Aston Villa made it two home wins from two under Dean Smith against Bolton yesterday, as the gears seem to finally be turning on the pitch.
Words by Harry Trend (@HazaTrand)
Villa comfortably saw off Bolton 2-0 this evening with goals from Jack Grealish and James Chester either side of half-time.
And the first didn’t take too long in its arrival; Tammy Abraham turned away from David Wheater before threading it through to Grealish who rounded Jak Alnwick to score his first of the season.
We looked in control during the early stages of the contest, spraying the ball around on the deck – an all too rare sight at Villa Park in recent times.
That was until Jack Hobbs looked certain to equalize with a goalbound header which beat Nyland, luckily a flying James Chester managed to get a toe on the ball to divert it wide.
Nevertheless, the we should’ve had more than a solitary goal lead going into the break. Grealish turned 14 inside before working Alnwick with a long shot, and McGinn could only find the side netting with his stooping header from Kodjia’s cross.
Momentarily, the Chester did think he’d doubled our advantage, but his headed finish from Hourihanes free kick was deemed offside by referee Oliver Langford.
In the second half Orjan Nyland was called into action; saving with his legs to deny Craig Noone from an angle.
Just before the hour mark Chester got that all important second goal, beating his man to head in a deep Grealish free-kick. It’s a goal the Welshman has scored a few times for the Pride.
Talking of goals, Adomah nearly scored what would’ve been another Villa goal of month contender, clearing the crossbar with an overhead kick from Abraham’s header.
Villa were always pushing for that third, Hogan came on for Abraham with ten minutes to go as Smith tried to do just that.
At the other end of the pitch we looked a lot more solid in the second 45. Tuanzebe was excellent again while Taylor put in a steadfast shift at left-back.
Some late Bolton pressure meant Magennis could’ve pulled one back for the away side at the death, but it’s a much needed three points for Villa and more importantly a performance that Dean Smith can build on.