Hinckley 2-8 Villa U21: Young guns round off pre-season in style
Villa's youngsters rounded off their pre-season programme by smashing eight goals against non-league Hinckley.
Gordon Cowans' team, who kick off the Barclays Premier U21 Premier League campaign at West Ham on Monday, were in ruthless form at the Greene King Stadium.
There were two goals each for Daniel Johnson and substitute Thomas Strain, while Jerell Sellars, Henry Cowans, Janoi Donacien and Jack Grealish were also on target.
The claret and blues struggled to make a breakthrough in the early stages and skipper Johnson had a penalty saved by Ashley Malhotra, who was in inspired form during the first period.
But on 35 minutes Sellars found the top corner with a superb curling effort, seconds after Grealish hit the bar from the edge of the area.
Just before the break, Cowans made it 2-0 with a brilliantly executed overhead kick.
Villa ran riot after the break. Donacien got the final touch on a Sellars shot on 56 minutes, before Grealish found the bottom corner from 20 yards just past the hour mark.
The hosts launched a fightback when Jarrad Pickering scored, slotting under substitute goalkeeper Aidan Grant.
Grant got a hand to Luke Richards' shot but was unable to keep it out as Hinckley pulled it back to 4-2.
Then came an onslaught of four Villa goals in the last seven minutes.
Johnson netted twice in quick succession. Firstly, he raced on to a Tomas Zazrivec pass to slot past the keeper before finding the net with a left-foot thunderbolt from outside the box.
Strain rounded the keeper to apply a simple finish three minutes from time before converting Courtney Wildin's left-wing cross in the dying seconds.
VILLA: Watkins, Lyden, Wildin, Donacien, Webb, Cowans, O'Brien, Calder, Sellars, Johnson, Grealish. Subs: T Strain [for Grealish, 63], Grant [for Watkins, 57], Toner [for Lyden, 63], Zazrivec [for Cowans, 63].
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