Middlesbrough U21 0-2 Villa U21: Clinical youngsters win again
Villa produced a clinical display against Middlesbrough to make it back-to-back wins in the Barclays U21 Premier League.
Graham Burke and Janoi Donacien scored either side of half time as Gordon Cowans' team followed up last week's victory over Blackburn with another excellent performance.
It was a quiet start from both sides with neither goalkeeper being particularly troubled in the opening half-an-hour.
Burke fired into the side-netting with a free-kick, while a 30-yard shot from Boro's Lewis Maloney was comfortably held by Benjamin Siegrist.
But Villa made the most of the one real first-half opportunity that came their way as Burke opened the scoring on 31 minutes.
The Dubliner converted Jordan Graham's cross, rounding off a move that started with a terrific surging run through the middle by skipper Daniel Johnson.
Moments later, more excellent build-up play from Burke and Graham teed up full-back Courtney Wildin who miscued his shot.
Villa began the second half with similar attacking intent and Jerell Sellars almost forced home Graham's cross just after the restart.
The second goal arrived on 54 minutes when livewire winger Graham - the away side's standout performer - whipped in a cross which was met by Donacien.
The central defender towered above everyone in a packed penalty area and headed into the corner of the net.
In between times, Siegrist showed great agility to dive to his left and tip behind a fierce Matthew Walters shot.
Sellars almost put the icing on the cake for Villa with 10 minutes remaining but the U18 forward scooped his effort over the bar after meeting yet another Graham cross.
BORO: Steele, Tinkler, Coleby, Weledji, Meling, Walters, Jones, Maloney, Fewster, Kitching, Williams. Subs: Sirrell [for Maloney 71], Fryer, Helm [for Tinkler 78], Griffiths, McCarthy [for Fewster 71].
VILLA: Siegrist, R Strain, Wildin, Stieber, Donacien, Webb, Abdo, Sellars, Burke, Johnson, Graham. Subs: Zazrivec, Watkins, T Strain [for Sellars 83], Lewis, McKirdy.