Aston Villa - Away
Season 11 (A) 23/1/10 FAC r4 - 2-3 ~ Elphick, Forster
It was an occasion for Albion fans to savour coz we'd not been this far in the FA Cup since well before the Withdean era started, long after that old Goldstone glory went tits up. Anyway about 6k B'fans made the trip and although it was a cold and grey winter day, there were warm feelings in our hearts. Travelling hordes filled one upper tier behind the north goal and both levels in part of the grandstand. Over 39k attended, helped by cheap ticketing and desire to get to Wembley. Gus Poyet got our outfit ready to do battle to best of tier three ability, secretly hoping we might snatch a draw. Albion were struggling in lg1, so had nowt to lose in relaxing and having a free shot at Prem big boys.
Villa opened the scoring early doors (5min) and they'd scored six previously versus pukka opposition. They were fast and direct and stretched BHA defenders to the limit. But approaching h-t we were still in this contest and holding 'em. Following pressure, Albion got a corner and Elphick (40m) took a swing in the melee. Gus had words of encouragement during coffee, where no cups got thrown. Then just when we had an attack toward visiting support, Villa hit us on the counter to lead again (48m). With an hour gone it wasn't over but they done us with another quick break to win this tie (63m). Our blokes tried but couldn't get near 'em for football on the burst. Albion m-f got over-run so GP made 2 changes immediately, shaping up 433. Villa might have eased down toward the end and Forster did what he does around the penalty area (90). We went home beaten but not bowed, wishing lg1 teams would stand off and allow us to play like today.
Kuipers, Calderon, Virgo, Elphick, McNulty, Bennett (Dickinson), Crofts, Navarro (Cox), Dicker (Carole), Murray, Forster.
no previous meetings in the Withdean Era.