Match: Villa U23 v Newcastle U23
Date: August 29, 2016
Competition: Premier League 2
Venue: Villa Park
Weather: 22C, partly cloudy
Kozak (23, 44, 78)
Libor Kozak netted a hat-trick as Villa U23s secured their first win of the 2016/17 Premier League 2 campaign in emphatic style on Bank Holiday Monday.
Among what was a largely youthful Villa side, seniors Kozak and Jed Steer clocked up some vital playing time.
Meanwhile, the experienced Sammy Ameobi started for the visitors.
The Czech striker could have given Villa an early lead – his strike trickling wide of Nathan Harker’s post while stopper Steer saved well down low from Callum Roberts’ drive.
The claret and blues were ahead midway through the first half – defender Johan Abdoul firing home from 20 yards – goalkeeper Harker rooted to the spot.
They doubled their advantage moments later through Kozak’s curling finish.
The Magpies played some quality possession football but could not find a breakthrough.
The Young Lions took a valuable cushion into the interval – Kozak finishing across Harker from O’Hare’s cross.
Newcastle were much improved at the start of the second period – Haris Vuckic a real threat in attack.
Steer was alert to the threat while Jack Hunter steered his attempt over the target when well placed.
Composed Mitch Clark shone in the centre of defence - blocking and clearing every ball that came his way.
Villa played the closing stages of the contest a man short when goalscorer Abdoul was dismissed after receiving a second booking.
The home side remained undeterred and added gloss to the scoreline – Kozak latching onto O’Hare’s fine ball over the top to produce a composed finish.
VILLA U23: Steer, Leggett, Clark, Abdoul, Sundman, Linley (Doyle-Hayes 51), Hale, Abdo (C), Cox (Rowe 71), Kozak, O'Hare. Unused subs: Johansson, Mooney, Coates.
NEWCASTLE U23: Harker, Broccoli, Good, Findlay, Cameron, Barlaser, Hunter (Holmes 69), Roberts (Charman HT), Longstaff, Vuckic. Unused subs: Gibson, Williams, Ward.
Rory Hale (Foul)
Villa red cards
Johan Abdoul (Two bookable offences)
Stuart Findlay (Foul)
Referee: Anthony Serrano
Assistant referee 1: Christopher Smith
Assistant referee 2: Samuel Lewis
Fourth official: Scott Robertson