Victory boost for Villa ahead of final clash

By Jamie Arrowsmith 23/04 Updated: 24/04 14:42

FAIRFIELD Villa warmed up for one of the biggest weeks in their season by recording a confidence boosting 1-0 victory at Midland Combination Division One leaders Littleton on Saturday.

The victory came in the first leg of the President's Cup semi-final and will set Paul Oakes' side up nicely for Wednesday's Worcestershire Junior Cup final against Archdale 73 at Worcester City FC.

Villa have a Division One trip to Alvis to think about tomorrow (3pm) first but Oakes admitted to being boosted by the Littleton success.

"It was a great performance from everybody and I was delighted with the result," he said.

"If there was a slight frustration from the day it was that we could have been more clinical in front of goal and possibly put the tie to bed, but I'd have taken 1-0 before the start, no doubt.

"They are a good side however, and the tie is far from over. In Joe Lolley they have the best finisher in the league in my opinion but we defended excellently to keep him at bay.

"Steve Frost, Andy Pike and Chris Parish were excellent at the back whilst Owen Hancox in goal behind though also had a really good afternoon."

Villa travel to seventh placed Alvis tomorrow still searching for their first away league victory of the season but Oakes admits Wednesday's cup final will take slight priority.

"Wednesday is a bigger game but we are not heading to Alvis simply to turn up and get beaten.

"A few lads who are carrying knocks will not be risked but that will give a number of players who have been waiting for their chance the opportunity to come in and impress.

"The likes of Jak Allbut and Ben Timbrell represent the future of this club and I have absolutely no worries about putting them in the team on Saturday.

"The fact we are yet to win away is quite ironic given how good we've been away from home in previous seasons but we still have a lot of games to go so we have time to put it right."

Looking ahead to Wednesday's cup final, Oakes said: "It will be a tough game but one we are really looking forward to.

"It is a big night for the club. We always strive to win some silverware and the Worcestershire Junior Cup is a great competition to win.

"We have won it once before and it was a great experience so hopefully we can do it again."

Villa will have to do without the services of top scorer Ryan Sproston for possibly the remainder of the season due to injury whilst they have been dealt a further blow with the news that Dean Beagan will be leaving the club.

"I feel so sorry for Ryan because he has done tremendously this season and is now going to miss the business end of the season due to a nasty injury. He is a great lad who has learnt very quickly and will be a big miss to us.

"Dean is about to relocate and will be a massive miss for us. He's been a great servant to this club and Wednesday's final could be his last game, so a win would be a fitting send off for him."

Villa have also announced plans to enter a Reserve team into the Kidderminster Premier League next season.

Stephen Morgan will take control as player/manager, working closely with Jason Hancox.

"I'm excited by the prospect of having a Reserve team," Oakes said.

"Lack of decent squad numbers has always made it difficult before but we have some good strength in depth now and it will help keep players happy in game time and allow us to further put to use the good local knowledge of Jason (Hancox) who has proved a valuable addition to the club."

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