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
Danny Ings: Liverpool target wanted by Borussia Monchengladbach... who could get Burnley striker for just £260,000
Humiliated Brazil look to continue recovery at Arsenal
Marco Reus vs Theo Walcott: Which is the better option for Arsenal?
England vs Lithuania match report: Harry Kane fires in first Three Lions goal just 78 seconds into debut to put icing on the cake
'God, she's beautiful': Embarrassment for basketball player Nigel Hayes after microphone picks up comment about female reporter
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...