing much happened for the next five minutes, but I was kept amused by Vaclav Drobny the Villa right back, who is the most ungainly footballer I have ever seen. He just doesn't look right on the pitch. I have my suspicions that he won a competition of the radio with the prize being an outing for Villa Reserves.
On eleven minutes Partridge ran direct at the heart of the Villa defence, he drew a few players to him and the slipped it to Mellor running in from the right wing. He unleashed a powerful drive that beat the keeper but also hit the post and bounced out for a goal kick... It was all down hill from here.
This week’s horrific back pass belonged to Danny Smith. A cross field ball caught him a bit out of position. He made the ground back up but his header fell woefully short of Harrison. With Harrison out of position the ball was crossed to Whittingham who shot from only about 8 yards. A hand came out of nowhere and saved the ball. Unfortunately that hand belonged to Raven (Henchoz has taught him well), the referee spotted the indiscretion (but not that well) and pointed to the spot. Raven escaped with a booking and it was left to Luke Moore to coolly slot home to Harrison's left as he dived the other way.
A couple of minutes later Aaritalo was put through, but Harrison was off his line like lightening and saved well with his feet as he smothered the shot.
On 27 minutes though there was nothing he could do nothing. Again Aaritalo was put in on goal after a neat little interchange. He outstripped Mannix and slotted home as he was one on one with Harrison.
Just a minute later Aaritalo was again in acres of space and the cross found him but his header was lazy and looped over the bar.
Liverpool did manage to have an attack on the half hour. After some good passing Welsh crossed from the left and Mellor got in front of his man and glanced the ball aiming for the far corner. Unfortunately his effort got no further than the Ridgewell, the defender.
Not for the first time Aaritalo found himself in space and one on one with Harrison. This time he hit the post as the ball rebounded across the area Mannix stupidly dived in when there was no danger and gave away a penalty. Up stepped Luke Moore again. This time Harrison went the opposite way, but so did the ball - same result!
We needed something before half time, it was getting depressing. We nearly got something too, Smyth playing on the left wing beat his man and whipped in a dangerous cross. Mellor didn't make a good contact but his mis-kick nearly worked as the ball trickled towards the far corner but agonisingly wide.
Mellor and Foy linked up well in the first minute of the second half. It culminated in Foy having a crack with his left foot. He hit it well, but the angle was asking a lot and the keeper pushed behind for a corner. The corner was worked out to Raven who blasted high and wide from 25 yards.
A couple of minutes later Foley the Villa left back gained the distinction of being the only player I have ever seen that cleared The Kop with a shot (well done my son!). Whittingham almost extended the lead on 57 minutes and would have done except for some more excellent work by Harrison.
From the resulting corner Harrison was helpless as Ridgewell rose unmarked and nodded home. The temperature dropped 10 degrees immediately and I started to think about sitting next to my radiator! 4-1
Mellor again had a chance to pull one back a minute later. Partridge whipped in a hard and low centre which Mellor connected well with, but he hooked the ball slightly wide of the keeper's left post.
Again two minutes later Mellor shot when he should have slipped Partridge in, the deflection fell to Welsh whose pile-driver was stopped by the annoyingly vocal Ridgewell's ear (that made me feel slightly better).
A slip by Mannix on 75 minutes let Nix in. He crossed to Luke Moore and just as it looked like he'd sealed his hatrick Whitbread managed to get a foot in and deflect the ball away to safety. Disappointingly Whitbread's next contribution wasn't quite so positive. As a long ball was knocked through there was confusion between Whitbread and Harrison this resulted in Whitbread slotting home with aplomb from fifteen yards.
Liverpool's response was a thirty yard shot from Potter which missed by a good distance. "Dream on" came a comment from a guy behind me - it seemed pretty apt!
Just as I was locating my car keys and putting my pen away came unmarked header number two. Now I don't know about this zonal marking lark, but I think Villa were on a different time zone to our lot. They seemed to be on BST with us an hour behind on GMT!
Who cares? I'd have to give it to Harrison I think, he wasn't at fault for any goal and made a few very good saves.Team:
Harrison, Mannix, Smith, Raven, Whitbread, Potter, Partridge (sub 86 Guthrie), Welsh, Mellor, Foy, Smyth© Adam S 2004
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