Flashback 1992-93: Yorke sees off Dons/John Barnes bid rejected
A late start. A late goal. Increasingly the signs point to the destination of the inaugural Premier League championship, tilting first towards Old Trafford, then back to Villa Park, remaining undecided until the last kick of the last game.
Until then we can only pray that the quality of football is spared the bashing that awaits the nerve ends of the supporters.
Sadly, yet predictably, that was not the case here after more than 34,000 were lured from the comfort and warmth of their living rooms by the promise of top-of-the-table action at bottom-of-the-table prices and never mind that it was you-know-who on the other side.
Wimbledon were in no mood to disappoint. Dogged, persistent and uncompromising, as always they are the last team aspiring champions would choose to meet on the road towards the rainbow's end.
The Villa fans did not like what they saw - who does? - and voiced their frustration and fears in the ritualistic booing of Vinnie Jones every time he prepared to launch another of his huge throws towards their goalmouth.
Yet on the final whistle the stoical but sparse ranks of the Wimbledon faithful - "apparently by Friday they had sold 13 tickets so it must have been their minibus breaking down on the way which caused the delayed start" - joked the Villa manager, Ron Atkinson - had been swelled by the multitude sporting claret and blue.
For the reason turn to the last page of the fixture programme which sends Manchester United to Selhurst Park on May 8 for an away game with Joe Kinnear's side that represents the ultimate test of all at the end of the long and weary haul to the summit.
"This was as difficult a fixture as we will have this season," Atkinson said, before adding mischievously, "I would like to see Wimbledon needing three points to stay up on the last day."
Two vital points appeared to be slipping from their grasp when, 11 minutes from time, Dwight Yorke reacted first with strength and determination to Cyrille Regis's assist after Paul McGrath had sent a wayward corner back in.
The snow which had held off until that decisive moment now fell like some ticker-tape celebration on high. Yorke jigged his delight in front of the bargain-hunters on the Holte End while Saunders and Regis, goalscorers shackled this day by John Scales and Brian McAllister, bore huge smiles of relief.
Paper: Sunday Express
Snow arrived like tickertape to drape Aston Villa's title ambitions, which had looked decidedly frozen.
It was a touch from Villa's golden oldie Cyrille Regis, 35, recalled after a month, that ensured they remained top of the Premier League.
Regis fluffed a header a split-second earlier but made amends with about ten minutes remaining.
Ray Houghton delivered the ball and Regis headed into the path of Dwight Yorke, whose drilled shot established Villa's supremacy - at long last!
There had been little for the 34,496 to be elated about.
They had watched in frustration as Wimbledon's battlers almost went in front when Neil Ardley's shot was cleared off the line by Neil Cox in the first half.
Villa's cut-price entry offer of £5 attracted 19,000 to the Holte End - but until Yorke's precious goal it did not look much of a bargain.
Boss Ron Atkinson said: "That was the most difficult game we've had this season. We did not too bad against our bogey side.
"Wimbledon play Manchester United on the last game of the season. I just hope the Dons need three points to avoid relegation because that will cause United all sorts of problems."
Paper: Sunday Mercury
Dwight Yorke ignited a packed Villa Park with the goal which kept Villa right on course for the Premier League title.
On a day when the club's cut-price policy brought the fans flooding in, the 21-year-old Trinidad international produced a strike which was simply priceless.
It kept Ron Atkinson's men on top of the table, despite Manchester United's emphatic victory, and offered further evidence that Villa can last the pace.
Wimbledon, very much Villa's bogey team in recent seasons, knocked the Midlanders out of the FA Cup last month after two dour contests, and for long spells it looked like frustration time all over again.
But all that changed 11 minutes from time when Yorke broke the deadlock with a goal worth five pounds of anyone's money - even if what had gone before was largely forgettable.
Paper: Birmingham Post
For the moment at least, Ron Atkinson has failed in his latest move towards creating Villapool.
An enquiry by the Aston Villa manager for the Liverpool winger, John Barnes, has been rebuffed by his opposite number Graeme Souness.
In announcing this, the Liverpool manager went on to claim that Villa had offered in part-exchange, Garry Parker, Earl Barrett, plus £1m in cash.
Atkinson was in Bruges on television commentating duties but a close source out there with him said Souness's claim was "pure bunkum"
"It sounds like Graeme is indulging in some mischief-making," he added.
It certainly runs against the grain of all the praise that Atkinson has been showering on Barrett in particular all season.
Snap up match tickets for Man City clash.
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