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By Jamie Arrowsmith Thursday 10 January 2013 Updated: 17/01 16:55
FAIRFIELD Villa boss Paul Oakes has warned his players to expect their toughest test of the season so far tomorrow when they entertain fellow Midland Combination Division One title hopefuls Alvis (2pm).
Villa head in to the game on a superb run of form having won their last ten matches, including Saturday’s dramatic 4-3 success at Knowle. Their incredible run sees them sitting in the table, two points behind leaders Cadbury Athletic, but the destiny of the title is still in Alvis’ hands as despite sitting 11 points off the top, they do have six games in hand.
Oakes believes the amount of games Alvis have remaining, especially given they are still involved in four cup competitions, could yet prove to be their downfall but is fully expecting a thorough examination against the Coventry-based outfit.
“They gave us a football lesson the second time we met them last season and are an exceptional side,” he said.
“When you can include the likes of Patrick Suffo in your side you have to have something about you and it is no surprise they have only lost once in all competitions all season.
“That said, we are on a fantastic run and are full of confidence so couldn’t be meeting them at a better time really.
“Our current squad is as good as anything I can remember during my seven years here and hopefully the lads will continue to impress.”
Villa’s latest success looked to be something of a formality as they walked off 3-1 ahead at the break but Knowle fought back strongly in the second half to level before the visitors snatched all three points.
Stuart Hall set Brendon Hicks up to make it 1-1 after Knowle had struck first before the goalscorer turned provider for Lewis Cosgrove to head home.
Steve McGlen made it 3-1 with Hall again involved in the build-up and that is how it remained until half time.
Last season’s corresponding fixture ended in a 4-4 draw and it appeared to be heading that way again when Knowle got back on terms in the second half but Villa were not to be denied and McGlen’s second of the afternoon with five minutes left secured the points.
“It really was the stereotypical game of two halves,” Oakes added.
“We would probably have folded when Knowle got back to 3-3 in recent years but the lads showed great belief to go on and get a winner.
“There is a good togetherness in the squad at the moment which often comes when things are going well and that is going to be important as each game gets bigger and bigger between now and the end of the season.”
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