Date: 12th January 2009 at 3:24pm
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In a very similar Derby encounter to the game at the Hawthorns three months previously, Aston Villa went two goals ahead thanks to some awful West Brom defending, with James Morrison restoring some pride early in the second half.

With all eyes on Luke Moore in what Baggies fans hoped would be an instance of a striker scoring against his own club, it was an old boy who opened the scoring – unfortunately for Albion, who dominated the first quarter hour of the match, it was Curtis Davies who headed a strikers finish past Scott Carson on 17 minutes. The chance came about through Robinsons hash of a routine clearance where he knocked the ball out for a corner under no pressure. The ball stayed in our pressure zone and Davies was ultimately allowed to punish us – although it did look like Agbonlahor severely impeded Hoefkens, the covering defender.

The Baggies were rocked by the goal; and allowed Villa to capitalise on their goal. Despite the effervescent Jay Simpson up front, who impressed with his pace and technique on his first Premier League start, and the ever impressive Morrison in midfield, West Brom could not find a way through, with Villa defending well as a team.

It looked like the Baggies would be able to regroup at half time, but just before they were allowed to test that theory Agbonlahor broke free down the right, and with five Baggies players putting no pressure on him at all, and not a Villain in sight, he shot across goal from an acute angle, and as Carson got down to stop the ball he inadvertently skewed it into his own net, 2-0.

After half-time, with Bednar introduced for the disappointing Moore, the Albion quickly pulled a goal back. The substitute had an immediate impact, winning a header in the Villa box which he knocked back to James Morrison, who skinned Laursen beautifully before rifling a deflected strike past Freidel. Bednar`s further contribution were unfortunately less noteworthy, eventually earning a booking after persistently talking back to the referee, incurring a suspension in the process.

Bar a late flurry of activity in the Villa box, where Albion had two reasonable shouts for a penalty in quick succession – the first looked nailed on but Ashley Young`s tackle looked fair; the game was yet another of missed opportunities and defensive howlers that leave the Baggies on the bottom, in a league where the teams from 11th-20th are separated by no more than five points.

Aston Villa (4-5-1)
Friedel, Reo-Coker, Davies, Laursen, Luke Young, Sidwell (Cuellar 86), Petrov, Barry, Milner, Agbonlahor, Ashley Young.
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Harewood, Delfouneso, Knight, Shorey, Gardner.

West Brom (4-4-2)
Carson, Hoefkens, Barnett, Olsson, Robinson, Morrison (Morrison 65), Koren, Greening, Borja Valero (Kim 77), Simpson, Moore (Bednar 45).
Subs Not Used: Kiely, Cech, Beattie, Donk

Steve Bennett (Kent)


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