Match report: Villa Res 4-0 Blackpool Res
James Collins Jr inspired Villa to their first win of the Barclays Premier Reserve League campaign - as Steve Sidwell made an impressive return to action.
A brace from Collins Jr along with goals from Samir Carruthers and youngster Michael Drennan ensured a resounding victory for the claret and blues second string at Bodymoor Heath.
Gordon Cowans' team made the perfect start against an experienced Blackpool outfit featuring the likes of Jason Euell and Chris Basham.
With just two minutes on the clock, Collins Jr headed home from close range, after a fine left-wing cross from academy skipper Daniel Johnson.
From there on, the home side dominated proceedings. Arsenio Halfhuid, making his first appearance of the season, forced a good save from Mark Halstead after Carruthers wriggled free down the right and crossed into the six-yard box.
And Sidwell struck a long-range effort over the bar with his left foot before the break.
Blackpool could only muster up one chance at the end of the half, when Tom Bakhuizen shrugged off Ellis Deeney's challenge before firing low from a tight angle but Elliot Parish held the shot.
Three minutes after the restart, Sidwell tried his luck from distance but fired wired.
Moments later he won possession and found Carruthers on the right.
The young wideman swung a delivery into the box and saw his ball from deep on the right go straight in over Halstead's head.
Collins showed great persistence to cut in from the left and hold off two defenders before firing low past the Blackpool keeper for his second on 57 minutes.
Republic of Ireland under-16 international Drennan was introduced on 63 minutes and made an instant impact.
Skipper Ciaran Clark motored forward from the back and picked out the striker in space, before Drennan controlled and cleverly chipped Halstead.
The crossbar prevented Drennan - who also scored two for the under-18s in a 3-0 win over Portsmouth on Saturday - from adding to his tally with a fierce left-foot strike.
The afternoon could have got even better for Sidwell on his return from injury but Halstead foiled him with a one-handed save late on.
VILLA: Parish; Berry, Clark, Lowry, Deeney; Johnson, Hogg, Sidwell, Carruthers; Halfhuid, Collins Jr. Substitutes: Williams (for Carruthers 63), Barrett, Drennan (for Johnson 63), Devine, Burke (for Halfuid 84).
BLACKPOOL: Halstead, Coid, Demnontagnac, Southern, Eastham, Basham, Bakhuizen, Tomsett, Euell, Husband, Phillips. Substitutes: Reynolds (for Bakhuizen 67), Dodd (for Southern 75), Youanda, McDonald, Mitter.
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