Football: Villa falling fast
Wimbledon 2 Euell 10, Leaburn 39 Aston Villa 1 Milosevic 41 At tendance: 13,131
Sunday 22 February 1998
Wimbledon were good value for their win as Carl Leaburn and Jason Euell posed myriad problems for Gareth Southgate and Ugo Ehiogu while Vinnie Jones and Neil Ardley provided robust and often skilful support. The mature Jones has shown enough to bury forever his Hackney Marshes' hard man image and it was his exquisite cross which dropped teasingly at the foot of Mark Bosnich's post that created Wimbledon's first goal in the 10th minute.
Leaburn's presence compounded the Villa defence's difficulties before Euell prodded the ball into the net. The second in the 39th minute was started by Ardley's deep cross, returned accurately into the box by Marcus Gayle where Leaburn again was the master in the air and his header flew past Bosnich.
Neil Sullivan had not made a save before he was picking the ball out of his net three minutes later when luck finally went Villa's way. A goalmouth melee gave Savo Milosevic the chance for a shot which was deflected off Chris Perry's boot to leave Sullivan helpless.
That seemed to bring some colour back into the Villa cheeks and they certainly performed with more passion and purpose. But the withdrawal of the injured Milosevic in the 57th minute seemed to put paid to that, especially when Stan Collymore's free-kick came down with snow on it. The pounds 7m man had another day to forget.
This brief spell apart, Villa seemed buried in a fog of lethargy which they must shake off before the season of promise turns into one of disaster. Wimbledon may never have delighted the purists, but they have never lacked bottle. On this evidence, Villa could do with some of that.
They could claim the mitigating circumstances that they were missing three key players, but that excuse will not hold water with their faithful unless some more purpose and passion can be found in their game.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener 'fights for his life'
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund player ratings: Who was the star man at the Emirates? Alexis Sanchez? Santi Cazorla? Or Yaya Sanogo?
Phil Hughes: A swashbuckling, raw and talented batsman who had the world at his feet
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund report: Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez are on target as Gunners secure impressive victory
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...