REPORT U23: ASTON VILLA 4 BURNLEY 1
On a difficult night for the young Clarets, a strong Aston Villa team won a comfortable 4-1 at Bodymoor Heath training ground in Aston Villa.
The home side were keen to impress ahead of the new management team of Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister who oversaw a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in their first game in charge on Saturday.
Former Welsh international Mark Delaney is Villa’s Under-23 coach. The Midlands squad had a number of players who won the FA Youth Cup last season.
Michael Jackson made three changes from the squad that beat Barrow on penalties in the Lancashire Senior Cup. Three experienced players made way for Jake Rooney for Bobby Thomas, Ethen Vaughan for Anthony Glennon and Mark Helm for Dale Stephens. Former Manchester United midfielder Helm was the team’s captain.
There was an early chance for Owen Dodgson. His fierce sixth-minute shot was well saved by Villa keeper Filip Marschall.
Two players with first-team experience combined to give Villa the lead in the 14th minute when Cameron Archer crossed for Jaden Philogene-Bidace to shoot at home.
There was almost a scare for the home side in the 20th minute when former Fleetwood Town defender Josh Feeney steered the ball past his keeper. The ex-Cambridge City hitchhiker did well to get the ball back on time.
Villa extended their advantage 20 minutes before half-time when Sam Waller missed his clearance attempt, leaving former Northampton Town striker Caleb Chukwuemeka with the simple task of touching the ball into the empty net.
The Clarets returned to the game eight minutes before the break. Michael Mellon forced a nice save from Marschall and from the resulting corner, Jacob Bedeau returned home on the second attempt.
Philogene-Bidace scored a third Villa goal in time. He finished well after a tricky run through Burnley’s box. The England-U20 striker also hit the bar in the first half.
There was a change of strip for the second half. The officials reappeared in lime green after their black tops clashed with Burnley’s navy third kit.
Burnley almost got the quick response they needed, but Joe McGlynn’s header was just wide of a good Dodgson cross.
Mellon moved closer with 20 minutes to go. Substitute Max Thompson removed the ball. Mellon was out of breath as he tried to convert, but a defender got the crucial touch.
Villa sealed the points two minutes from time. Waller saved Archer well but the rebound fell nicely for substitute Tristan Goodridge who was right.
Villa earned their first victory in four games and are third in the standings. Burnley fell to eighth after his second straight loss, but is only one point away from play-off spots.
The next stop for the young Clarets is a home game against Stoke City on Friday at Leyland (7pm).
Burnley: Waller: E. Vaughan, Rooney, Bedeau, Armstrong: Costelloe (Thompson), Helm, Woods, Dodgson: McGlynn, Mellon (Hugill). Substitutes: Allen, Williams, Gallagher-Allison.
Aston Villa: Marschall: Ealing, Feeney, Bogarde, Swinkels: Lindley, Iroegbunam: Caleb Chukwuemeka (Goodridge), Carney Chukwuemeka, Philogene-Bidace: Archer. Subtitles: Zyche, Thorndike, O’Reilly, Barber.