Boldmere 1-4 Villa U21: Young guns earn comfortable win
Callum Robinson opened his account for the season as Villa's development squad began their preparations for 2014-15 with a comfortable win at Boldmere.
The 19-year-old forward came off the bench to bag a brace as Gordon Cowans' young guns scored four times in 19 second-half minutes.
Daniel O'Brien opened the scoring and Jack Grealish was also on target, with Mark Rose netting a consolation for the hosts.
The claret and blues survived an early scare when Lyden Weller struck a half-volley inches wide across goal.
Michael Drennan came closest to breaking the deadlock for Villa with a trio of first-half chances.
The Irishman raced on to a brilliant through ball from Henry Cowans but Boldmere keeper James Beeson made a good save with his feet.
Moments later, Drennan's glanced a header wide at the far post from a chipped Jerell Sellars cross.
On the half-hour mark, Drennan cut in from the right but couldn't keep his long-range effort down.
Coach Cowans changed his entire team at the break, with Robinson and Grealish getting their first match action of the season.
The duo - who both earned a taste of first team football last term - made a big impact as Villa dominated in the second period.
But it was O'Brien who broke the deadlock on 52 minutes with a well-taken individual effort.
The midfielder made a clever run inside from the right flank before tucking a clever finish into the bottom corner.
O'Brien then had another attempt tipped on to the bar, with the rebound falling to Robinson who made it 2-0 just after the hour mark.
Moments later, Robinson received a neat pass from Grealish before powering a low drive across the keeper for his second of the night.
On 71 minutes, Grealish got in on the act when he curled a terrific 25-yard effort past the keeper.
Rose pulled one back from the penalty spot seven minutes from time after O'Brien was penalised for a trip inside the box.
VILLA (first-half): Watkins, Leggett, Donacien, Kinsella, Nehemie, Cowans, Zazrivec, Johnson, Graham, Drennan, Sellars.
VILLA (second-half): Hill, Webb, Lewis, Toner, Wildin, O'Brien, Burke, Calder, Grealish, Robinson, T Strain.