Newcastle U21 2-3 Villa U21: Young guns make it three in a row
Villa moved back up to second in Group 2 of the Barclays U21 Premier League with a superb attacking display to see off Newcastle.
Graham Burke, Michael Drennan and Samir Carruthers got the goals as Gordon Cowans' team earned their third consecutive victory.
It means Villa are now just two points behind group leaders Tottenham Hotspur with two games remaining in the first phase of the competition.
Burke and Drennan continued their blossoming partnership by getting on the scoresheet in the first half, either side of a Jonathan Hooper goal.
The Republic of Ireland forwards have now scored eight times between them in six games when they have been paired together up front this term.
Carruthers netted after the break before Marcus Maddison bagged a consolation for the Magpies.
Villa welcomed back Daniel Johnson from his loan spell at Yeovil Town, while Andras Stieber also returned to the line-up after missing the win at Manchester United through injury.
The boys in claret and blue went into the clash aiming to build on their November triumphs over Sunderland and United.
But it was the hosts who made the better start with Craig Hill making fine saves to deny Marcus Maddison and Connor Newton early on.
Brandon Miele also should have done better with a header from six yards.
Drennan, though, gave Villa the lead on 29 minutes with a finish of the highest quality.
The Kilkenny-born striker beat the offside trap to run on to Josh Barton's cross-field ball before cleverly lofting his effort over Jak Alnwick.
The deadlock-breaker signalled the start of a frantic four-minute spell.
Within two minutes Newcastle were level through Hooper, who converted Maddison's cross with an acrobatic volley.
But it didn't take long for the visitors to restore their advantage.
Burke won and then tucked away a 32nd minute penalty after being brought down by Michael Riley.
Just four second-half minutes had been played when Villa carved open the Magpies again to score a third.
Johnson picked out Carruthers who embarked on a mazy run into the box before applying a close-range finish.
However, the hosts came roaring back and Janoi Donacien was forced to clear off the line after Yven Moyo's header crashed against the woodwork.
Maddison was rewarded for his excellent work with a goal on 62 minutes to make it 3-2.
Hooper returned the favour for his team-mate who neatly stroked home a finish after meeting a left-wing cutback.
Villa had further chances to extend their lead.
Johnson had a shot charged down after substitute Jack Grealish headed Jordan Graham's cross into his path.
Alnwick also made two saves late on to deny Burke.
NEWCASTLE: Alnwick, Logan, Kitchen, Desmond, Riley, Newton, Knight, Miele, Maddison, Hooper, Moyo. Subs: Gillead, Mitchell, Quinn.
VILLA: Hill, Barton, Bateman, Johnson, Donacien, Webb, Graham, Carruthers, Drennan, Burke, Stieber. Subs: Grealish [for Stieber, 62], Barrett, Melvin, Watkins-Clark, Calder.
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