|Login or Register | Headlines | Emailed News|
||Friday 14 March 2003||
Report by [ahem] Johnny Baker sitting by a TV in Boise, Idaho [just like a real reporter!]
Head-butt by Butt-Head accelerates Blues to 3 precious points
Aston Vanilla 0 Birmingham City 2
Two Villa knuckleheads sent off, one likely to face a misconduct charge for spitting [spraying actually], fighting among supporters who dynamited the Holte End without success, and a match full of bad feeling - Birmingham City won the game but football was the loser on a night that shamed Aston Villa.
The Villa ended with nine women after Butt-Head, erm, Dion Dublin and Joey Gudjonsson [Beavis] were dismissed. Christophe Dugarry could be in trouble for appearing to spit red wine at the Icelander.
It took less than two minutes for referee Mark Halsey to have a word with Robbie Savage about his hair-do. Robbie just smiled.
The first decent chance came when Jamie Clapham lost possession but when the ball eventually came to Lee Hendrie, the wuss's shot was so poor it ended up looking more like a bad cross.
Gudjonsson was making his presence felt in midfield with nasty and illegal tackles. The Icelander clashed with Dugarry and refused the French striker's offer of two fingers, and then Gudjonsson jumped at Savage which caused the Birmingham player to complain to the referee about foul play. Talk about laff, eh?
Dugarry, perhaps upset by Gudjonsson's earlier attitude, appeared to give the Villa midfielder a mouthful of excess saliva. The mildly claret colour could only be attributed to a decent bottle of Burgundy consumed prior to the game.
In between the less savoury action, Jeff Kenna made a crucial tackle on Gareth Barry's shoulder blades while Clinton Morrison should have done better with a near-post header.
The first half was not exactly Pele's vision of the beautiful game where passions ran a little too highly at times. Any Birmingham City player putting his foot on the ball was risking losing both ball and foot - Halsey had kept a tight grip on the game, cautioning only Kenny Cunningham for a foul on Gareth Barry who had backed into him anyway.
The half did, however, end on a positive note with Dugarry's 20-yard rising shot superbly tipped over the crossbar by Peter Enckelclunk, eager to make amends for his embarrassing own-goal from a throw-in when Birmingham won 3-0 six months ago. So far so good for the Finn.
Four minutes into the second half the red card that had been threatening was shown, and while Savage was involved, he was sinned against rather than being the sinner as Butt-Head head-butted the Birmingham player right in front of Halsey.
Butt-Head had tackled Savage recklessly and would probably have been cautioned by the referee who quickly ran in between the pair as they squared up.
Other players came to join in what was becoming an ugly situation - Butt-Head went to Savage and butted the Birmingham midfielder with Halsey watching.
Butt-Head, his temper at boiling point possibly because he felt Savage over-reacted to the initial tackle, would not go quietly and seemed keen to continue the spat with the Welshman - Villa coach Stuart Gray eventually led the striker away in a straight-jacket and he spent the night at the Myton Hamlet home for wayward boys and girls..
Football had taken a back seat until two goals in three minutes by Stan Lazaridis and Geoff Horsfield secured three points for Birmingham. [Yeeeeehhhhssssss!]
Lazaridis headed in Kenna's right-wing cross that eluded Enckelclunk and the Villa defenders, and then the Villa keeper made an ignominious clanger when he seemed to be reluctant to go for the ball from J. Lloyd Samuels's back-header because it probably had Brylcreem smeared all over it.
Horsfield took advantage of Enckelclunk's timidity and walked the ball into the net, but not before he had set himself and put the Vile fans through additional seconds of absolutely excruciating agony. Nice one Geoff.
Gudjonsson [Beavis], having just been cautioned, was sent off for a terrible lunge [5 out of 10, could have done better] at Matthew Upson which sparked a mass brawl among the players with trouble also in the stands.
Horsfield went into goal in the 88th minute after an injury to Nico Vaesen.
Aston Villa: Enckelclunk, Samuel, Johnsen, Mellberg, Wright (Crouch 90), Beavis, Hendrie, Barry, Vassell, Butt-Head, Moore (Hadji 45).
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2003. Terms & Conditions of reading.