RAZOR SHARP GOUGH HITS BRACE TO SINK VILLA
ASTON VILLA over 50’s - 1 BIRMINGHAM over 50’s - 2
Ian Gough’s brilliant finishing rescued Birmingham’s Over 50’s with a superb second half brace at Villa Park Academy. For much of the first half the decorated Blues had stuttered and failed to adapt quickly to a pitch with unusually square dimensions. Space was limited but their failure to use the width and create opportunities had frustrated Manager Paul Murtagh. Birmingham had an early warning sign as Mike Taylor Lane was called on to make a smart save before a slick move by the hosts and some sloppy defending saw them go One Nil up half way through the first half.
Gough entered the game five minutes before the break and immediately Birmingham’s shape improved, Ade Whitehead and Rob Castle linked well before Whitehead’s shot blazed over.
1-0 down at half time Murtagh’s team talk left no stone unturned and virtually immediately Birmingham levelled after a slick move Gough slotted home into the corner with a precision finish. He repeated the feat soon after as he swivelled the defender with strength and poise to smash in what proved to be the winning goal. Birmingham were comfortable at the back in the second half with little threat from the home side but improvement in their movement and ability to adapt to differing conditions will be needed in future games.
THORPEDO HITS 5 IN SECOND HALF BLITZ
ASTON VILLA over 65’s - 2 BIRMINGHAM over 65’s - 7
It was a similar story for Birmingham’s Over 65’s as they also came from a 2-1 half time deficit to beat their local rivals somewhat more convincingly. At the break they found themselves behind as similarly to their younger counterparts they found the pitch dimensions difficult to adapt to. Once again a half time team talk seemed to do the trick Thorpe brothers Derek and Malcolm combining brilliantly ably supported by Player Manager John Limborne to pick off the Villans time and again.
Derek Thorpe ran riot and went nap hand as singles from Malcolm Thorpe and John Limborne completed Birmingham’s scoring.
After the two victories Manager Paul Murtagh said, “Our first half performance simply wasn’t good enough, although we enjoyed most of the possession we didn’t do the simple things and conceded a very poor breakaway goal. Villa had a game plan and stuck to it very well packing the middle of the park and protecting their goal. We changed things round for the second half, stretching the Villa defence in both width and length, subsequently we were able to create space in which to play some football. Razor was superb in leading the line and 2 cool finishes rounded off some nice flowing football. Credit to the lads though in the end overcoming a new tactical challenge of 8 a side on a small awkwardly shaped pitch. Same can be said for the over 65’s, also taking control after being behind in the early stages but showing character to dominate once they had adapted to the conditions.”