Match: Salford City v Aston Villa U21s
Date: Tuesday 3rd September 2019
Venue: Peninsula Stadium
Attendance: 916 (125 Villa fans)
Llloyd (80), Rooney (82)
Searle, Walker, Rowe, Revan, Suliman, Birch, Tait (Philogene-Bidace, 60), Clarke, Brunt, Wright, Archer. Unused subs: Marschall, Guy, Bridge, Hayden, Pressley, Chukwuemeka.
Story in brief
It was late heartache for Aston Villa U21s as they went down 2-0 to Salford City in the first game of the EFL Cup.
In a feisty-at-times encounter, the claret and blues had their chances but were ultimately undone by two goals in the closing moments.
After chances from Tyreik Wright, Easah Suliman and Jack Clarke went begging, Mark Delaney’s Young Lions were hit with a sucker punch on 80 minutes.
Captain Jake Walker was adjudged to have fouled Mani Dieseruvwe as the pair fought for the ball in the box.
The referee pointed to the spot and Jake Lloyd fired to Jamie Searle’s right to open the scoring.
Just as the Young Lions looked to regroup, the game was effectively over as Adam Rooney slipped the ball home as he reacted first from a Dan Jones free-kick.
"We knew they’d come at us in the first half and play a direct style of football. They created a few chances, which we dealt with.
"But in the second half, we played through the pitch well, looked confident with the ball and created really good chances with two 1-v-1 opportunities but their keeper came up trumps and saved them both.
"If we’d scored one, that would really have put us on the front foot even more.
"But unfortunately they got a penalty decision. From where I could see, it looked like it was defended really well. But when the game is going, decisions have to be made and unfortunately for us the decision didn’t go our way.
"Goals change games and obviously they got the second straight away and killed the game. Overall, we needed to be more clinical when we got our chances. When it’s 0-0, one thing can get you the result.
"Our fans who turned up were really brilliant, though. It was amazing to see and the players really appreciated it.
"We were attacking towards them in the second half and we wanted to get that breakthrough for the fans. Unfortunately it didn’t come."
It’s Premier League 2 action next as we head to Stoke City.
The game takes place on Monday 16th September, with a 7pm kick-off at Harrison Park, Leek.