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Bouma a no show as reserves are held; VILLA NEWS.



WILFRED Bouma was conspicuous by his absence when Villa reserves played out a scoreless stalemate with Arsenal at Hinckley's Marston's Stadium last night. Martin O'Neill had earmarked the second string fixture as an opportunity for the Dutch left-back to get his first 90 minutes under his belt since returning to training.

But Bouma must wait for his first competitive action since his horror ankle injury last July after reserve coach Kevin MacDonald named a young team against the Gunners.

Villa, who still top the table with four points more than secondplaced Arsenal, were the better side for much of the match and created the four best chances.

James Collins and Barry Bannan smashed efforts against the woodwork, while Jonathan Hogg and Shane Lowry had attempts scrambled off the line.

VILLA: Parish; Lichaj, Flanagan, Clark, Lowry; Hogg, Albrighton, Osbourne (Stieber 79), Bannan; Collins, Weimann. Not used: Mikaelsson, Bevan, Halfhuid.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 17, 2009
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