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Aston Villa 3 Brighton Hove Albion 2: match report
Published : 23 Jan 2010 17:25:26
If Aston Villa had been at all concerned about an inability to score in recent weeks, they can rest easy, after taking their tally to nine goals in two games. The problem now looks to be at the other end of the pitch, for they conceded two against opposition currently sitting at the wrong end of League One. Related ArticlesVilla players relishing semi-final successVilla play down Boyd talkO'Neill: James Milner is 'sensational'Aston Villa 6 Blackburn 4; agg 7-4Transfer TalkSport on televisionNevertheless, their 3-2 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion moves Villa into the fifth round of the FA Cup - only the third time since they reached the final in 2000. Flush with confidence from their Carling Cup success over Blackburn in midweek, Martin O'Neill's side had looked dangerous from the first minute, Ashley Young provoking Michael Kuipers into an early fumble with a long range shot. Marc Albrighton broke from his own half minutes later, laying off to Young, the winger continued his run, collected Young's pass, and looked up to find Nathan Delfouneso, a colleague from the reserve team, inside the six yard box. It left Delfouneso with little to do but turn it in. The move came with a cost. Having started the match in fine fettle, Albrighton had apparently tweaked a leg muscle in the charge for goal, and after limping along the line for the next nine minutes he was replaced by James Milner. A worrying sight for Brighton fans, seeing Milner introduced so early, and perhaps for those in Villa colours with half an eye on Arsenal in midweek. If the first five minutes had been 'Albrighton, rather than all Brighton' as one wag pointed out, the remainder of the half was more equally divided, in the sense that neither team could contrive much in the way of opportunities, until Tommy Elphick profited from a scramble in the box after an Elliott Bennettt corner, and equalised four minutes from the break. On their return, Young, captaining the side, received a last minute pep talk from Stiliyan Petrov on the sideline seconds before the restart. Goodness knows what the Bulgarian said to the winger, but two minutes later the Holte End was treated to the uncommon sight of Young climbing high in the box and employing his head to direct a Stewart Downing cross in off the post. An impressive Fabian Delph drew an excellent save from Michael Kuipers, who had looked suspect until this point, from point blank range. The Brighton goalkeeper was not so useful when Delph next came calling, in the 63rd minute, and directed his shot into the corner for his first goal for the club. Nicky Forster beat Brad Guzan a minute from time, but it was too late.