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.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Brendan Rodgers future: Odds shorten on Liverpool manager being sacked, despite Jurgen Klopp announcement
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 2 Charles Kennedy dead: Former Lib Dem leader dies at home aged 55 - latest news
- 3 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
- 4 Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 5 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...
£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established manufactu...