Aston Villa’s youngsters have won the FA Youth Cup for the first time in 19 years with a strong 2-1 victory against Liverpool, in front of fans at Villa park.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa’s Under 18 side graced the Villa Park pitch once more this evening, to face Liverpool Under 18 in the first FA Youth Cup Final in ten years that has not featured either Chelsea or Manchester City. Highly rated youngsters like Carney Chukwuemeka, Louie Barry, Ben Chrisene and more all started the tie in front of a home crowd.
The Villa youngsters took the lead within eight minutes as Louie Barry found Arjan Raikhy down the left hand side. The midfielder did exceptionally well to keep the ball in, before chopping onto his right foot and firing towards the edge of the box where Ben Chrisene was waiting. Chrisene controlled the ball well, before firing into the bottom right.
It wasn’t long until the Villans tested Liverpool again, as Brad Young beat his man and fired from a tight angle – but Liverpool ‘keeper Davies was able to collect.
By the 12th minute, Aston Villa found themselves with a penalty. Brad Young was fouled in the Liverpool box by Stephenson as he looked to break, and the referee blew to award the foul. Young stepped up to take the penalty himself, with a Jorginho-esque hop, skip and jump, before firing into the bottom right. The youngster ran to the crowd and kissed the badge as he celebrated.
Liverpool thought they may have had a chance back into the game as perhaps a bit of over-confidence crept into the Villa side’s game. A loose pass at the back saw Liverpool break, but Filip Marschall was able to get down low to deny a first-time attempt, before Musialowski fired over with a shot shortly after.
Brad Young almost bagged a second through some exceptional movement as he danced through a number of Liverpool defenders to get in front of goal, before turning on himself to try and fire with his stronger right foot but firing just wide.
Ben Chrisene had the opportunity to pick up another goal himself in the 25th minute as his strike from close-range struck the post and went out of play.
Aston Villa were flying for long periods in the tie, and Liverpool’s only real chances came from lapses of concentration in the home side’s defence.
The home side went in at the break two goals ahead.
Liverpool were the side who had the first attempt in the second half, but once again it failed to hit the target. Woltman found himself in space and time to fire, but his shot trickled wide of the right-hand post.
The away side had another chance in the 54th minute, but captain Kaine Kesler-Hayden was wise to the attempt and cleared the opportunity off the line with a flick.
Aston Villa weren’t without their own chances before the hour mark either – Chukwuemeka was denied by the Liverpool ‘keeper, as was Louie Barry from a shot from out wide.
On the hour mark, opening goalscorer Ben Chrisene was replaced by the younger brother of Jacob Ramsey, Aaron.
Brad Young tested Davies in the Liverpool net with a fierce shot in the 71st minute as the Villa forward broke into the box – but the Liverpool ‘keeper was able to make a strong save to put it out for a corner.
Liverpool forced a goal back in the 74th minute as Melkamu Frauendorf hit a corner on the volley. The ball struck Seb Revan’s shine and outfoxed Marschall in the Villa net, before finding its way into the net.
Aaron Ramsey almost put the game out of reach for Liverpool after well-worked play between himself and Louie Barry saw the midfielder through on goal, but his poked effort was saved well by Davies. Aston Villa’s second change came almost immediately after in the 78th, as Hayden Lindley was replaced by Barcelona-born Mamadou Sylla.
Sil Swinkels made an excellent challenge in the 82nd minute as Woltman looked to connect to a ball over the top in search of an equaliser, with the Dutchman sliding in to deny the Liverpool forward. Lamare Bogarde was booked two minutes later for a challenge from behind on Morton.
The final five to ten minutes of normal time saw prolonged Liverpool pressure, with a number of set-pieces awarded as Aston Villa found themselves pinned in their final third.
Arjan Raikhy almost put the game to bed in the 92nd minute, the second of added time, as he found himself with the goal mouth in-front of him – but the tired midfield dictator was unable to hit the net as Liverpool’s defence swarmed him.
The side held on despite Liverpool pressure – and were crowned FA Youth Cup Champions for the fourth time, for the first time in 19 years.