By Jamie Arrowsmith Thursday 14 February 2013 Updated: 18/02 14:30
FAIRFIELD Villa secured their place in the Worcestershire Junior Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 victory at Stratford Alliance outfit Badsey Rangers on Saturday.
The victory, achieved thanks to Stuart Hall’s goal, was Villa’s 11th in a row in all competitions, extending a superb run which dates back to mid-October.
Paul Oakes’ side can now look forward to a last four clash at home against Malvern Rangers on February 23 and the boss is hopeful his side can give themselves something to focus on at the end of the season.
“It is always nice to have big games to look forward to and if we can overcame Malvern, we know we’ll be in a final at the end of the season which is always a nice position to be in,” Oakes said.
“The season has become a bit disjointed over the past couple of months with a lot of fixtures being called off but the lads were straight back at it on Saturday and deserving of their victory.”
Villa made a bright start and almost led through Dean Gaffney’s header but the keeper made a fine save before denying Keiron Evans on the rebound.
Badsey struggled to create anything of note in the first half and Villa deservedly went ahead when Hall scored from the spot after being fouled whilst turning his marker.
The second half was a more even affair but Pete Jenvey should have made it 2-0, again only to be denied by a good save.
Neil Leech was called into serious action for the first time when getting down low to save well and Villa were comfortable from that point as they progressed into the last four.
“Fair play to Badsey for managing to get the game on in tough conditions but the pitch became a bit of a leveller and made it hard for us to play our football,” Oakes said.
“I felt we had another gear had it been necessary but we saw the game out well and it was probably as comfortable a 1-0 victory as you can get.”
Oakes’ men will be determined to add a 12th win to their list of successes tomorrow when they return to Midland Combination Division One action and a home clash against bottom of the table Northfield Town (3pm).
Villa sit third in the table going into the game, two places and two points behind leaders Cadbury Athletic with a game in hand. Alvis, in sixth, are the team with their fate in their own hands having played six games less than the leaders and only sitting eight points behind.
“Cadbury’s shock defeat on Saturday has brought them back into the pack and any of the top six will now be thinking they can win it, ourselves included,” Oakes said.
“Alvis are in the best position given how many games in hand they have but they could also prove to be their downfall as they have an awful lot of fixtures, including cup games, to fit in between now and the end of the season.”
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