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Villa U21 3-4 Leicester U21: Young guns beaten despite late rally
Defeat for U21s at Pirelli Stadium.
10th Mar 2014
Villa U21 3-4 Leicester U21: Young guns beaten despite late rally


Harrison

Villa were unable to salvage a draw despite producing a late fightback against Leicester at the Pirelli Stadium.

Graham Burke netted his fourth goal in three games to cancel out Harry Panayiotou's opener.

But the Foxes rallied through Jacob Blyth, Michael Cain and Callum Elder.

Goals from Thomas Strain and Jordan Graham gave Villa a fighting chance, although they were unable to find an equaliser.

It was one-way traffic in the away side's favour for most of the first period.

Adam Dawson had the ball in the net for the Foxes after beating Benjamin Siegrist from a tight angle but the linesman ruled he had taken the ball out of play.

But Leicester made a breakthrough on 20 minutes when Panayiotou stabbed home from close range after Villa failed to deal with Elder's long throw.

Joe Dodoo came close to adding a second but drove his first-time shot just wide across goal.

It took some inspiration from in-form winger Graham and U18s starlet Khalid Abdo to give Villa a chance to level.

Graham cut inside from the left and squared to Abdo who made a jinking run into the box.

The quick-footed Swedish teenager was clipped by George Taft, leaving referee Anthony Tankard with no option but to point to the spot.

Burke stepped up and slotted home the equaliser, sending keeper Adam Smith the wrong way.

However, Leicester struck a big blow in first-half stoppage time when Blyth powered in a header from Cain's corner to make it 2-1.

Things got worse for Gordon Cowans' team after the break as the visitor struck a quickfire double.

Cain forced a close-range shot over the line from Blyth's right-wing cutback to bag his team's third.

He then drilled a low cross of his own, which Panayiotou stepped over to allow Elder to thump home at the back post.

But Villa refused to lie down. Strain - on as a half-time substitute - produced an instinctive finish to convert Burke's free-kick which was driven in low.

On 83 minutes, Graham cut in from the left hand side and curled a cross towards the far post which deceived everyone before going straight in.

VILLA: Siegrist, R Strain, Wildin, Stieber, Donacien, Webb, Abdo, Burke, Robinson, Johnson (c), Graham. Subs: O'Brien, Watkins, Zazrivec, T Strain [for Abdo, HT], McKirdy.

LEICESTER: Smith, Sesay, Elder, Watson, Kennedy, Taft, Dodoo, Cain, Blyth, Panayiotou, Dawson. Subs: Anton [for Dodoo 85], Simpson, McCourt [for Watson 79], Barrington [for Dawson 79].

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