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Villa U21 1-2 Newcastle U21: First defeat for U21 side

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Villa U21 1-2 Newcastle U21: First defeat for U21 side

By Dan Harrison at Villa Park

Villa missed out on a chance to move up to second in the Barclays U21 Premier League as their unbeaten run came to an end an against Newcastle.

Graham Burke scored a well-taken equaliser for the claret and blues after Adam Campbell had fired the Magpies in front just before the hour mark.

But the visitors departed with three points thanks to Mehdi Abeid's solo effort.

There were two changes to the Villa side that drew 3-3 in a thriller at Tottenham Hotspur last week.

Enda Stevens returned from a hamstring injury while Courtney Cameron also came into the starting XI with Derrick Williams and Chris Herd dropping out.

Newcastle welcomed Spanish striker Xisco back into the fold - his first appearance for the club following a season-long loan at Deportivo La Coruna.

The Magpies fielded seven players with first team experience including Romain Amalfitano, a summer signing from Reims, and former Everton midfielder Dan Gosling.

The two teams managed 26 goals in nine games between them going into this clash but the first period began at a surprisingly slow tempo.

Jordan Bowery, fresh from his first Villa goal at Spurs seven days ago, looked lively again before being forced off through injury two minutes before the break.

The former Chesterfield striker thought he had opened the scoring when he met Samir Carruthers' lofted pass with a fierce volley.

But the linesman raised his flag as Bowery had strayed fractionally offside.

Seven minutes later, the 21-year-old called Jak Alnwick into action for the first time.

The Newcastle goalkeeper got down to his right to push Bowery's stinging right-foot drive to safety.

The visitors finished the half strongly with Conor Newton volleying wide after Villa only half cleared a corner.

Then, just before the interval, Campbell headed wide from close range when Haris Vuckic found him at the back post with an inswinging cross.

If the first-half appeared somewhat subdued, there was no shortage of entertainment in the second.

Carruthers split two defenders with a delightful pass to play in Burke soon after the restart but the Irishman sliced his effort off target.

Then goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist came to Villa's rescue, sliding out to thwart Amalfitano who was through on goal.

But the Swiss custodian could do little about Campbell's deadlock-breaker on 57 minutes.

Campbell found space in the penalty area to fire across goal into the bottom corner.

Villa responded well and Burke's well-crafted equaliser was the least they deserved.

It came via another incisive Carruthers pass to pick out his team-mate, who took one touch before tucking past Alnwick.

The lead lasted just three minutes, though, as Abeid beat Siegrist with a low drive from the edge of the penalty area.

The away side had an opportunity to extend their lead when Siegrist made an acrobatic save to keep out Campbell's angled shot.

VILLA: Siegrist, Cameron, Devine, Baker, Stevens, Carruthers, Westwood, Johnson, Stieber, Burke, Bowery. Subs: Bateman [for Bowery, 42], Barrett, Graham [for Stieber, 81], Watkins-Clark, Melvin.

NEWCASTLE: Alnwick, Newton, Riley, Tavernier, Satka, Campbell, Abeid, Gosling, Amalfitano, Vuckic, Xisco. Subs: Hooper, Inman [for Xisco, 57], Maddison [for Gosling, 81], Meile [for Vuckic, 88], Woodman.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 8th October 2012
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