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Pre-season match report: Peterborough 0-2 Villa
Daniel Johnson and Brett Holman on target.
1st Aug 2012
Pre-season match report: Peterborough 0-2 Villa


By Rob Bishop at London Road

Peterborough may be a far cry from Portland but Villa maintained the impressive form from their American tour with a comprehensive win at London Road.

Youngster Daniel Johnson opened the scoring six minutes before half-time, with Australian summer signing Brett Holman driving home the second nine minutes before the end.

In between times, Paul Lambert's men produced some neat, free-flowing football to offer hope of an improved Barclays Premier League campaign, although they will face tougher tests at Nottingham Forest on Saturday and Werder Bremen the following weekend.

Although Paul Taylor produced the first goal attempt with a fourth-minute shot beyond the far post, Villa generally created the better chances during the opening 25 minutes.

Johnson's left-foot effort was deflected for a corner before Charles N'Zogbia's low left foot shot from the edge of the penalty area was well held by former Villa youth keeper Bobby Olejnik.

Enda Stevens then linked up well with Stephen Ireland before drilling a low drive across the face of goal, while Nathan Baker just failed to connect with a cross from the right and N'Zogbia curled another shot wide following some fine approach work by Samir Carruthers and Stephen Ireland.

Even so, Shay Given needed to be alert to push away Taylor's fierce low 20-yard drive before Villa were forced into the first substitution on 27 minutes, Matt Lowton replacing Chris Herd, who had had taken a knock while climbing for an early header.

Villa were ahead on 39 minutes after a spell of pressure which culminated with Eric Lichaj crossing hard and low from the right.

The ball was too far ahead of Andreas Weimann, but Johnson controlled well beyond the far post before firing a low angled shot past Olejnik.

Weimann and Carruthers also sent long-range efforts off target before half-time and Villa maintained their momentum after the break, Lichaj sending a powerful 25-yarder not far wide before N'Zogbia's low shot was held by keeper Joe Day, who had replaced Olejnik at the interval.

As Peterborough began to come more into contention, Lowton and Lichaj both impressed with some smart defending before the visitors were close again when Weimann was inches away from making contact with a Stevens centre.

Stevens was again prominent in the second goal, superbly controlling Lichaj's deep cross from the right and cutting the ball back to Ireland.

The midfielder played it sideways to Holman, who left Day helpless with a well-struck left-foot drive from 15 yards.

Holman nearly grabbed a second in the closing minutes, unleashing a drive which was well saved by Day.

Peterborough: Olejnik (Day, HT); Little, Brisley, Zakuani, Knight-Percival; Swanson (Farrell, 69), Kearns, McCann, Newell (Ajose, 64); Barnett, Taylor.

Villa: Given; Lichaj, Herd, Baker (Clark, 81), Stevens (Warnock, 81); Delph (Bannan, 70); Carruthers (El Ahmadi, 70), Ireland (Burke, 81), Johnson (Holamnn, 70); Weimann, N'Zogbia (Delfouneso, 74).


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