Confident Awsworth Villa send the league leaders West

A SUPERB win for fast-improving Awsworth Villa.
A SUPERB win for fast-improving Awsworth Villa.

The first of back-to-back away trips to play two of the best sides in the Notts Senior League ended in glorious triumph for Awsworth Villa.

This Saturday, Villa travel to meet reigning league champions Wollaton. But they are full of connfidence after a superb 1-0 victory at high-flying West Bridgford last weekend.

Bridgford started the day on top of the Senior Division table after winning 12 of their 16 matches and suffering just one defeat.

But they were tamed by Villa, who duly extended their own unbeaten run to six games, in which they have kept five clean sheets. They now sit sixth in the table and although they still trail the new leaders, Ruddington Village, by 12 points, they have four games in hand.

In a strong wind and driving rain, the Awsworth outfit always looked the more positive of the two teams, even though they lost Matt Goodwin to a knee injury after only ten minutes.

Goodwin was replaced by Luke Grinham, who did not look out of place in an unusual position for him on the right wing. In fact, within five minutes of his introduction, Grinham was instrumental in the move that led to the game’s winning goal.

It came from a corner, delivered by Shaw Hutchinson, and when Josh Niblett headed the ball down, there was Danny Walsh, who volleyed the ball over the Bridgford ‘keeper.

The rest of the first half swung back and forth, but the only threat posed by the home side came from a shot that was cleared off the line by Liam Smith.

As the match grew incresingly feisty, the referee showed no fewer than eight yellow cards, and with 25 minutes left, he also dismissed Bridgford centre-back Simon Labbate for a second bookable offence after he had been turned on the halfway-line by striker Walsh.

With their defence in full control, Villa seized the opportunity to press for more goals, making full use of the wind at their backs and not afraid to use the long ball. They missed a gilt-edged chance late on when Ryan Whitehurst somehow failed to find an open net.