Match: Aston Villa U23s v Reading U23s
Date: Sunday 4th November 2018
Competition: Premier League 2
Venue: Villa Park
Sarkic, Bree, Bedeau, Bazeley-Graham, Revan, Prosser, Doyle-Hayes (Clarke), Lansbury, Blackett-Taylor, Cox (Hepburn-Murphy), O'Hare. UNUSED SUBS: Lomax, Lowe, Knibbs.
Bree (23,28), Blackett-Taylor (36), Hepburn-Murphy (83)
Barrett (21), Loader (39, 50), House (45, 90)
Story in brief
Aston Villa U23s conceded a late winner as Reading U23s stole the points in a frantic, nine-goal encounter at Villa Park.
Having gone behind early on despite enjoying the best of the play, James Bree headed home twice to put the Young Lions into the lead.
Corey Blackett-Taylor also netted in the first half, but Reading dramatically turned it around to go in at the break tied at 3-3.
The Royals completed the comeback on 50 minutes, as Danny Loader notched his second goal of the game.
Substitute Rushian Hepburn-Murphy thought he'd rescued a point in the closing stages when he dribbled past his man to tuck home for 4-4.
But it was heartbreak at the death – Ben House rounding Matija Sarkic to seal all three points.
The most recent goal fest took the tally up to 26 strikes in the last four Aston Villa U23 matches.
An 8-0 win over Bristol City a month ago was followed with a 5-2 loss to Newcastle United and a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion.
Another nine goals occurred this time around – confirming the Young Lions' fixtures are rarely short on entertainment.
Lansbury returns; Bree at the double
Henri Lansbury got 90 minutes under his belt for the first time since our League Cup exit at the hands of Burton Albion back in August.
And the midfielder was in amongst it from the off, setting up Bree's first header from a corner.
The 28-year-old is yet to feature under new Head Coach Dean Smith, but proved his match fitness and quality is ready to be called upon ahead of a testing winter.
Bree himself appeared for the first time since the loss at Millwall last month, and could also push on for a place in the first team going forwards.
Villa U23s go to Loughborough this Thursday night for the second round of Premier League Cup action.
There, they'll face Derby County and look to capitalise on the aforementioned 8-0 opening day win over Bristol City.