Match: Aston Villa v Bolton Wanderers
Date: Friday 2nd November 2018
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Villa Park
Grealish 4, Chester 58
Nyland; Hutton, Tuanzebe, Chester, Taylor, Hourihane, McGinn, Kodjia, Grealish (Whelan 90), Adomah (Bolasie 73), Abraham (Hogan 81). UNUSED SUBS: Bunn, Jedinak, El Ghazi, Elmohamady.
Story in brief
Jack Grealish and James Chester ensured a fantastic Friday night for Villans around the world with all three points against Bolton.
It finished 2-0 in B6 as Dean Smith’s men climbed to 13th in the Championship table – four points off the Play-Off places.
It was a sombre start to the evening as we marked Remembrance Day and also remembered the tragic events at Leicester City.
But when the game began, it was frenetic as Grealish ensured a bright beginning.
The fab forward rounded keeper Ben Alnwick to open the scoring after a wonderful through ball from Tammy Abraham.
We could – and should – have been up by more at the interval with a plethora of chances, as well as a disallowed header from skipper Chester.
He made up for it, though, as he doubled our advantage just before the hour mark, with another thumping effort.
That may have been the end of the evening’s scoring but there were opportunities in the second period to add to the score even further, although Smith will certainly settle for the dominant display, comfortable win, three points and clean sheet.
Villa Park gave our heroic armed forces the respect they deserved with a beautiful minute’s silence before the game.
It’s 100 years since the end of World War I and those in B6 stood, bowed their heads and remained quiet for a period of reflection, with the Last Post playing as a backdrop.
It also encompassed our deep feelings of respect for Leicester City as they come to terms with the tragic death of their chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, two members of his staff and two pilots as they lost their lives in a helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium.
It was a sombre moment prior to kick-off – but one that demonstrated conclusively that the football family is very strong.
Grealish back among the goals
Dean Smith spoke on his arrival as Head Coach of a massive admiration for Jack Grealish’s immense talent – but also of a determination to help him get even better.
So it was good to see Grealish grab his first of the season early doors in the clash with Bolton.
Grealish is a joy to watch as he displays pace and grace in abundance time and again.
Add a more bountiful supply of goals and assists and he’ll be absolutely unstoppable.
James Chester doubled our advantage – at the second time of asking.
Chester thought he made it 2-0 as the first half came to a conclusion only to have his header disallowed for offside.
But he finally got his just rewards just before the hour mark when a similarly decisive bullet flew past Ben Alnwick.
You know what they say – it was worth the wait.
It’s not too far to go for Villans next weekend as we face Derby County at Pride Park Stadium.
The match, against Frank Lampard’s charges, takes place on Saturday 10th November, with a 3pm start.