Football: Villa made to pay by Booth

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Aston Villa 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Aston Villa's Tobagan striker Dwight Yorke was left with egg on his face after seeing Kevin Pressman palm away his 29th-minute penalty, just 18 days after Shaka Hislop had performed a similar feat in a 2-2 draw at Villa Park with Newcastle.

Again Yorke opted for finesse over power, which proved to be the wrong choice as Pressman leapt to his left, and Andy Booth made Villa pay the price with the winner in the second half.

It was a match Villa should have won comfortably. In the first half Gareth Southgate, captaining the side for the first time, flashed an 18-yard drive past the right-hand post, while Savo Milosevic and Sasa Curcic also went close before the move of the game in the 28th minute.

Yorke delightfully turned away from his marker on half-way and fed Curcic, who performed a similar feat which left him with a clear run on goal. His stinging 18-yard drive forced the best out of Pressman. A minute later Dejan Stefanovic was harshly judged to have fouled Curcic, leading to Yorke's missed penalty.

David Pleat's side conjured up their first chance in the 36th minute. Wales international Mark Pembridge powered his way through and although his final shot was drifting wide, Ugo Ehiogu and Riccardo Scimeca nearly combined for an own goal.

Villa, with Steve Staunton in midfield alongside Southgate, continued to dictate but failed to find a way. The goal came in the 69th minute when former Villa striker Guy Whittingham's shot cannoned off Carl Tiler into the path of Booth, who drilled it first time into the bottom right- hand corner for his ninth of the season.

Pressman produced stunning saves in the closing stages from Milosevic and Southgate as Villa poured forward in search of an equaliser which never came.

Aston Villa: Bosnich; Nelson, Scimeca, Ehiogu, Tiler (Hendrie, 77), Wright, Southgate, Curcic (Joachim, 77), Staunton, Milosevic, Yorke. Substitutes not used: Farrelly, Hughes, Oakes (gk).

Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman; Atherton, Nolan, Stefanovic, Walker, Pembridge, Whittingham, Hyde, Nicol, Hirst (Blinker, 84), Booth. Substitutes not used: Collins, Trustfull, Humphreys, Clarke (gk).

Referee: P E Alcock (Redhill, Surrey).