Yorke shows off the vision thing

Aston Villa 2 Draper 7, Taylor 47. Wimbledon 0 Attendance: 26 ,928
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The Independent Online
A WEEK graced by the match-winning performances of two black forwards imported to the Premiership - Anthony Yeboah and Daniel Amokachi - witnessed another at Villa Park yesterday, as Dwight Yorke, Aston Villa's Tobagan international, produced an outstanding display of control, vision and running to win this game comfortably for the Midlands side. Yorke set up both Villa's goals with inspired touches, but was only denied a much deserved entry on the scoresheet himself when a goal-bound shot was deflected over the Wimbledon bar midway through the second half.

Roger Bannister, the four-minute mile pioneer, may believe that black athletes possess an innate advantage, but Yorke's heroics seem to owe more to good practice than to genetics. His climb and controlled header down to Mark Draper created the first goal after seven minutes, and his back-heeled flick set up Ian Taylor's drive for the second just after the interval. They were both products of all-round awareness.

It is a quality that Draper, the other outstanding contributor to Villa's win, also possesses - he read Alan Wright's long pass and Yorke's knockdown perfectly, controlling the ball on the run shooting home inside Paul Heald's near post.

With such a quick lead, Villa might have been eyeing a repeat of the 7-1 score they registered over Wimbledon here last February, and they were certainly worth more than one goal by the interval. Heald had to go full stretch to turn a Savo Milosevic shot around the post.

Wimbledon, denied the calming presence of Andy Thornthrough injury, could offer little to match the pace and guile which Yorke and Draper brought to the game. Vinnie Jones, elevated to captain, might have been expected to put in a bigger show after his red-card reprieve and his Eton call-up. But he patrolled the centre of midfield like an ageing, muzzled pit bull, growling but not biting and conceding huge areas of space to Draper.

Villa consolidated their grip on the game promptly in the second half as Milosevic's run down the right was taken up by Gary Charles, whose low cross was flicked back by Yorke into the path of Taylor to drive beyond Heald.

Wimbledon flickered into life, leaving just three men at the back as Kenny Cunningham was pushed up into midfield. But this move, like their two substitutions, generated little improvement in their attacking ideas, and Villa were able to play relaxed football on the break which should have brought more goals.

The defenders Gary Charles and Ugo Ehiogu attacked at will down Wimbledon's left flank, with Andy Townsend, Milosevic and the magnificent Yorke coming closest to further goals.

The expensively assembled Villa should be a potent force in the Premiership this season. Trinidad and Tobago may even win something if Yorke continues to play like this.