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VILLA 3-1 Doncaster
Villa's returning trio helped Martin O'Neill's men through to the fifth round of the FA Cup after an impressive all-round display.
4th Feb 2009
VILLA 3-1 Doncaster


Villa's returning trio helped Martin O'Neill's men through to the fifth round of the FA Cup after an impressive all-round display.

Steve Sidwell, John Carew and Nathan Delfouneso were all starters this evening and repaid MON's faith with cracking goals against a determined Vikings side.

Sidwell opened the scoring on 15 minutes with a simple tap-in after Craig Gardner's fierce piledriver was spilt by Neil Sullivan.

And four minutes later, Carew blasted home the second, after a deflected drive off Sam Hird nestled in the net.

Doncaster pulled one back on the stroke of half-time as Jason Price slotted past Brad Guzan but Villa roared back after the break.

The Fonz settled matters with a terrific diving header from Nicky Shorey's expert centre.

Villa's win was the perfect tribute to former hero Paul Birch, who died this week.


87mins - Nathan Delfouneso breaks clear but can't finish because of pressure put on him by James O'Connor.

86mins - FAN COMMENT - John O'Sullivan, via email: "Revenge is sweet." It's great to put that League Cup disappointment behind us John.

85mins - FAN COMMENT - Shane Harper, via email: "It's 7am here in Brisbane, Australia. What a great way to start the day." What a superb way for us to end the day here in Brum. Well, after a couple of celebratory drinks perhaps!?!

83mins - Sorry Bob, we wrote Australia instead of Los Angeles. They both sound hot when you're in the freezing cold.

78mins - The armband switches to Curtis Davies - our star defender has had a cracking night. And he's a top geezer too.

78mins - SUBSTITUTION - Isaiah Osbourne for Ashley Young

76mins - FAN COMMENT - Bob Stephenson, via email: "It's 80 degrees in sunny Los Angeles. But I would love to be there. Hopefully I will one day." We hope you will too.

75mins - SUBSTITUTION - Paul Heffernan for Jason Price, Lewis Guy for John Spicer and Darren Byfield for James Coppinger

71mins - FAN COMMENT - Jonathan Rich, via email: "Great to have this interaction and super to hear from so many fans all over the world." We totally agree Jonathan - fantastic to know so many supporters are following the action here on the official site.

70mins - FAN COMMENT - Tommy McBeet, via email: "Say well done to Brad Guzan for me!" We will see him after the game Tommy, will pass on your congrats. Tommy is from Tennessee, USA.

69mins - Curtis Davies makes a great last-ditch challenge on Jason Price after a misplaced pass from Ashley Young.

68mins - FAN COMMENT - Brian Callaghan, via email: "Is that the former Villa player Darren Byfield on the Doncaster bench?" Certainly is Brian. He's one of two former Villans in their ranks - James O'Connor is the other.

67mins - It's real one-way traffic at the moment - Villa are really pushing forward for a fourth.

64mins - FAN COMMENT - Paul Theiss, via email: "How is Brad Guzan looking?" He's awesome - made a great save earlier from Donnie star Brian Stock. He is really keeping the other Brad on his toes.

63mins - FAN COMMENT - Karollina Peters, via email: "Keeping my fingers crossed here in Helsinki, Finland." We are looking good but let's leep our feet on the ground.

62mins - FAN COMMENT - Andy Teppin, via email: "Parinder Deu from Vancouver is a hop, skip and jump away from me here in Victoria." Maybe you two should meet up and support the Villa together.

61mins - GOAL - The Fonz is on target. What a superb diving header from Nathan Delfouneso, after a terrific cross from the left via Nicky Shorey.

60mins - FAN COMMENT - Robert Taylor, via email: "I miss my Villa!" Robert is from Washington DC in the USA. Good to hear from you!! We'd miss is too if we were that far away. Make sure you stay tuned to www.avfc.co.uk for all the latest news and views.

59mins - FAN COMMENT - Branimir Gergov, via email: "MON is The Terminator." Not sure about that Branimir, we think he's Superman!

57mins - Brian Stock fires in a terrific shot but Brad Guzan produces a tremendous diving save.

54mins - The fans call for a wave and MON repays their support.

52mins - FAN COMMENT - David Dishon, via email: "I'm not a Villa fan but I have Curtis Davies, Ash Young and Gabby Agbonlahor in my fantastu team. Want to see how they are playing." Excellent mate, except Gabby, who is rested this evening.

51mins - Craig Gardner fires wide when crossing would have been a better option. Villa have made a steady start to the half.

50mins - FAN COMMENT - Alberto Zaliani, via email: "Glad to see MON resting Gabby." Yes Alberto, he'll be ready for Blackburn.

48mins - FAN COMMENT - Parinder Deu, via email: "It's gone midday here in Vancouver, Canada. The sun is shining and I can see snow-peaked mountains from my office window. But I'd swap it for a cold Villa Park night any time." Brilliant Parinder, great to hear from you.

46mins - Well, that was a sucker punch at the end of the first half. Let's hope MON's men do the business in the second 45 minutes.

45mins - GOAL - Jason Price fires home for the visitors after Nathan Delfouneso dwells on the ball too long.

45mins - Great defensive header from Nicky Shorey. The Villa left-back has done well so far.

44mins - FAN COMMENT - Colin Kasprowicz, via email: "I'm glad to read about the game on www.avfc.co.uk. Thanks for the play-by-play." No problem Colin - our pleasure. Hope you're enjoying the game in Long Island, New York.

43mins - FAN COMMENT - Troy Riordan, via email: "We need more goals to carry us through to Blackburn." Don't be greedy now Troy. That email is all the way from Shepparton, Australia. Good to hear from you mate.

42mins - Ashley Young chases down a long ball but Neil Sullivan races out to deny him. This comes just after the winger's right-foot strike tests the former Leeds number one.

40mins - FAN COMMENT - Charlie Del Buono, via email: "Glory, glory Aston Villa. All the way from Italy."

39mins - FAN COMMENT - Danielle Sarver, via email: "Is this going to be a regular feature? I love it." It certainly is Danielle. The opinions of the fans means a lot to www.avfc.co.uk.

37mins - FAN COMMENT - Kevin Prior, via email: "With the squad we have, there must be silverware on the way." Now that would be awesome Kevin from Bournemouth.

35mins - FAN COMMENT - Craig Davis, via email: "Come on Villa. I'm listening all the way from Melbourne." I bet it's hotter there than it is here Craig.

34mins - BOOKING - Steve Sidwell

32mins - FAN COMMENT - Angi Ross, via email: "I can't come tonight, I'm wounded." Hope it's nothing serious Angi. By the way, the attendance looks to be around 25,000.

31mins - FAN COMMENT - David Kovacs, via email: "I am glad some of the squad players are being given a chance tonight." Thanks to David from Hungary.

29mins - Jason Price has a shot which deflects wide. The Donnie frontman screams penalty but Lee Mason points for a corner.

26mins - Curtis Davies - where do you find the energy? Our star defender goes on a rampaging run before slipping over. He still finds time to make a tackle as he tracks back.

23mins - FAN COMMENT - Tim Ash, via email: "Go on Ginge! What end did he score in - North Stand or Holte End?" It was the North Stand Tim - and a very neat finish.

21mins - FAN COMMENT - Allan Tonks, via email: "Ash is due a goal or two tonight." That email has come from the City of Angels - Los Angeles.

19mins - GOAL - John Carew is back with a bang! The giant frontman's right-foot deflected effort loops over Neil Sullivan. By the way, he's bigger than me and you and he may well score one or two.

18mins - A warning to opposition fans - don't shout for a handball. The home fans chant HANDBALL for every touch.

17mins - BOOKING - Sam Hird

15mins - GOAL - Steve Sidwell prods home from close-range after Neil Sullivan spills Craig Gardner initial piledriver.

14mins - FAN COMMENT - Andy Richards, via email: "How is the midfield setting up?" Well Andy, we have Stevie Sidwell and Moustapha Salifou in the centre with Craig Gardner on the right and Ashley Young on the left. Oh and hello Andy from Ohio.

13mins - John Robertson joins MON in the technical area. Villa have made a good start and Ashley looks lively.

12mins - FAN COMMENT - Tim Ash, via email: "Sali, Salifou, Sali, Salifoooooooooooooou." Quality Tim, quality!

10mins - FAN COMMENT - Annelie Ohlsson, via email: "I hope this evening belongs to Nathan Delfouneso." He's a quality forward Annelie - from Sweden - and should learn a lot working alongside the likes of experienced pros like Emile Heskey and John Carew.

8mins - Fair play to the Donnie fans. They are located in the North Stand and singing loud and proud.

5mins - Ashley Young cuts inside from the left and fires marginally over. Great to have the wing wizard back - and as captain.

2mins - MON is up off his feet and prowling.


19.45pm: FAN COMMENT - Simon Brennan, via email: "I really hope Nicky Shorey proves he is a class act." He has a chance to impress tonight at left-back.

19.44pm - The minute's silence to Birchy was immaculately observed. What a tragic loss. Paul Evans, via email: "Whatever the result tonight, Paul will never be forgotten." Well put Paul.

19.41pm - FAN COMMENT - Tim Smith, via email: "Great to see JC start." That's all the way from Toronto. Great to hear from you Tim.

19.38pm - FAN COMMENT - Ryan McClean, via email: "I am a Villa fan from Rotherham. I got so much stick after the last game because I live so close to Donnie. Now I reckon we will get a good win to push us on for the rest of the season - particularly with Ashley and JC back."

19.35pm - FAN COMMENT - Guy Spreadbury: "Why can's Emile play?" The big man didn't sign and wasn't registered before the original tie - ruling him out of this round of the competition. He'll be eligible for the next round though. Hope that clears things up.

19.34pm - FAN COMMENT - Vassallo, via email: "Carew is on fire tonight!" That's all the way from County Armagh.

19.33pm - FAN COMMENT - Matt Letts, via email: "Surely it is Salifou's night to bag a goal tonight. Come on Moustapha." All together now - Sali, Salifou!

19.32pm - FAN COMMENT - James Nutt, via email: "I think MON has made a very good team selection. We'll go all the way in the FA Cup this season." Can you imagine that? A trip to Wembley - bring it on!

19.30 - FAN COMMENT - Anthony Potter, via email: "Here's to a good old fashioned cup tie. The future's bright, the future's Aston Villa." It certainly is!

19.25pm - FAN COMMENT - David Michael, via email: "What's are the conditions like at Villa Park?" Freezing David, absolutely freezing!

19.22pm - FAN COMMENT - Renato Decarolis, via email: "Up the Villa from the Latin Lions." Quality, that's Renato all the way from Italy. Buonasera!

19.20pm - FAN COMMENT - Jonathan Rich, via email: "Brave team selection. Would love to see JC and The Fonz get on the scoresheet.. It's going to be tough but I predict 3-1 to Villa." Like the positive attitude Jonathan! David from Tamworth agrees with the scoreline prediction - let's hope you're both right.

18.57pm - FAN COMMENT - Nik, via email: "I think it will be 2-1 to the Villa tonight." Let's hope so Nik. There's plenty of changes of personnel this evening but with the quality players throughout the squad, let's hope we have too much for the Vikings.

18.50pm: Villa make seven changes from the side which drew with Wigan on Saturday. Incoming are Brad Guzan, Nicky Shorey, Ashley Young, Steve Sidwell, Moustapha Salifou, Nathan Delfouneso and John Carew while Gareth Barry, James Milner, Gabby Agbonlahor, Brad Friedel and Zat Knight all drop to the bench. Emile Heskey is ineligible while Stiliyan Petrov is suspended.

VILLA: Guzan; L Young, Davies, Cuellar, Shorey; A Young (c), Sidwell BOOKED, Salifou, Gardner, Carew, Delfouneso. Subs: Barry, Milner, Agbonlahor, Knight, Osbourne (for A Young, 78), Lowry, Friedel.

Doncaster: Sullivan; O'Connor, Mills, Hird BOOKED, Chambers; Spicer, Wellens, Stock (c), Woods; Coppinger, Price. Subs: Roberts, Nieuwstadt, Guy (for Spicer, 75), Byfield (for Coppinger, 75), Taylor, Lockwood, Heffernan (for Price, 75).

Att: 24,203


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