Aston Villa 3 Doncaster 1: Carew rips the heart out of Doncaster

05 February 2009 01:38
John Carew made an immediate impact for Aston Villa[LNB]following his return from injury as Premier League finishing proved the difference at Villa Park.[LNB]The big Norwegian started his first game in three months and his presence was crucial as a below-strength home team squeezed their way past energetic opponents and into a last-16 tie at Everton.[LNB]Striker Carew has been struggling with a mysterious hip and back problem that has restricted his involvement, leaving Martin O'Neill's side to make do without his help.[LNB] Enlarge [LNB]Steve Sidwell puts Aston Villa 1-0 up against Doncaster[LNB]They have prospered despite the striker's absence however, but last night proved what a handful they might be with him to call upon.[LNB]Carew was chiefly responsible for the first goal and scored the second himself as thehosts took a decisive early stranglehold on this fourth-round replay.[LNB]Jason Price pulled back the deficit with a goal on the stroke of half-time that offered the Championship visitors a glimmer of hope before Nathan Delfouneso celebrated his 18th birthday earlier this week by wrapping up the game with a deft header from Nicky Shorey's left-wing cross.[LNB] Aston Villa 3 Doncaster 1: All the action as it happened[LNB]Aston Villa lead the call for probe into Arshavin's transfer to Arsenal[LNB]ASTON VILLA FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NET[LNB][LNB]O'Neill said: 'It was really important for us to see how John went tonight. He got through 90 minutes and had a hand in a couple of goals. He's still short of fitness, but he's back earlier than I anticipated, which bodes well.[LNB]'I also thought young Delfouneso was excellent.'[LNB] John Carew doubled Aston Villa's advantage against Doncaster[LNB]O'Neill made seven changes to the team who had been held, rather fortuitously, by Wigan at the weekend, with Gareth Barry and Gabriel Agbonlahor both on the bench.[LNB]After 18 minutes it appeared Villa's work was over. They had raced into a two-goal lead with Doncaster the architects of their own downfall.[LNB]The visitors were knocked out of their stride when referee Lee Mason decided that Sam Hird's unwitting hand-ball warranted a yellow card, well within range of Young's deadly delivery.[LNB]Neil Sullivan did well to punch the England international's free-kick clear before the same player picked it up again.[LNB]This time, Rovers failed to heed the warning. Carew flicked the ball on and midfielder Craig Gardner connected with a shot, having slipped the wrong side of his defender.[LNB]Former Scotland international Sullivan did well to palm his shot clear but Sidwell turned in the loose ball.[LNB] Nice one, Nathan: Delfouneso is congratulated by Davies after hitting the third Villa goal[LNB]The visitors were just as naive three minutes later. Carew's threat is normally from set-pieces, but last night he found himself free with the ball at his feet 25 yards from goal.[LNB]Perhaps more experienced opponents would have scented danger, but the striker took full advantage, letting fly and watching as his shot deflected off a defender andlooped over a stranded Sullivan.[LNB]Doncaster battled back and went close on several occasions before James Coppinger's neat ball inside was swept home by Jason Price, his first goal in a year.[LNB]However, despite a bright Doncaster start to the second half, the tie was over just after the hour when Shorey moved forward at pace and swung over a cross that was directed into the net by Delfouneso.[LNB]Rovers boss Sean O'Driscoll said: 'We did our homework. They are strong on set-pieces and play counter-attacking football. Ultimately that is where they won the game. It's tough because some of our play was excellent.'[LNB] Aston Villa 3 Doncaster 1: All the action as it happened[LNB]Aston Villa lead the call for probe into Arshavin's transfer to Arsenal[LNB]ASTON VILLA FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NET[LNB][LNB][LNB] [LNB]  

Source: Daily_Mail