Frank Stubbs: Bang Bang!

13/14: Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal - Jack Wilshere

There are many interesting and amusing tales of the lengths us football fans go to in following our team and I have a number I could add to that list. Some of course just involve arriving home at a ridiculous hour, often with a working day to follow, another situation thousands of you will have experienced down the years.

For a variety of reasons midweek kick-offs later than 7.45pm do not work for me, especially away from home anywhere north of London. Consequently I hit the sack as the clock approached 5am on Tuesday morning. Awaking with sore eyes a couple of hours later however, I could not wipe the huge grin off my face after yet another away day success!

Ignoring timings, our travelling party enjoyed a thoroughly enjoyable Monday night all round. Birmingham as a city is widely regarded as the home of the 'balti' in this country and with the game coinciding with my dad's birthday it seemed rude not to enjoy the tucker on offer pre-match.

With the help of Mr. Google we found a place 20 minutes walk from Villa Park with reviews such as, "...despite being a little grotty with wallpaper hanging off the walls, you will not find a better balti in the West Midlands!" Sold, table for 10 please!

And mighty fine it was, meaning our walk to the ground was warm if a little uncomfortable around the belt area!

Our record at Villa Park is very good in recent times so we were confident going into the game. Football can bite you when you least expect it of course and, with the added pressure of seeing all our nearest rivals win over the weekend, we knew a win would have to be earned.

Roared on by the travelling yellow and blue army, our first-half display was full of quick passing and movement culminating in a fine move that saw Jack slot home the all-important opener. Post-goal jostles can be quite vigorous as we know, especially away from home, and on this occasion we didn't have time to dust ourselves down and 'bang', Olly doubled our lead! Cue the usual carnage in one small part of the West Midlands!

Many have described the second half as nervous but until our hosts scored I definitely wouldn't have used the same adjective. Defensively we were superb and although we weren't as potent going forward, the game looked like ending in an extremely comfortable two-goal victory.

Three more massive points to keep us top of the tree as we look forward to the visit of a Fulham side fresh from overcoming Norwich in their FA Cup replay on Tuesday night.

A side that hasn't enjoyed the best of seasons so far, they come to north London with a new manager, new ideas, new tactics and new belief, a dangerous combination that should eliminate any chance of complacency on our part.

It's another game for us to look forward to so let's give the team the vocal support they need. Come on you reds!

@stubbsy 70

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