Aston Villa’s youngsters found themselves 6-1 victors against Newcastle in the FA Youth Cup this evening, with Carney Chukwuemeka running riot.
Words: Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH
Aston Villa U18’s found themselves in the FA Youth Cup Quarter-Final against Newcastle United at St. James Park, hoping to progress through to Semi-Final with notable young names like Louie Barry, Kane Kessler-Hayden and Carney Chukwuemeka included in the starting eleven. Newcastle were dispatched in the 3rd round of the FA Youth Cup last season and were looking to put a foot right for their blossoming academy.
Villa started the game by winning a corner and finding the back of the net thanks to a back-stick header by 18-year old Paul Appiah in the very first minute of the contest. Villa would continue passing the ball around the pitch at will and keeping Newcastle under pressure during the opening five minutes.
In the eighth minute, Brad Young made a clinical finish on a pristine cross. The Newcastle keeper tried to come out to challenge but to no avail. Just like that, it was 2-0 to Aston Villa with less than ten minutes gone. Two goals in under ten minutes was definitely the tonic that the young Aston Villa squad was looking for.
In these early stages, Newcastle seemed very determined to win the ball in the middle of the park and quickly spring forward, but the tenacity of the Young Lions quelled the early efforts. Newcastle got their first attempted shot on goal in the 13th minute by Elliot Anderson, but it found the side netting after a pretty entertaining nutmeg that Lamare Bogarde was the victim of. Anderson seemed to be at the end of every promising Newcastle move and looked keen to cut the lead sooner rather than later.
Chukwuemeka & Barry were working together to fool the Newcastle defence on the left flank where Barry eventually carried the ball into the 18-yard box. The “Promised Prince” went down in a heap but any claims for a penalty were quickly dismissed by the referee. Another meeting of the minds by Barry & Chukwuemeka allowed Chukwuemeka to burst into the 18-yard box, but his shot was ultimately blocked. Aston Villa looked clear and away the better team through 25 minutes.
A succession of corners produced yet another goal for Aston Villa. Chukwuemeka finally found the back of the net, stemming from a short corner option that allowed him to power a remarkable right-footed shot past the Newcastle goalkeeper.
Seb Revan picked up a yellow card in the 45th minute for dragging a Newcastle attacker down by the halfway line. Following the resulting free-kick, Josh Scott found a goal for Newcastle with a low shot assisted by none other than Elliot Anderson. The half-time whistle would shrill with the scoreline being 3-1 to Aston Villa.
At the starting of the second half, Newcastle came out of the blocks looking different than the first half. Pressing Villa at will, they were starting to gain the ball quickly once they were dispossessed. Villa did, however, look like they wanted to keep the forward play going through Chukwuemeka, Brad Young and Louie Barry.
Newcastle were starting to get annoyed with Chukwuemeka as he was creating a show out on the pitch, in the 56th minute the Young Lion was hauled down right outside the penalty area but his free-kick was never finding the back of the net. Villa continued in this vein, keeping constant pressure and possession after the break.
The starboy on the pitch, Carney Chukwuemeka made it a brace for himself after a giveaway in midfield allowed him through on goal, giving the Villans a 4-1 lead in the 62nd minute. Less than 60 seconds later, Chukwuemeka again finds the back of the net to make it a hat-trick in this FA Youth Cup Quarter-Final. The 17-year-old yet again may be showing that he is ready to feature in the Villa senior team before the end of the current season.
Even with a lead, Villa would continue to look for goals and intelligent plays forward. The right-back substitute Kahrel Reddin made it 6-1 for Aston Villa after scuffing a few chances earlier in the second half.
Louie Barry departed after 76 minutes after a really good performance on the day. Seventeen-year-old Taylor-Jay Hart came on for the hat-trick hero Carney Chukwuemeka in the 84th minute.
Villa would see the massive lead through in the end and progress into the Semi-Final of the FA Youth Cup. It was a joy to watch the talented and clinical young Aston Villa players sharpen their skills in this contest and they seemed fitter and stronger on the ball throughout.