Match: Aston Villa U23s v Bristol City U23s
Date: Friday 5th October 2018
Competition: Premier League Cup
Venue: Villa Park
Cox (13), Blackett-Taylor (26), O'Hare (32, 42, 65), Knibbs (80, 84), Sea (86)
Sarkic; Walker, Bedeau, Bazeley-Graham, Revan; Clarke, Doyle-Hayes (Prosser), Cox, Blackett-Taylor (Wright); O'Hare (Sea), Knibbs. UNUSED SUBS: Lomax (GK), McConnachie.
Story in brief
Aston Villa U23s destroyed Bristol City U23s 8-0 at Villa Park as they made the perfect start to the defence of their Premier League Cup title.
Jordan Cox got the Young Lions on the scoresheet inside 13 minutes and Corey Blackett-Taylor doubled the lead soon after with a fine solo strike.
Callum O'Hare then finished from close range for three, before tapping home Harvey Knibbs' shot that cannoned off the post.
Villa picked up where they left off in the second half, and O'Hare secured his hat-trick when firing into the top-right corner of the net after a sweeping move upfield.
Knibbs, who'd knocked on the door all night, finally found the breakthrough in the closing stages – finessing well into the bottom-left pocket of the goal. The striker added himself a second just two minutes later.
U18 star Dimitri Sea capped a fine evening with his first goal at this level – emphatically heading in Jake Walker's cross in front of the Holte End.
The 8-0 mauling was by far the U23s' biggest victory of the campaign so far, as they began their Premier League Cup defence in style.
Under the guidance of Mark Delaney and with Kevin MacDonald absent on first team duties, the Young Lions didn't disappoint the strong crowd that turned out at Villa Park.
There were simply too many positives to note on an incredible evening.
It's now three successive wins in all competitions and 10 goals scored without reply. Add three successive clean sheets to that for Matija Sarkic.
O'Hare is back to his best, Knibbs has netted three in two, Sea is off the mark at this level, Jake Walker and Dominic Revan have made a seamless transition from the U18s, Jack Clarke and Jake Doyle-Hayes are running games better than ever before.
The list goes on and on.
Even by O'Hare's lofty standards of last season, this was a performance to cherish.
The exciting forward was everywhere on the night, and had a knack for being in the right place at the right time as he bagged a hat-trick.
His first two were goal-poacher esque, while his third was a bullet finish into the top corner.
He may just have given the incoming new first team manager something to think about.
Some players could play a part in our Birmingham Senior Cup return at Coleshill Town on Monday night.
As for league duties, we'll host Newcastle United U23s at Walsall's Banks's Stadium on Monday 22nd October looking to keep up this fine run of form.
Watch the U23s' scintillating performance against Bristol City back in full.
Goal times: Cox (13), Blackett-Taylor (26), O'Hare (32, 42, 65), Knibbs (80, 84), Sea (86)