Flashback 1992-93: Bosnich/Barrett on form in win over Everton
Paper: Sunday Express
Mark Bosnich won a unique duel between Australian goalkeepers to keep Aston Villa on top of the Premier League.
Bosnich, keeping Nigel Spink out at Villa, and Jason Kearton, in for the suspended Neville Southall, were the first Aussie goalkeepers to face each other in the English League.
Kearton, a blonde 6ft 1in Queenslander from the Gold Coast, passed his first test when he was quickly off his line to deny Dean Saunders.
But he must have wished he had been back on the beach when he left his near post uncovered for Villa to take an early lead.
Earl Barrett, midfield replacement for the injured Garry Parker, set up the goal, feeding full-back Neil Cox, who cut inside Kenny Sansom and scored with a crisp left-foot shot which went in off the post.
Five minutes later Villa were two-up, though this time Kearton could point to former England full-back Sansom as the chief culprit.
There seemed little danger when Shaun Teale hit a raking 50-yard pass but Sansom headed it back towards goal and Barrett stepped forward to volley in at the far post.
Bosnich was also out of luck before the half-hour.
He beat Sansom to a throughball but as the ball rolled loose Sansom was bundled over by Ray Houghton and Peter Beardsley scored from the penalty spot.
Kearton was beaten again in the 27th minute but Sansom cleared brilliantly off the line and ten minutes later it was only a brave block by Bosnich that prevented Beardsley from equalising.
Paper: Sunday Mercury
Villa's fans pumped up the volume to salute their team's consolidation of pole position in the Premier League title race.
Nearly 33,000 responded to the club's appeal for better support - and they were rewarded with a stylish performance which gave every indication that Villa can last the pace.
Ron Atkinson's men are still only two points clear following a Manchester United revival against Southampton at Old Trafford.
But the fans were provided with enough evidence that this Villa side are capable of bringing the title to the Midlands for the first time in more than a decade.
Full-back Neil Cox scored his first Villa league goal for Villa with Earl Barrett grabbing his first of any description for the club to put the home side in the driving seat after only 18 minutes.
And even though Peter Beardsley pulled one back from the penalty spot six minutes later, there was never any dispute about Villa's entitlement to all three points.
Paper: Sunday Mercury
Earl Barrett grabbed his first goal for Villa to keep them on top of the Premier League.
The stylish defender, a £1.7m signing from Oldham 12 months ago, declared: "It's been a long time coming.
"I've been ribbed continuously by the rest of the lads for my wayward shooting.
"I was given some almighty stick for nearly hitting the corner flag with a shot against Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup replay earlier this year.
"But the lads weren't laughing after I put us into a two-goal lead."
Barrett moved smartly on to a neat ball through from Shaun Teale down the right before breaking his duck, lobbing the ball across Everton goalkeeper Jason Kearton into the far corner.
Paper: Birmingham Post
Perhaps it was the presence of England manager Graham Taylor.
Perhaps it was the good natured ribbing of his team-mates.
But whatever the inspiration, Earl Barrett did something I never thought he would accomplish in a claret and blue shirt by scoring on Saturday.
And not just score. He lifted the roof with a strike straight out of the Dean Saunders book of finishing to finally break his duck for Villa in his 52nd appearance.
Remember the shot against Bristol Rovers? The header against Sheffield United? Both went for throw-ins with Barrett a bare ten yards out and in the centre of goal.
But for a moment on Saturday he was transformed into a lethal finisher with an audacious goal that few strikers would have attempted.
Snap up match tickets for the Man City clash.
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