Match: Aston Villa U18 v Fulham U18
Date: Saturday 18th August 2018
Competition: U18 Premier League
Venue: Recon Training Complex
Sea (11), Odutayo (83)
Lomax; Burton, Patterson, Bridge, McConnachie; Walker, Brunt, Tait (Guy), Ramsey; Vassilev, Sea (Odutayo). SUBS NOT USED: Birch, Cook, Presley.
Story in brief
Aston Villa U18s won their first game of the new Premier League season, overcoming Fulham 2-0 at the Recon Training Complex.
The Young Lions had suffered an agonising loss the previous week – conceding twice late on to surrender a draw at Arsenal – but put in a better all-round performance this time.
Always on the front foot and applying real intensity, Fulham struggled to cope as Villa pressed them into conceding possession throughout the first half.
And that pressure paid dividends after just 11 minutes as striker Dimitri Sea connected with a quality delivery from fellow frontman Indiana Vassilev for the opening goal.
Michael Tait and Jacob Ramsey could have added to the scoreline after being presented good chances, before substitute Colin Odutayo did make sure of the three points – finishing from close range after more good play from Vassilev.
Finisher – in more ways than one
Odutayo struck for the second time in as many matches, having also scored the goal that briefly brought Villa level at Arsenal last week.
And the hot prospect netted late on yet again after being summoned from the bench by manager David Hughes.
The Dutch youth international is not only proving himself a capable goalscorer, but a player that comes to life in the dying embers of the match.
Vassilev catches the eye
Forward Vassilev played a key part in both goals to cement a solid start to the season on an individual level.
The USA youngster put the ball on a plate for strike partner Sea to head home, before more good work lead to Odutayo firing in our second.
Vassilev has also caught the attention of U23 coaches Kevin MacDonald and Mark Delaney, and was included in their squad for the season opener against Norwich City last week.
His progress will be worth monitoring this term.
Manager Hughes was left frustrated by lapses in concentration that denied his team a point the previous week, and demanded an increased intensity for the visit of Fulham.
His wish was granted as his players ran their socks off when in and out of possession for a full 90 minutes – leaving the Cottagers unable to cope.
The squad have proved their worth in front of goal already, and this time put in a fully focused performance in all other areas to match.
It's another home fixture in store for our U18s this weekend, with Reading the visitors to the Recon Training Complex this time around.
It forms part two of a home triple header, after the Norwich City fixture on Saturday 1st September was also switched to our training ground – meaning we now go to the Canaries in early February.