Match: Aston Villa U23s v Derby County U23s
Date: Monday 11th February 2019
Competition: Premier League Cup
Venue: The Grove
Shonibare 56, Babos 68
Sinisalo; Walker (Burton, 80), Revan, Bazeley-Graham, Rowe; Prosser, Clarke, Vassilev (Brunt, 63), Archer (Wright, 55), Mooney, Knibbs. UNUSED SUBS: Lomax, Patterson.
Story in brief
Our Young Lions could – and should – have collected a draw in this exciting Premier League Cup encounter with Derby but ultimately went down 2-1.
The game, played at Halesowen Town’s ‘The Grove’ stadium, really came to life in the second half after a fairly even first 45 minutes.
Josh Shonibare fired home from a tight angle on 56 minutes after he made the goal out of nothing with a break forward.
The lead was doubled 12 minutes later as Jayden Mitchell-Lawson’s shot was parried out by Viljami Sinisalo, eventually falling to Alex Babos to slam home.
At this point, it looked like curtains for the claret and blues but their level of desire, energy and industry almost saw an unlikely draw.
Sub Tyreik Wright lobbed the keeper to reduce the arrears on 76 minutes.
The hosts piled on the pressure in the closing stages but luck just wasn’t on our side as chances for Jack Clarke and Harvey Knibbs went begging.
Made of the Wright stuff
He’s excelled for the U18s this term but now Tyreik Wright is impressing for the U23s too.
Wright was one of the stars of the Youth Cup journey and is now seeing action at a more senior level after a host of our U23s regulars went out on loan in the January transfer window.
The 17-year-old showed his pace and grace as a second half substitute for Cameron Archer and certainly did not look out of place, creating chances and also scoring with a fine second half finish.
More of the same next Monday, please, Tyreik.
We host Middlesbrough U23s at the Banks’s Stadium on Monday 18th February.
It’s a return to league action for the Young Lions against Boro, with a 7pm kick-off.
We’re fourth with 26 points from 16 games while Boro are seventh with 18 points from 15 matches.