Match Reports

Albion beaten by Villa in Premier League Cup

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Villans run out 4-0 winners at Bodymoor Heath.

By Richie Mills • 08 December 2023

By Simon Roe
Ruairi McConville in action for the under-21s.

Three first-half goals half blew our under-21s away in a 4-0 loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League Cup at Bodymoor Heath on Friday night.

Albion got off to the worst possible start when Benjamin Broggio and Kobei Moore scored inside the opening seven minutes before Rico Richards capitalised on a mistake at the back just before the break.

Villa's relentless march continued when Tommi O'Reilly punished a defensive error early in the second half as Inigo Idiakez's players looked a threat with every attack.

Josh Feeney received a second yellow card for the Villans one minute from time but it mattered little as Shannon Ruth's men were well beaten in the West Midlands.  

Albion had picked up four points from their two meetings against Villa earlier this season but the signs were ominous early on when Broggio bundled in from close range after goalkeeper Tommy Reid pushed away O'Reilly's shot from ten yards.

Shortly after, Broggio evaded the clutches of right-back Charlie Tasker, fired a pass across the six-yard box and Moore was on hand to tap home.

The rattled visitors could barely get out of their half in the opening 15 minutes and had it not been for Reid denying Feeney and Todd Alcock, the hosts would have been out of sight.

Albion managed to fashion their first chance of the game when Brody Peart fired a curling effort towards the bottom corner, only for keeper Sam Proctor to make a smart stop.  

The away side, who were repeatedly dispossessed when trying to pass out from the back, had a mountain to climb when Richards pounced on a Reid error in the 41st minute with a delicate lobbed finish.

Striker Louis Flower was denied from point-blank range by Proctor but seconds later it was nearly 4-0 when Richards hammered an effort off the crossbar to end a forgettable first half for Ruth's team.

Albion, who dispatched League Two side MK Dons in the EFL Trophy in midweek, conceded their fourth in the 56th minute when O'Reilly pinched the ball off centre-back Ben Jackson, before running 30 yards with the ball and stroking it past Reid.

Broggio nearly bagged his second of the night when he flashed an effort just past the post and then in the 89th minute, Feeney was booked in what was the sole blemish for the Villans as Albion, who had six shots to the home side's 18, suffered a heavy defeat in the cup.

With first-placed Villa and second-positioned Swansea City both winning on Friday, Albion must win their last two group matches to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the competition.

Ruth's players return to action next Saturday at home to Leicester City in Premier League 2.

Albion: Reid, Tasker (Ifill 46), McConville, Jackson, Samuels, Hinchy, Mullins, Chouchane (Nilsson 46), Peart (Knight 46), Duffus, Flower

Subs not used: Cahill, Ryan