Gabby Finally Grabs A Goal

Gabby Agbonlahor struck his first goal of the season as Villa easily defeated a lethargic looking Fulham side at Villa Park.

An own goal inside the first three minutes from John Paintsil got the home side off to a flying start and speedy striker Agbonlahor lashed in a second to seal the win.

Youngster Ciaran Clark, who is currently the reserve side captain, took the place of crocked Curtis Davies at centre-back and put in a fine performance as the Claret and Blue looked assured in all areas.

There was to be no debut for Stephen Warnock as Portsmouth target Nicky Shorey kept his place in the side and played the full 90 minutes.

All in all, it was very encouraging for the home faithful as their side brushed off an opening day loss and some unsavoury booing against Wigan to make it six points from a possible nine.

Ashley Young, who won two penalties in midweek against Rapid Vienna and missed one, was involved in the action early on as he trotted over to take an early corner.

The former Watford winger bent the ball in with real venom and Paintsil was sold down the river by his team mate Dickson Etuhu, who failed to clear at the near post.

The right-back could not get out of the way after Etuhu had missed his header and the consequences were fatal for Fulham with the ball landing in the back of the net.


Steve Sidwell then missed a good chance from Agbonlahor's knock down as Villa pressed before Clint Dempsey failed to trouble Brad Friedel with consecutive headers.

As the Villans made their way off for half time, the boos of two weeks previous were replaced by a chorus of cheers.

The fans showed their appreciation after seeing their side put in a valiant performance and one which was far more stable than against the Latics.

Villa really took control after the break as Agbonlahor struck brilliantly after dispossessing debutant Jonathan Greening, who is on loan at Fulham from West Brom.

The dynamic England striker has suffered a crisis of confidence since the back-end of last season but his drive was that of a man on a hot scoring streak.

Agbonlahor is currently relishing his restoration as the lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation, which he did to such potent effect before Emile Heskey arrived at the club in January.

His goal killed off a weary Fulham on this occasion and what the Villa fans would give for a similar strike in two weeks time at St Andrews.

Agbonlahor did for the Blues on their own turf two seasons ago and he would relish the chance to repeat his heroics when Villa take to the field for their next encounter after the international break.