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 Atmosphere report

Aston Villa - Birmingham City (3-1)
Premiership, 16 April 2006
Stadium : Villa Park
Attendance : 40.158

The 2nd City Derby certainly means a lot in Birmingham.
What it lacks in spectacle (no flares, few flags etc) is somewhat compensated by the often compelling drama of a typical English Premiership game.

This match was played at midday on a reasonably pleasant day(compared to the recent UK winter) before a crowd some few thousand below capacity. The context had added spice because of Birmingham being threatened with relegation & Villa being not yet safe.

The Blues support, maybe 4000, mainly in the lower tier of the North Stand, were noisy enough at the start ("keep on to the end of the road ...") & especially after they equalised, but once Villa had got on top in the 2nd half they became reconciled to their fate.

Hence it was mainly the Holte End that had reason to crow ("you’re going down with the Baggies...") & they could enjoy a close-up view of a spectacular first-ever goal by young defender Gary Cahill.

Neither team has had a great season, Villa need revitalising & Birmingham have a (probably doomed) battle to stay in the top division.

As far as I could tell there was no trouble inside the stadium, and the early kick-off meant there was little time for drinking beforehand (it being Easter Sunday few, if any, bars would be open) though it was possible to get a drink inside the ground. There was a significant police presence outside though not overbearing. No doubt afterwards the local bars were full of claret & blue shirts enjoying their (liquid) Sunday lunches.The Blues fans would depart to there own pubs to drown their sorrows and debate what went wrong.

Report added : 17 April 2006
Report by : k397m
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