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Match Reports

U21 Report: Aston Villa 2-1 Burnley

5 October 2015

The Development Squad’s nine-game unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-1 defeat against an exceptionally strong Aston Villa side.

Villa first-team regulars Jack Grealish and Leandro Bacuna gave the hosts a two-goal lead, with both goals coming from set-pieces.

Jamie Frost’s second half goal was reward for Michael Jolley’s side’s endeavour against a side that also boasted experienced international quality such as Philipe Senderos, Joe Cole, Kieran Richardson Jores Okore,
Adama Traore, Tiago Llori and Libor Kozak.

The Clarets squad featured seven members of the Youth Team, with Republic of Ireland youth international Khius Metz earning a first start while Tommy Wood and Lewis Norvock made their debuts at this level.

The real change of the game fell to the hosts. A wonderful ball in from the left from former Manchester United defender Richardson was met by Bacuna, but his header into the ground was comfortable for Aghayere.

And on the half hour mark, Villa broke through a stubborn Clarets resistance. Andre Marriner awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Grealish effortlessly found the top left corner.

The Clarets were forced into making two first-half changes. Andy Nugent replaced a trialist after he suffered a hamstring injury, while Metz made way for Andreas Bianga after taking a powerful strike to the face.

The changes didn’t faze the young side’s performance as they continued to go toe-to-toe with the hosts.

But a contentious decision from Marriner helped give former Burnley player Gordon Cowan’s side a two-goal lead going into the interval.

Arlen Birch was deemed to have fouled Grealish in the box and Bacuna stepped up to send Aghayere the wrong way with the resulting penalty.

The second half belonged to the Clarets and the visitors came close straight after the restart.

Birch’s cross-cum-shot was deep to the far post over the back tracking Benjamin Siegrist, but it brushed the wrong side of the crossbar.

Former Barcelona winger Traore found himself frustrated throughout the second half up against resilient Burnley captain Luke Hendrie.

But the winger finally found a way through the defence just before the hour mark, but Aghayere denied the summer signing, saving superbly with his legs.

And the Clarets finally got a deserved goal 15 minutes from time – Steven Hewitt’s exquisite chip to Frost at the edge of the box needed just one touch, before the winger fired through Siegrist’s legs to set up an
exciting finish.

There was to be one final chance to cap off a brave effort. Birch surged forward once more from right back, beating two men in the process before finding Frost.

The winger beat his man before firing his shot from 20-yards inches wide of the post.

Burnley: Aghayere; Birch, Hobson, Whitmore, Hendrie; Frost, Hewitt, Smith, Trialist (Nugent 12 (Norvock 86); Metz (Bianga 36), Wood.

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