Defenders on target in friendly win

Men's under-21s beat Aston Villa 2-0 on Friday.

By Bruce Talbot • 29 July 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion celebrate after Ed Turns put them in front against Aston Villa

Our men’s under-21s continued their preparations for the new Premier League 2 campaign with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa in Friday’s training ground friendly.

Goals in each half from defenders Ed Turns and Sam Packham secured a deserved win for Albion, who could have won by a bigger margin after a dominant performance.

It was Villa who made the brighter start but Albion began to dominate possession and create chances. Jack Spong and Evan Ferguson both went close before the deadlock was broken in the 30th minute when Spong’s in-swinging corner from the right was turned in by Turns at the near post.

By Paul Hazlewood
Evan Ferguson bursts past a defender

Andrew Moran and Ferguson both saw shots blocked and Moran was denied again before the break while Cam Peupion’s first-time effort was well saved early in the second half as Albion dominated possession, pressed hungrily and carried the greater attacking threat.

The second goal they deserved came in the 59th minute when a corner dropped to Packham just inside the box and he took a touch before volleying powerfully into the bottom right-hand corner.

Coach Andrew Crofts made several substitutions and Albion could have added further goals in the closing stages. Lorent Tolaj’s volley from James Furlong’s cross was saved before his header was blocked by the Villa keeper. Evan Ferguson was denied by a goal line clearance and in the closing stages Todd Miller also went close.

By Paul Hazlewood
Antef Tsoungui clears his lines

The MU21s conclude their pre-season preparations against Littlehampton in the Sussex FA Community Shield on 3 August. Their Premier League 2 opener is at Crystal Palace five days later.

Albion: Beadle, Packham (Jackson 60), Furlong, Turns, Tsoungui, Hinchy (Baker-Boaitey 75), Peupion (Tolaj 60), Spong (Chouchane 35), Ferguson, Moran (Hinshelwood 75), Miller.

Substitutes not used: Cahill, Everitt, Ifill, Kavanagh.