Match Reports

Albion bow out of FA Youth Cup

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Under-18s condemned to defeat by three second-half goals at Villa Park.

By Bruce Talbot • 24 March 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Andy Moran curled a free-kick narrowly wide of the bottom right corner.
  • Aston Villa 3, Albion 0

Albion's FA Youth Cup campaign is over after they went down at Villa Park.

Mark Beard's side went into the game on the back of a six-match winning run and if they had taken one of the good chances they created in the first half the outcome could have been different.

But after a goalless first half the home side got on top and three goals in 11 minutes secured their place in the last 16.

The margin of victory was harsh on Albion, bearing in mind their contribution in the first hour of an entertaining tie.

The biggest surprise of the first half was that it ended goalless.

Both sides created lots of chances and Albion could and probably should have scored twice in the first ten minutes.

Andy Moran got to the by-line in the sixth minute and pulled the ball into the path of Zak Emmerson, but he blasted over from eight yards. Moran was the creator again when he slid a pass into the path of Marcus Ifill whose shot was pushed around the post by goalkeeper Oliwier Zych.

By Paul Hazlewood
Toby Bull pulled off a strong of excellent saves to deny the hosts in the first half.

Moran and Ififll were a threat from wide areas for a hardworking Albion but the visitors had their fair share of defending to do as well against a home side containing five of the players who had taken the lead against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round in January.

Aaron Ramsey fired wide from a good position before goalkeeper Toby Bull made a great block with his legs when Louie Barry sprung the offside trap midway through the first half before pushing Ramsey's curling effort round the post.

Villa's Lamare Bogarde was fortunate to escape with a yellow card when he pulled back Moran who curled the resultant free kick from the edge of the D. At the other end Carney Chukwuemeka nearly found a way through but stabbed his shot wide before Ramsey dragged a left-footer just wide.

Albion were under pressure at the start of the second half too. Bull didn't have much problem dealing with Kaine Kesler-Hayden's overhead kick straight at him but he was tested by a thunderbolt from Chukwuemeka which he did well to parry.

By Paul Hazlewood
Zak Emmerson was replaced with 20 minutes to go.

Evan Ferguson replaced Emmerson just before the hour mark then Villa broke the deadlock in the 71st minute. Arjan Raikhy swung over a free kick from the left and Kesler-Hayden got ahead of his marker to divert the ball past Bull.

Six minutes later the home side doubled their lead. Ramsey was played in by Chukwuemeka and his shot beat Bull into the bottom corner. To make matters worse, Ramsey got his second of the night when he latched onto a ball over the top with ten minutes to go. That was tough on Beard's side, who will have learned much from the experience to take into the rest of the season.

Albion: Bull, Nilsson, Sturge (Miller 75), Collyer, Turns, Offiah, Ifill, Chouchane (Hinshelwood 79), Emmerson (Ferguson 58), Everitt, Moran.

Subs not used: Reid, Qureshi, Jackson.