Going to Aston Villa ?

Aston Villa FC – B6 6HE – Sunday December 5th 4.30pm

Directions from the North West or South West

Exit junction 7 of the M6 and follow signs for Birmingham A34. After passing Alexandra Stadium stay in the nearside lane and leave the main carriageway. Matchday car parks are signposted on the left hand side.

Directions from the North East or South East

The following official parking sites on the south side of the stadium are as follows:

Via Salford Junction / Lichfield Road – junction 6 of the M6 signposted A38

  • Powerleague
  • Star City (free parking) BEWARE PARKING OUTSIDE WHITE LINES OR INAPPROPRIATELY CAN RESULT IN HEAVY FINES
  • Aston Social Club

Via Park Circus -junction 6 of the M6 signposted A38 (M) City Centre

  • Aston Tower School
King Edward School Parking Restrictions

Are in place in residential areas around the stadium

Approx 52 miles, 1 hour

Pubs

There are a number of pubs in the vicinity of Villa Park, but most of them on match days are either members only or have bouncers on the door. ‘The Witton Arms allows away fans but does charge to gain entry. The Yew Tree is on the same road as the Witton Arms, but with this pub on your left carry straight on up the road, passing Witton Railway Station on your right. After about half a mile you will see the pub on the right hand side. Also around a 15 minute walk away near Birmingham City University is the ‘Hare of the Dog’ pub.

If you arrive a bit earlier then you may wish to visit the historic Bartons Arms, located about a 15 minute walk away on High Street Aston (A34). This Grade II listed building is one of Birmingham’s finest pubs, with superb Victorian decor, serving Oakham ales and Thai food is also on offer. It is a regular entry in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. 

Star City is just off Junction 6 of the M6, going towards Villa Park. Huge free car park, plus plenty of food and drink outlets. It is then about a mile and half walk to the ground.

By Train

The two nearest train stations to Villa Park are Witton and Aston.

 Train takes approx 1 hour to Birmingham, 1hr 23mins to Aston, off peak day return £16.10

Security Issues

In light of the current security situation, most clubs have implemented some additional entry procedures which can take additional time. All fans are urged to arrive early to ensure they are able to clear security and enter before kick off. Rucksack or similar type bags may not be permitted in the stadium and there are no “left luggage” facilities in the local area of most grounds.

All information is provided in good faith but the Foxes Trust cannot be held responsible for any errors. Thanks to Aston Villa FC and the Football Ground Guide

SAME CHOCOLATES IN THE ADVENT CALENDAR

SOUTHAMPTON 2 FOXES 2

Report by Graham Tracey

We kicked off our hectic and probably season-defining December with our season so far in a nutshell. A slow start, two soft goals from corners, nearly another penalty conceded, but two good goals ourselves and ultimately with chances to win.

The league table remains the most congested I can remember at this stage, meaning we shouldn’t yet be thinking of this as a ‘cup run only’ season. However, even with an established centre half pairing that has served us well historically in Evans and Soyuncu, we are never going to put together a string of victories when we are consistently letting in two goals a game. I don’t know what the problem is, but it seems unlikely to ease until Fofana and Justin return.

The game started at 7.30, and I’m old enough to remember when this was the standard kick off for evening games. If Eastenders is also still on at 7.30, we’d conceded virtually by the end of the theme tune. When Southampton took a short corner, I breathed a sigh of relief, but it was short-lived as a well-worked move saw a shot from the cut back well saved by Kasper, only for Bednarek to poke home in the ensuing scramble.

Anyone betting on another 9-0, let alone what looked like a great chance for a clean sheet, was ripping up their coupon already. Shocking concentration by us, and for 20 minutes it was as if we had deep sea diving suits on, so much more fluid and hungry were the Saints.

Our equaliser came out of the blue, when a Lookman counter-attack won us a corner, and then Maddison set up Ndidi, whose shot was only parried by McCarthy to Evans who stroked home.

Unfortunately, this didn’t provide any momentum, and before half time another corner wasn’t cleared properly, and Adams had time to open his advent calendar and write a few cards before stooping to glance home a low cross between our mannequins.

Rodgers was looking more animated (i.e. annoyed) than usual and it was no surprise to see a change at half time. Soumare had some good games when he first came in, but is no doubt adjusting to the pace of English football and particularly looked like a clockwork toy on its last legs tonight. His fatigue shows in how many fouls he concedes.

Dewsbury-Hall came on, and immediately influenced the game with his purposeful running with the ball and ability to pick out a cross field pass. He was involved in our equaliser early in the second half (pleasingly also involving other home-grown talent in Barnes and Thomas), completed expertly at the near post by Madders who had begun the move in our own half.

2-2 after 50 minutes suggests a great game, and the Amazon commentators raved about it in the way that commentators who don’t often get to cover a live match do. In truth, neither team were playing particularly well. However, the remainder of the match was definitely the most exciting, even though ultimately there were no goals. It could genuinely have gone either way right into injury time.

We were the stronger team with more quality, but there was a palpable sense that while we could score another top drawer goal, Southampton were justified to feel we could gift them another at any minute. This was encapsulated when Ndidi pole-axed a player in the box, only to be saved by the offside flag already being raised. That would have been a ridiculous 3 pens in 3 games for the strangely out-of-sorts mainstay.

At the other end, I am still wondering how McCarthy got his fingertips to Barnes’ drive, and how Vardy fired over when clean through. An extra two points would have been massive in the current state of play.

I supported Rodgers’ decision to play an unchanged team tonight – it was a great chance for a victory. However, I would like to see some rotation at Villa, given that I see the trip to Napoli as absolutely massive and our biggest game of the season by far. Maddison played through obvious discomfort in the second half, so I’d rather rest him than lose him for a month as he is our standout player right now.

LEICESTER: Schmeichel 5, Castagne 5, Thomas 6, Evans 6, Soyuncu 5, Ndidi 4, Soumare 4, Barnes 5, Lookman 6, Maddison 8, Vardy 6. Subs: Dewsbury-Hall 7, Perez 6, Daka 5.

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

GOALFEST IN THE SNOW

LEICESTER CITY 4 WATFORD 2

Match Report by Paul Weston

It was a day for thermals at the King Power as temperatures dropped and fans returned in optimistic spirits after the victory against Legia Warsaw. Perhaps the Foxes’ form was starting to return after what had been an underwhelming start to the season?

Evans was back after his late injury withdrawal mid-week. This resulted in Amartey missing out, despite his solid display against Warsaw. Up front Jamie Vardy returned in place of Daka. In all other respects Rodgers selected the same team that had beaten Warsaw.

Claudio Ranieri was back as manager of Watford. He was given a wonderful welcome by the City fans both before and during the match which was well deserved. He will always have a place in City’s history and will be fondly remembered by all City fans.

City started on the front foot and pressed the Watford defence, with Vardy and Barnes looking lively. At the same time Watford looked impressively fast on the break and were certainly not coming for a draw. Although City had the bulk of possession without creating many chances it was quite a surprise when Maddison scored in the 16th minute.

City had already played more long balls than normal and Evans launched one towards the centre of Watford’s defence. Ekong helpfully ducked underneath the ball, unaware that Maddison was lurking behind, who struck the ball cleanly across the goalie inside the post to give the Foxes the lead.

During this period Watford had a heavily deflected shot rebound off the inside of the post and across the goal line when Schmeichel could then safely gather the ball. Perhaps Lady Luck was on City’s side after all?

However, just when City were getting on top, they threw away the advantage with yet another silly defensive error which is becoming a habit. Ndidi caught Dennis’ leg in the penalty area for a clear and clumsy penalty despite the VAR check. Although Schmeichel dived the correct way King’s penalty was too high and strong and Watford were level.

Maddison was getting some space during the first half and was looking more like his old self, with the assurance of Soumare and N’Didi providing defensive cover in midfield. After a few balls threaded through failed to find their target he twisted and jinked a pass through to the predatory Vardy on the left. Jamie was on the ball in a flash and superbly flicked the ball past the goalie and over the despairing leg of the defender on the line. It was a trademark Vardy goal and it was good to see him back on the goal trail again.

Shortly after Vardy scored again with a superb near post header from a well flighted Maddison corner. Suddenly City were 3-1 up and it was just like old times as the Maddision/Vardy combination was starting to click again which was especially needed in the absence of Tielemans due to injury.

During the first half the snow had started to swirl down. There was the bizarre sight of the sprinklers turned on during half time. One wondered whether this was a cunning plan to transform the pitch into a skating rink.

The snow continued to fall heavily as the second half started, Maddison and Vardy continued to look lively and it became clear that different tactics would have to be employed. Unfortunately this point was not grasped by Castagne who twice dallied on the ball and was caught in possession. City got away with the first chance, but on the second occasion, despite claims for a foul rebuffed by VAR, Dennis stole the ball and calmly chipped past Schmeichel. 3-2 and yet again City had contrived to allow Watford back into the match.

The match continued to ebb and flow and City started to play the long ball into the channels to avoid problems in the snow and make use of our pacey forwards. Schmeichel thankfully decided to kick long most of the time, avoiding the anxiety of Watford pushing our defenders into mistakes.

There was a brief interlude when the ref requested that the snow be cleared from the pitch markings which allowed the players and fans to draw breath in a fascinating match.

Castagne then made up for his error with a great tackle in midfield. In a flash the ball was with Barnes who flicked it across the goal for Lookman to score from about 3 feet. It was a fast, slick move that we used to see so often with City but for some reason had become a forgotten tactic. Vardy looked keen for a hat trick and was extremely close with a shot that the goalie palmed around the post.

Late on Maddison and Lookman were subbed by Albrighton and Dewsbury-Hall to provide added energy as the players slogged through the snow. After 7 minutes of extra time the match ended 4-2 with City worthy winners in the end but with Watford opponents who had contributed much to a fascinating match. If only their defence was as good as their forwards the result would have been closer. It was never a comfortable victory until late in the second half.

It would be churlish to dwell too much on the negative part of City’s display such as our defensive errors which continue to help our opponents into the game, Soumare’s lack of speed of thought and the ease in which teams can still burst through our midfield.

Instead it was good to see our season bursting into life at long last and form and confidence returning to Maddison at last. Thomas had an excellent game and Jamie Vardy was at his very best. The worse the conditions became the more he seemed to relish the challenge.

Two tricky away games now come thick and fast and it will be fascinating to see whether this momentum can be maintained as Rodgers no doubt may have to juggle the team selections. It would be a great Christmas present for fans if City could continue a climb up the top half of the Premier table.

Leicester: Kasper Schmeichel, Timothy Castagne, Jonny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu, Luke Thomas: Boubakary Soumare, Wilfred Ndidi: Ademola Lookman (Marc Albrighton 75)., James Maddison (Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall 88), Harvey Barnes: Jamie Vardy. Subs (not used): Danny Ward, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ayoze Perez, Daniel Amartey, Hamza Choudhury, Jannik Vestergaard, Patson Daka.

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

Going to Southampton ?

Southampton SO14 5FP

By Car

From the M3 take the A33 into Southampton. Continue on the A33 until you reach the junction with the A3024 Northam Road and turn left onto this road towards Northam. Then turn right onto the B3038, Britannia Road for the stadium. 

Southampton Football Club advises all supporters not to travel by private car into the surrounding areas of the Stadium. Due to parking restrictions operating on a match day they recommend all supporters to use local City Council Car Parks. 

The Club recommends that you make use of the following City Council Car Parks:

1. Bedford Place Multi-storey Car Park – SO15 2QW

2. Grosvenor Square Multi-storey Car Park – SO15 2GR

3. West Park Road Multi-storey Car Park – SO15 1AP

4. Marlands Multi-storey Car Park – SO15 1BA

5. Eastgate Multi-storey Car Park – SO14 3HH

Parking is also available near the Marina or Woolston and may enable a quicker getaway after the match.


Shuttle buses

In addition to the scheduled bus services, there are shuttle bus services in operation on match days from the Central Train Station and the Town Quay Ferry Terminal. These services will commence two hours before the match kicks off and will continue to run until kick off. The service will also be in operation after the match to take passengers back to the railway station/ferry terminal. The service is not a numbered bus service and will simply say “Stadium Shuttle” on inbound journeys and “Rail/Ferry Shuttle” on outbound journeys.

Simply show your match ticket or season ticket booklet in order to use the shuttle bus service for £3 per return journey.
Bluestar 18 bus goes by the stadium

By Foot

The stadium is about 20 minutes walk from the City Centre and train station and is a sign posted walk route.

By Train

Train takes approx 4-5 hours Cheap return £175.60 but you will not get back until morning

Where to drink

There are not many pubs located close to the stadium, so the choice for away fans is limited. There is the Waterfront Bar in William Street, which is an area called Shamrock Quay. In the Ocean Village is “The Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis” public house. This large establishment has an an excellent choice of beers, friendly bar staff and a mix of both home and away fans’.

Most fans seem to end up in the city centre before the game, where there are plenty of pubs to choose from. Please remember though that if you do drink in the centre, that the stadium is a good twenty minute walk away. Otherwise alcohol is served within the ground.
 
Please check the cost and times of trains etc. All information is provided in good faith but the Foxes Trust cannot be held responsible for any errors. With thanks to Southampton FC and the Football Ground Guide

Of steam and smoke

Leicester City 3 – 1 Legia Warsaw

Report by Stuart Dawkins

Let’s start with the football.  This was an important game for City in this so-far fairly patchy season and they handled it well, looking comfortable throughout.  The TIFO banner unveiled before kick-off urged a clear direction: “From the whistle – full steam ahead”.  Nicely drafted, as both a generic call to arms but also noting the sluggish way the team has begun so many games recently. 

Whether it had any influence on the players is hard to prove, but the course of the first half was certainly more that of a runaway engine than an oft-stopping sleeper.  City’s first chance came in 15 seconds, Legia’s first came 15 seconds later – and there was not that much let-up throughout a first half that saw four goals scored and several more chances created for either side.

Evans had a minor injury in the warm-up, so there was a last-minute swap to Söyüncü and Amartey at the back for City, together with Castagne and Thomas. Barnes and Lookman flanked Daka up front, with Soumaré, Ndidi and Maddison in midfield.

City not only started brightly, but also got the goals to show for it. A combination of tenacity and a tiny bit of luck enabled Barnes to get the ball to Daka in the box after ten minutes. Daka is an accomplished finisher and there was little doubt he would be able to score from there, which he did with a nicely placed shot – making him the Club’s highest-ever goal-scorer in Europe with five goals. 

And just ten minutes later, good work on the City right-wide led to Maddison getting the ball ten-yards out with his back to the goal. He looked to have missed the chance to shoot with his favoured right-foot but turned and created enough space to place an unstoppable shot past the Legia ‘keeper with his left.

Whilst Legia had created a couple of chances themselves, from very limited possession, the two-nil score and the flow of the play suggested that the game might prove to be more straightforward than some had feared for City.  That view was tempered a bit when Legia pulled a goal back, from pretty much nothing. Their left-winger got behind Leicester’s defence, sent in a speculative cross and what happened next was not at all clear ‘live’ in the ground, but the ball hit Ndidi’s arm and there were no real complaints from City players when a penalty was given.  Schmeichel saved the spot-kick, but Mladenovic reacted quickest to poke the rebound into the goal, colliding with the goalpost in doing so.

Whilst the goal lifted the tempo of the Legia players, but City responded with that rarity: a goal from a Leicester corner. Maddison crossed it and Ndidi jumped high and well from an unmarked position to head it past a flailing goalkeeper.

A two-goal cushion re-established, the rest of the half – indeed pretty much the rest of the game – settled into a pattern with City looking the better team but with Legia frequently sharp going forwards; City had the most positive and creative play, but Legia kept popping up with half-chances on a fairly regular basis.

The second half was a quieter affair than the first, on the pitch at least.  A further goal by the visitors might have made things nervy for City, but that did not happen, and the home team kept up steady pressure that could easily have led to more goals, but did not.  Legia made the full quota of five substitutions, but to no real affect. 

Around the hour mark, Rodgers replaced Soumaré and Maddison with Dewsbury-Hall and Pérez.  Maddison had his liveliest and most positive game for some time. He seemed to line up in a slightly more advanced position than usual, was keen to get the ball throughout and generally used it well.  It had not been one of Soumaré’s better games. He has looked a little slower than usual in the past couple of matches, and the chance to rest him after sixty-minutes would have been welcome. 

For the last five-minutes, Rodgers replaced Lookman and Daka with Albrighton and Iheanacho. Lookman had chased and harried well but had not always been great with his choice of pass.  Daka had played – for want of a better cliché – a Vardy-like performance.  Not in the game too much but always a threat, did what he did well and finished his one clear-cut chance with ease.

Legia played out the final few minutes with ten players, as a strong but fair challenge left their striker unable to continue with all substitutions made.

It was a comfortable and well-deserved win for City. Each player made a decent contribution, chances were created and silly mistakes were at a minimum – hopefully such habits can be carried into the next few matches!

Now, the not-football.  There was a noticeably heavy police presence around the ground before kick-off – thankfully a rarity these days.  The Legia fans were lively and noisy throughout, no bad thing at all and leading to a good atmosphere for much of the match.  On the hour mark, however, around 40 or 50 red flares were lit in the Away fans section, and dozens of Legia fans attempted to climb over the covered seats separating them from City fans. 

This resulted in a pitched battle with a line of police which lasted quite some time, with smoke from the flares floating across the pitch for a good five or ten minutes.  There is simply no excuse for that behaviour.  It felt like something from another age.  The only positives to pull from it were that the police handled it in difficult circumstances, and that the home fans were pretty much universally disgusted by it.

The images make it clear that it was away fans who were the instigators, that home fans were not involved and that the police were defending, not in any way encouraging.  One hopes that UEFA see that and make it quite some time before Legia fans can travel to away matches to see their team again. That would be a shame for those genuine fans who simply want to see a game of football, but seems the minimum punishment necessary.

With this result City have leaped from bottom to top of their Europa League Group.  It looked the toughest group in advance, and it has certainly proved unpredictable. An away trip to Napoli is a tricky proposition, but City’s fate is in their own hands, and continuation of some sort in Europe this season is guaranteed.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Castagne, Amartey, Söyüncü, Thomas, Soumaré, Ndidi, Maddison, Lookman, Daka, Barnes. Subs: Bertrand, Vardy, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Pérez, Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall, Vestergaard, Stolarczyk, Marcal-Madivadua

Legia Warsaw: Miszta, Johansson, Wieteska, Jedrzejczyk, Ribeiro, Soares Martins, Slisz, Mladenovic, Muci, Emreli, Lima Linhares. Subs: Holownia, Pekhart, Celhaka, Skibicki, Wlodarczyk, Rose, Tobiasz, Ciepiela

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation