Aston Villa’s youth side dispatched Brighton’s with relative ease this evening at Villa Park.
Words: Simon Lines | @Simonlines
A dominating and very impressive performance saw Villa’s youngsters progress into the Fifth round of the FA Youth Cup after dispatching Brighton at Villa Park. From the opening whistle, Villa hassled, harried and wore their opponents ragged despite having to wait to find the opening goal to set them on their way.
Under the watchful eye of Dean Smith and his first-team coaching staff in the stands at Villa Park, both sides pushed each other in the early stages with the game being very end to end. Brighton created the first chance of the game with Emmerson pulling his shot wide of the goal following a low cross from the left.
Villa’s early dominance gave their first real opening after 9 minutes. A short corner routine founds its way to Aaron Ramsey on the edge of the area who struck wide of the post. From the attack, Brighton broke well themselves. Ifill forcing a good save out of Zych in the Aston Villa goal.
Villa created their best chance of the game so far in the 22nd minute when Bogarde played a neat through ball to Louie Barry, however the keeper was equal to the shot and did well to keep Barry at bay. Only a minute later, Chukwuemeka linked up well with Ramsey who’s strike was turned around the post well by Bull in the Brighton net.
Bogarde could have counted himself lucky shortly after. A poor touch gave the ball away for Brighton to run through on goal from around 25 yards out. Bogarde pulled the attacker down, luckily the referee being lenient with the defender, brandishing a yellow card.
Some more good footwork from Chukwuemeka and Ramsey on the edge of area finished with a shot dragged just wide of the post by Chukwuemeka in what was the final chance of the first half.
Aston Villa started the Second Half just as they finished the first with two early chances. The first a free-kick sent over the bar by Chukwuemeka after Ben Chrisene was upended just outside the area. The second when Chukwuemeka made some space on the edge of the area, fired a shot in and Bull beat the shot away, keeping his side in the tie.
Brad Young was next to go close after 65 minutes with a glancing header from a Revan free-kick which went agonisingly wide of the post. Villa’s pressure finally paid off with just under 20 minutes of the game to go. A free-kick from Raikhy on the left turned home at the near post by Kesler-Hayden.
From this moment, Villa really found their groove. Their high pressing game paying off when Villa made it 2-0. A lovely one-two between Chukwuemeka and Ramsey with Ramsey finishing well into the corner of the net.
Aston Villa sealed the victory in the 82nd minute, through Louie Barry with an energetic burst from the left-wing. His pass found Ramsey who finished from a very difficult angle, across the goalkeeper to add his second of the evening.
Villa carved out some more half chances before the game finished but they had to make do with the three goal cushion to propel themselves into the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup after a dominating and impressive display against an in-form Brighton & Hove Albion Side.
Man of the match: Aaron Ramsey