BWFC 1 : 0 ASTON VILLA
It didn’t seem like a late afternoon kick-off as we made our way down to the Macron, once more in Artic conditions. Sky TV meant that the Doombar deliberations were held as the other Championship results were coming in. Other than Birmingham, none of our relegation rivals had picked up any points and Birmingham’s win had been at the expense of Hull City, halting their escape from the pack. So, we had nothing to lose, if we could avoid any major damage to our goal difference. A point would be a real bonus against Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa side, which was surely looking to pick themselves up after their surprise midweek loss to QPR.
Phil Parkinson didn’t spring any surprises with his team selection, opting for a back four. The whole team was up for this match from the kick-off and we simply outfought, outbattled and outplayed Aston Villa for a well-deserved victory. We even survived the first half loss of Captain Darren Pratley but not before he had flicked on Sammy Ameobi’s corner for Adam Le Fondre to slot home at the far post. Our defence stood up to anything Villa could throw at us with Ben Alnwick having little to do, other than one good save from a speculative effort. For the first time in a long time, it was heart-warming to hear the fans singing under the stands at half-time. This was a brilliant team effort from start to finish. They all deserved the man of the match award.
This was a great result and a fantastic boost to our survival chances. Six points clear of the third relegation place with eight matches to go. But we are not there yet. There’s still a lot of hard work to be done. You’re only as good as your last match and the only place that matters is where we are after 46 matches. Anything can still happen. Just ask Villa. They had a fantastic result last weekend, hammering Wolves 4-1 and then they have lost their next two matches against lower opposition. Our fans, just like all the fans involved in the relegation battle, are busy looking at the remaining fixture lists, calculating where points will be won and lost. We are together and things are beginning to look good for the Wanderers, but the beauty and torment of football is that no match result is entirely predictable.