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By Jamie Arrowsmith Thursday 11 October 2012 Updated: 18/10 17:10
FAIRFIELD Villa boss Paul Oakes declared himself immensely proud of his side despite seeing them fall to a 1-0 defeat at Nuneaton Griff in the Les James Challenge Cup on Wednesday night.
Villa travelled to their Midland Combination Premier Division opponents in confident mood following Saturday’s comprehensive 6-0 Division One victory at Northfield and they produced an excellent display that, had it not been for a man of the match display from the home goalkeeper, seen them in to the next round.
Stuart Hall and Keiron Evans were denied by excellent saves in the first half whilst the keeper made a stunning triple save in the second half to frustrate Villa.
The only goal of the game came from the penalty spot in the 80th minute after Andy Pike was penalised but Oakes declared himself thrilled with his side’s display.
“It was probably the proudest I have been of them for a good couple of years,” he said.
“Without a superb display from their goalkeeper we would have scored four or five against a team who have been performing brilliantly so far this season.
“It is always disappointing to lose and I was bitterly disappointed for the lads as they did not get the result they deserved, but there were so many positives for us to take.
“They were all exceptional and Andy Pike was head and shoulders the best defender on the pitch, so it was sad for him to be the one to concede the penalty.”
Villa ran out comfortable winners at Northfield on Saturday as they quickly erased the memory of the heavy defeat suffered at Hampton seven days earlier.
Evans (2), Craig Cosgrove, Martin Slevin, Pete Jenvey and Hall were all on target to give Villa sixth league success of the season.
“We absolutely battered them to be honest. I think the lads enjoyed themselves scoring a few goals and on another day we might have had a few more.
“Admittedly Northfield were not at their best but I don’t want to take anything away from us. You can only play what is in front of you and we produced a very good performance.
“I was looking for a response after the defeat at Hampton and I certainly got it.”
Villa now turn their attentions to tomorrow’s home clash with second in the table Cadbury Athletic and Oakes fully expects them to provide a tough challenge.
“They are always really well organised and well drilled and very rarely give anything away,” he said.
“It will be tough, but if we can produce the same sort of performance we did on Wednesday, and we’ll need to, there is no reason why we cannot get a result.”
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