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Page last updated at 20:07 GMT, Saturday, 19 July 2008 21:07 UK

Odense 2-2 Aston Villa

Steve Sidwell
Sidwell scored an own goal on his competitive debut

Aston Villa were held to a draw after conceding a 90th-minute equaliser in their Intertoto Cup third round, first leg tie with Odense BK in Denmark.

John Carew gave Villa an early lead when goalkeeper Arek Onyszko failed to hold an Ashley Young first-time shot.

A Steve Sidwell own goal levelled matters before Martin Laursen headed the visitors in front.

But then Villa failed to deal with a long ball and Anders Moller Christensen struck for a deserved equaliser.

Villa should still progress from the return leg on 26 July, but the hosts will take confidence from a performance full on endeavour.

Manager Martin O'Neill will be disappointed by the way Villa allowed the Danish side back into the match after such a promising start, with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Sidwell prominent.

Carew was ruthless in front of goal when he pounced on Onyszko's handling error for Villa's first.

But mid-way through the first half the Danes came to life and a fortuitous goal, Sidwell diverting Atle Roar Haland's cross into his own net on his competitive debut, boosted the home side's confidence.

Bjorn Runstrom, Henrik Hansen, Johan Absalonsen and Hans Henrik Andreasen all had chances for Odense.

They were made to pay for their profligacy when Villa regained the lead, Laursen leaping above the defence to head home Young's floating free-kick.

Laursen went close moments later before Villa were caught out by the long ball and Baye Djiby Fall teed up Christensen.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill told the club's website:

"I'd expect by this time next week we'd be much fitter and that's important.

"It was so important for us to stay in the competition. We've scored two goals and we'll be better for it next week.

"I felt for a little period in the second half we started to look tired, but then we started to force it again and we had a couple of decent opportunities and got the goal to go back in front.

"It was just disappointing that we conceded so late in the game. But it's all set up now for Villa Park next week."

Odense BK: Onyszko, Haland, Sorensen, Christensen, Helveg, Andreasen, Esben Hansen (Djemba-Djemba 27), Henrik Hansen, Absalonsen, Runstrom (Bolanos 78), Fall.
Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Ruud, Troest, Nielsen, Bisgaard.

Booked: Christensen.

Goals: Sidwell 25 og, Christensen 90.

Aston Villa: Taylor, Gardner, Laursen, Knight, Bouma, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Sidwell (Routledge 82), Young, Agbonlahor, Carew.
Subs Not Used: Parish, Harewood, Salifou, Osbourne, Maloney, Baker.

Booked: Carew, Young.

Goals: Carew 7, Laursen 76.

Att: 12,000

Ref: Andrea De Marco (Italy)

see also
Barry returns to Villa training
16 Jul 08 |  Aston Villa
Rovers reject Spurs' Bentley bid
18 Jul 08 |  Blackburn
Villa to face Odense in Intertoto
13 Jul 08 |  Aston Villa
Europe helps youngsters - O'Neill
17 Jun 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill urges fans to be patient
05 Jun 08 |  Aston Villa

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