ASTON VILLA 1 CITY 4
League Division 1
City Booth, Tueart(3)
City Corrigan, Clements, Donachie, Doyle, Watson, Booth, Kidd, Channon, Royle, Hartford, Tueart
…Gary Owen was dropped in favour of Brian Kidd and the teams ran out to a packed Villa Park on a damp Wednesday evening in the Midlands.
Former Blues manager Ron Saunders was now in charge at Villa and, ironically, his last act as City boss had been to sign Dennis Tueart from Sunderland and it’s a fair bet he wished he’d never even heard of Tueart by the time this game had finished.
Villa roared out of the blocks, intent on giving a noisy, partisan crowd exactly what they wanted, and with just four minutes gone, John Deehan put the ball past Joe Corrigan to fire Villa ahead. It was the start Book had dreaded.
Yet just two minutes later, it was the travelling supporters going wild as Tommy Booth headed home the equaliser. It had been an exhilarating start and the next goal would be crucial – and both teams went at each other hammer and tongue and Villa should have re-taken the lead when
Alex Cropley was twice presented with gift opportunities within the space of four frenetic minutes.
Whether those misses put seeds of doubt into the Villa players’ minds that perhaps it might not be their night is unknown, but on 28 minutes, Tueart scored his first of the night, recreating his spectacular League Cup final winner by scoring with an overhead kick from Mike Doyle’s throw-in.
There were no further goals in the first period and the players were greeted by a torrential downpour after the break, with Book asking for ‘more of the same’ from his players. City looked slick, their passing was smooth and incisive and Villa’s threat was occasional but not constant and when they did break through, Corrigan was at his commanding best. Booth, Doyle and Dave Watson were magnificent at the back and the home team’s will began to weaken as it became clear the Blues were hell-bent on returning north with all three points. It wasn’t until the final six minutes,
however, that the City fans could relax. First on 84 minutes, Tueart took advantage of some hesitant defending to make it 3-1. Then three minutes later, Tueart was celebrating his first away hat-trick after Kenny Clements’ long clearance left him through on goal. As former Manchester United keeper Jimmy Rimmer ran out, Tueart chipped it over his head to complete an emphatic 4-1 win. It had been a fantastic night for City, and Tueart in particular.
ADAPTED FROM ‘THE CLASSIC MATCH’ BY DAVID CLAYTON IN THE JULY 2008 CITY MAGAZINE