Saturday, September 23, 2006

First Time at Villa Park

Recently found at my parents' house: the ticket and match programme.
Saturday 23rd September:
Aston Villa 2 Charlton Athletic 0

So this was my first time at a Premiership football game for over 10 years and my first ever trip to Villa Park. My only other experience of 'top flight' action was Coventry City versus Everton - which ended 0-0. Luckily for me there was repeat performance at Villa Park.

I am the first to admit that my passion towards Villa has waned over the years. A waning that was ultimately facilitated by the stale regime of Doug Ellis. During this period if I've wanted to hear good news about football I've relied on my other team - Celtic - to provide this.

Anyway, back to Villa park, and the first thing that struck me was the sheer magnitude of the stadium - both large and majestic. The last stadium I had been to was Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium. The difference in the size being Villa Park's 41,500 capacity to the Abbey's 4,000. Being quite far back in the North Stand still wasn't a problem as the stand was so steep you still felt like you were right by the pitch and had a magnificent view of the whole stadium.

So, what about the match? Well I'm not much of a football or sports writer, so, this comes from the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport/):

Aston Villa extended their unbeaten run in the Premiership thanks to fine strikes either side of half-time from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Luke Moore.

The sublime Agbonlahor met Gareth Barry's floating cross to give the home side a deserved first-half lead.

And when Moore latched on to Juan Pablo Angel's precise pass, the striker confidently put Villa two up.

New owner and chairman Randy Lerner would have been impressed with his Villa side who dominated throughout and punished a Charlton team which lacked creativity and confidence.

In summation it is an experience I will be looking to repeat. I can only pray now that after years in the wilderness Aston Villa have finally returned to play some football.

Update: I recently found the match programme and ticket. An image was taken to replace the image taken of Villa Park taken from the BBC's website. I was amazed at some of the names in the starting lineup who've long since left.

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