Villa boss is full of praise

By Jamie Arrowsmith 10/05 Updated: 14/05 12:50

FAIRFIELD Villa boss Paul Oakes declared himself a happy man following his side’s 1-1 draw against Bromsgrove Sporting on Saturday.

Martin Slevin’s late goal ensured the Recreation Ground outfit grabbed a point in their final home game of the season on a day that Oakes felt the club had a lot to be proud about.

“The whole day went well, for which full credit must go to the committee,” he said.

“There was a big crowd at the game but we coped with it well. “Everything went without a glitch and we showed we are capable of hosting a big occasion.

“Full credit should go to both sets of players as well because they both demonstrated how local pride is worth fighting for.

“Neither side had anything on the game in terms of the league but the derby element of the game was evident with everybody giving it their all.”

It was the fourth meeting between the side’s this season with Sporting having won twice to Villa’s one going into the game, but the 4-1 Boxing Day league defeat was still fresh in Oakes’ mind going into the game.

“I was desperate to have another crack at them in the league because our performance on Boxing Day has sat uneasy with me ever since,” he said.

“I felt we were the better side this time around. We were superb in the first half with Martin Slevin, Steve McGlen and Craig Cosgrove running things in midfield.

“We came under pressure for 15-20 minutes at the start of the second half but gradually got ourselves back on top and managed to get level. I couldn’t fault any player on Saturday, they were all superb.

“It was nice to get a positive result and produce a good display against a good side near the top of the table as a thank you to the committee for all of the work they put in throughout the season.

“I feel like I’ve let them down a bit with results on the pitch this year so this was for them.”

Sporting almost doubled their advantage whilst on top at the start of the second half but a splendid save from Marc Rogers kept them out and Oakes heaped praise on his keeper in his last game for the club.

“It was possibly the best save I’ve ever seen him make for us which is ironic really given it was his last game,” Oakes said.

“He’s been an absolute credit to the club, never lets you down and will be sorely missed.

“The same goes for Dean Beagan who is relocating to Manchester, they are both going to be very hard personalities to replace.”

Villa end their season with a trip to Feckenham tonight (Friday, 7pm) who will be buoyed by their victory in the Les James Challenge Cup final over Racing Club Warwick at Walsall FC’s Banks’ Stadium on Tuesday night.

“Their success in that should not be underestimated,” Oakes said.

“They’ve beaten four Premier Division sides on their way to lifting the trophy and will obviously be buoyant as a result.

“I’ve got a lot of time for a lot of people at Feckenham and am thrilled for them in winning on Wednesday.

“It will be a nice game to finish the season with and I’m sure they’ll be out for revenge as we have got the better of them on three occasions already this season.”

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