Villa U21 1-1 Tottenham U21: Siegrist shines in hard-fought draw
Benjamin Siegrist produced a superb goalkeeping display on his return to action as Villa earned a hard-fought point against Tottenham.
The Swiss custodian made a string of terrific second-half saves to repel Spurs in an entertaining contest at the Pirelli Stadium.
A thumping first-half header from Kevin Toner gave Villa the lead but Harry Kane scored a penalty after the break to cancel out the Irishman's strike.
Once again the claret and blues fielded an inexperienced side with key trio Graham Burke, Samir Carruthers and Jack Grealish currently plying their trade on loan.
Spurs made the stronger start to this clash with ex-Villa loanee Simon Dawkins and England U21 forward Kane causing problems.
Josh Webb blocked a Dawkins shot on the edge of the six-yard box in the second minute.
But Gordon Cowans' team grew in stature as the half went on.
A neat exchange between Riccardo Calder and Jerell Sellars almost led to a deadlock-breaker but Spurs defender Milos Veljkovic made a last-ditch tackle to prevent Sellars from converting his team-mate's left-wing cutback.
On 18 minutes, the home side took the lead through an unlikely source as Toner raced into the box to convert Daniel Johnson's corner. The centre-back timed his run perfectly before finding the net with a powerful diving header.
The visitors came close to hitting back when Kenneth Mcvoy broke clear of the Villa defence but Siegrist came rushing out to stop the Spurs midfielder in his tracks.
Calder - Villa's standout performer overall - went close with two low long-range drives, while Andras Stieber forced Jordan Archer into a finger-tip save from a curling free-kick just before the break.
Resurgent Tottenham peppered the claret and blues' goal immediately after the restart with Siegrist denying Kane and Mcevoy with excellent reflex saves.
Then four minutes into the second half, the away team had the chance to level when Toner tripped Kane in the box. Kane stepped up to level the scores, powering his spot-kick high into the roof of the net.
But Johnson almost restored Villa's lead when he collected Calder's pass on the edge of the box before striking a left-foot shot which came back off the post.
Spurs also managed to hit the woodwork with Laste Dombaxe clipping the inside of the post with a rasping long-range drive.
In the closing stages, Siegrist capped an impressive display by coming to VIlla's rescue with two more terrific saves.
Firstly the Swiss custodian leapt to his right to parry a 25-yard thunderbolt from Nabil Bentalev. Moments later he somehow got a hand to Kane's shot across goal, just doing enough to steer it on to the post.
Toner had a chance to win it for Villa at the death. He met another Johnson corner but headed wide at the back post.
VILLA: Siegrist, Webb, Kinsella, Cowans, Donacien, Toner, Stieber, Lyden, Sellars, Johnson, Calder. Subs: Wildin, Watkins, O'Brien [for Cowans, 67], T Strain [for Stieber, 67], Abdo.
TOTTENHAM: Archer, McQueen, Fryers, Dombaxe, Ball, Veljkovic, Mcvoy, Bentaleb, Coulthirst, Kane, Dawkins. Subs: Lancaster [for Coulthirst, HT], Vigouroux, Lameiras [for Dombaxe, 73].
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