Villa lose eventful contest

By Jamie Arrowsmith 14/03 Updated: 19/03 13:22

FAIRFIELD Villa will be hoping for a slightly less eventful afternoon when they travel to Coton Green in Midland Combination Division One tomorrow (3pm).

Paul Oakes’ men were beaten 2-1 at home by league leaders Littleton on Saturday on an afternoon that saw them lose goalkeeper Owen Hancox to injury shortly before kick-off, have Martin Slevin sent off in the 22nd minute and lose a stunning last minute strike.

“I was really proud of the lads despite the result because we had a fair few problems to overcome,” Oakes said.

“Losing your goalkeeper so close to kick-off is a big blow, especially as we didn’t have anybody to replace him.

“Jamie Hatfield was happy to volunteer and he did brilliantly, but not only have we then lost Hancox, we’ve also lost Hatfield’s qualities outfield.

“The sending off so early in the game makes things even harder but credit to the players because they dug deep and produced an excellent display.

“Particularly in the second half, we were by far the better side, and it took an absolutely stunning strike to beat us. The disappointment of defeat was tempered by the quality of the strike, it was fantastic.”

Littleton had got themselves ahead before Slevin saw red but Villa drew level in the second half thanks to a fine Lewis Smith free kick.

Steve McGlen hit the post as the home side searched for a winner but it was to be Littleton’s day thanks to Lolley’s late screamer.

“Losing Martin was a blow because he is very influential to us but I have no problem with either of the bookings,” Oakes said.

“He shows tremendous fighting spirit on the pitch and I think in trying to lead from the front he has got himself two bookings.

“We’ve got a decent squad forming again though and the problem may become keeping everybody happy and getting them some game time, as opposed to spells in the season when it has been a struggle to get a squad together.”

Oakes hopes to draft a new goalkeeper in for tomorrow’s game as Hancox remains a doubt. Smith is also hoping to shake off a knock whilst Adam Pillinger and Chris Pratt should be available after back and groin problems respectively.

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