At the same time as the Villa were playing Kidderminster Harriers, another Villa eleven played AFC Telford at New Bucks Head.
In terms of the starting XI, Villa had a trialist of their own, with Congo centre back Chris Samba looking to impress Steve Bruce. It was interesting to see Jordan Amavi starting, especially so soon after he failed his medical at Sevilla.
After a slow start, things sparked into life when Amavi played Andre Green in on the left. The latter’s cross ended up hitting the post, then Keinan Davies headed just over the bar soon after.
Amavi and Green were causing real problems on the left. If we do manage to keep the Frenchman at Villa, is this a partnership we deploy against teams looking to sit back and defend?
Unfortunately, both Albert Adomah and Nathan Baker got injured early in the first half. This meant Mitchell Clark and Callum O’Hare were both introduced respectively, the two didn’t look phased sharing a pitch with the established players.
Our first real chance came when Green, who was looking a cut above any player on the pitch, blitzed away from the Telford defence, found his way into the box, but could only hit the crossbar.
But with ten minutes of the half to go, it was 1-0. Andre Green cut in, then kept cutting in until he unleashed a low shot which was deflected in. It was nearly a quickfire double as Keinan Davies came close minutes later.
Almost as soon as the second half started, Villa were presented with the chance to double their lead. Keinan Davies was tripped in the area, allowing Henri Lansbury to coolly smash in a penalty.
A couple of minutes later, it was three, Gabby burying James Bree’s cross with a header. By this point the game was more or less sewn up.
In typical Agbonlahor fashion, the former England international received a yellow card a matter of minutes later, sliding in on the Telford right back a long time after he had cleared the ball. Gabby’s case is an interesting one for next season, he probably won’t start much but could make an impact off the bench.
At this point in the game, Villa were just toying with Telford. Even Jordan Veretout nearly scored on the hour mark, playing a one two with Green, but his shot went out for a throw in.
Our only real scare came when a free header from corner meant Matija Sarkic had to make a save low down with his legs.
With five minutes to go, Lansbury got our fourth with another penalty. Mitchell Reece Clark did extremely well to draw the foul in the build-up, utilising his speed to skip past a defender before being fouled by Jazz Singh in the Telford goal.
Villa looked very comfortable toward the end of the game, obviously you can’t read too much into a friendly against a sixth-tier side, but out of the two games we played, this was the most promising. Confidence on the ball from our more senior players filtered down to the youngsters. Mitchell Clark was outstanding alongside Christopher Samba and it seemed everything he tried came off.
Christopher Samba – Based off his showing on Wednesday, Bruce should probably sign him up. The big man won every header and his good positioning meant his pace wasn’t exposed. However, with an already bloated squad, we need to be careful about who we sign and how much were paying them. Would it be more beneficial to bring through a younger defender like Kevin Toner or Mitchell Clark who’s time at the top isn’t so limited?