Football Academy Match Report – Aston Villa v Walsall FC

Match report – Aston Villa vs Walsall FC – Wednesday 26th February 2020

Although very cold, it was great conditions for our home fixture against Walsall FC, the sun was still shining and clear skies at Moor Lane. The lads were confident after coming up against Walsall in the reverse fixture towards the start of the season, winning 3-0 and dominating throughout.

Aston Villa started very positively, we kept our shape well and dominated the possession, mainly firmly within the Walsall defensive half. We knew the Walsall front two could cause us problems so we were very conscious of counter attacks, with our number 4, centre midfielder Lewis Smith breaking Walsall’s play up which prevented them from getting deep into our half.

Aston Villa broke the deadlock in the 21st minute. A great corner sent in from Ebirahim Sawo, bounced around in the box, finally landing to our attacking right winger Holy, who finished from close range. 1-0 Aston Villa.

Although we had the high percentage of possession we still struggled to lengthen our lead, missing some golden opportunities in the first half. A one on one from centre midfielder Jahvarn Mighty was put wide and chances missed by Ghneu, Lewis and Holy kept the score at 1-0 at half time.

A couple of changes were made at half time to get some fresh legs on the pitch and Aston Villa started the second half much like the first dominating possession and creating chances.

In the 56 minute Walsall had possession at the edge of the Aston Villa box, it was a good defensive set up and all we needed to do was break down the attack and regain possession. A silly mistimed challenge by left back Darmarnick Campbell gave Walsall a chance to have one of their first shots on target. A great free kick from the edge of the box, gave Walsall their equaliser and a way back into the game. Score 1-1 and game back on!

From that moment on, Walsall started to get into the game and eventually dominate the game. Aston Villa became very frustrated, losing possession in dangerous areas, giving silly fouls away, losing team shape and again missing some key chances.

Aston Villa, even though were getting frustrated, chances were still coming their way, but two one on ones, put wide and over the cross bar by substitute Daniel Henry, a good strike by Holy which hit the post and three free kicks from the edge of the box that didn’t cause the Walsall keeper too many problems.

With plenty of chances missed, Walsall pounced on a poor throw out by replacement goalkeeper Josh, gave them the chance to go 2-1 up. A great second strike by the Walsall centre midfielder in the 75th minute put them 2-1 up.

Walsall built on a poor second half performance and a penalty was given away by substitute right back M&M in the 85th minute. This gave the Walsall centre midfielder the chance to grab his hat-trick. A nice penalty slotted home ended Aston Villa’s chances of getting any points from the game and a chance to close the gap to top placed Halesowen. 3-1 final score!