Match: Sunderland U23s v Aston Villa U23s
Date: Monday 1st October 2018
Competition: Premier League 2
Venue: Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground
Sarkic; Walker, Revan, Bedeau, Bazeley-Graham; Doyle-Hayes, Clarke, Blackett-Taylor (Prosser), Rowe; O'Hare (Cox), Knibbs (Sea). UNUSED SUBS: Lomax.
Story in brief
Aston Villa U23s continued their strong start to the Premier League 2 Division 2 season, beating Sunderland 1-0 to make it five wins out of seven to begin the campaign.
Harvey Knibbs' first-half strike made it back-to-back away wins for our Young Lions, who also navigated past Southampton by the same scoreline 10 days ago.
The claret and blues were a level above in torrential conditions in the North East, with Corey Blackett-Taylor, Jake Doyle-Hayes, Callum O'Hare and Dominic Revan all putting in standout performances.
And it was Blackett-Taylor who engineered the only goal of the game when he cut in from the right and saw his shot blocked. Thankfully, Knibbs was on hand to tuck the ball home for his first in the league this term.
As mentioned, Blackett-Taylor was immense on the right wing throughout.
His blistering speed and impressive strength on the ball made him a nightmare for the Sunderland left-back.
In just his second start since a leg injury hampered his pre and early season participation, the young flyer looked back to his razor sharp best.
Doyle-Hayes also impressed again, controlling the tempo of the match from central midfield.
Pinging long-range and short-range passes left to right, his opposition numbers couldn't get close as he set the tone for a dominant display.
He gets better with every game.
It's a return to Premier League Cup action for our U23s this Friday night when they entertain Bristol City U23s at Villa Park.
Villa go into the campaign as reigning champions after that memorable penalty shoot-out victory over Swansea in South Wales back in May.