Gabby Agbonlahor matched his goal tally from the previous two seasons within seven minutes this evening; slamming the ball into the top corner to give Aston Villa the lead in a fantastic first half performance from the boys in Claret and Blue at a packed Villa Park. Unfortunately, this would be the Holte End’s only cheer of the night, as we succumbed to Hull City’s second half onslaught.
The game started brightly for Villa, with Henri Lansbury beating the offside trap but scuffing a shot wide of the mark after getting one-on-one with McGregor in the Hull City net. Agbonlahor then timed a run from the left to absolute perfection- bursting into the box but firing straight at the onrushing Alan McGregor. Villa eventually took the lead with a fantastic move- Lansbury finding new boy Ahmed Elmohamady, who in turn released the pacey Alan Hutton, whose whipped cross evaded everybody before arriving right into the path of Agbonlahor who silenced the Hull fans by smashing the ball into the top right hand corner. After a classy celebration which consisted of the 30 year old dedicating his goal to Wolves ‘keeper Carl Ikeme who is suffering from Leukaemia, Agbonlahor was denied the opportunity to double his tally when Hogan’s cheeky back heel was taken off of Gabby’s boot by the sliding Aina. Lansbury also had the opportunity to make it 2-0, but his right footed half volley was easily saved in the bottom left hand corner.
Sam Johnstone had work to do at the end of the first half- first of all parrying from Bowen, and then acrobatically denying Grosicky’s attempt to take advantage of the temporarily unguarded Villa goal. This pattern continued into the second half, with a re-energised Hull City team forcing Johnstone into a string of fine saves, before Bowen volleyed past the Manchester United loanee to restore parity. Villa had chances to regain the lead, but a scuffed effort from Leandro Bacuna-before he was substituted to jeers from the Villa faithful, a head-in-hands moment for Andre Green as he headed wide with the goal gaping, and a miscue from new boy Josh Onomah, albeit being in an offside position, meant that the Villa’s first match of the campaign would finish 1-1.