Date: 15th January 2006 at 2:53pm
Written by:

ASTON VILLA: Sorensen, Hughes, Mellberg, Delaney, Samuel, Davis, Bakke (Hendrie 12), McCann, Milner, Baros, Moore (Angel 60).

Subs Not Used: Taylor, Ridgewell, Gardner.

WEST HAM UNITED: Carroll, Repka, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Konchesky, Newton (Benayoun 71), Reo-Coker, Mullins, Etherington (Dailly 81), Harewood, Zamora (Katan 74).

Subs Not Used: Hislop, Clarke.

Aston Villa must hate the sight of Marlon Harewood, as again he sent the midlanders away from this fixture pointless. Alan Pardew’s side came from behind to halt their recent Premiership slump, and pile the misery on David O’Leary.

Harewood scored a hat-trick when the Hammers defeated Villa 4-0 at Upton Park in September, and the former Nottingham Forest player tucked away the decisive penalty after a second-half Hammer’s revival. It continues the good work achieved at Carrow Road in the FA Cup, and put an end to a sequence of one point from the previous five league games.

Villa were well on top in the opening 45 minutes and looked every bit the side that had only been beaten once in the previous nine league games.

Lee Hendrie headed them in front and the game could have been over as a contest by the interval had Milan Baros found the form that he showed during his brighter days at Anfield.

But whatever Pardew said to his players at half-time, he should put it on a motivation CD and flog it on E-Bay, because the second period was an amazing transformation.

Nigel Reo-Coker and Hayden Mullins set up camp in midfield and controlled the match from the centre-circle, Paul Konchesky charged down the flank as though he owned the place, and Harewood frightened the life out of the Villa defenders.

After 28 minutes Hendrie made the breakthrough. Milner’s pass provided Samuel with the space to burst into the West Ham box and his cross was met by Hendrie who sent a glancing header past Carroll into the far corner of the net.

The visitors came out for the second-half looking more determined than at any point in the previous 45 minutes, and after 51 minutes were back on level terms through Bobby Zamora’s eighth goal of the campaign.

Hendrie handled Konchesky’s cross and the England defender took the free-kick. Zamora left Aaron Hughes for dead and planted a powerful header past Sorensen.

On 60 minutes Harewood put the Londoners in front from the penalty spot, sending Sorensen the wrong way, when Delaney handled Mullin’s shot.