I watched a host of fixtures this weekend (16th & 17th March 2019), such as Leeds United vs Sheffield United, Wolves vs Manchester United and Aston Villa Ladies vs West Ham Women. But nothing compares to getting off that couch and away from the television screen, to truly spectate an event. This weekend those two games for me were Aston Villa vs Middlesbrough and St Johns vs Northside.
Aston Villa 3-0 Middlesbrough
In this infuential fixture in the promotion play off race Villa came out with an important 3 nil win. Goals from El Ghazi, McGinn and Adomah sealed three points to ensure the Lions roared their way into 6th place. Whilst Middlesborough are on a slippery slope, as they just about hold 5th place and have a game in hand.
El Ghazi opened the scoring for the home side inside 28 minutes. A through diagonal pass from starman McGinn carved open the Boro defence. El Ghazi’s left footed finish across the face the goal, proved too much for former Birmigham City goalkeeper Darren Randolph. The second goal came on the stroke of half time, as many strolled off for their half time pie and beer. A wonderful team move started by Neil Taylor and converted by McGinn meant Boro had to overcome a two goal deficit in the second half.
The second half was much like the home game against Derby, where chances were few and far between. Tammy Abraham came into light later on in the second half and more chances came about, but not clinical enough. The only goal of the second half was a tap in for substitute Albert Adomah, after Randolph fumbled a feeble effort from returning man Keinan Davis. The final whistle blew soon enough and the claret and blue faithful are now unbeaten in six, after winning their last four.
St Johns 7-0 Northside
Again a very convincing win for the home side, this time in the Baylis Cup. This Sunday League fixture brought all kinds of weather, from wind and rain to sunshine. Believe it or not the game was much more even to start with as away side had their own chances. Silly me who arrived a few minutes late however, did not realise St Johns had took an early lead. St Johns went into their brief half time break with a 3 nil lead, after two strikes beat the keeper down to his right.
The game continued in similar vain with goals coming thick and fast for the home team in the second half. The 4th goal left the defence frustrated, with a beautiful lobbed effort. The 5th goal was a tap in after save parried straight to the feet of a pouncing player. A comical trip from a chasing defender allowed a surging run down the left flank to continue with ease. A weak cross was put into the six yard box yet an own goal was conceded. The game concluded at 7-0 after an outstanding, picturesque volley (Imagine Grealish vs Derby and you have a pretty good idea!) was scored from a corner.