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Villa U21 0-3 Tottenham U21: Villa miss out on Elite Group Stage

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Villa U21 0-3 Tottenham U21: Villa miss out on Elite Group Stage


Villa missed out on a place in the Elite Group Stage after being overpowered by table-topping Tottenham at Villa Park.

Ryan Mason, Scott Parker and Giancarlo Gallifuoco were on target as Spurs earned a deserved victory to confirm their place at the top of Group 2 in the Barclays U21 Premier League.

The result means Villa will now drop into Qualification Group Tier 1 in the New Year.

Villa made five changes from last week's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, with coach Gordon Cowans able to call on some experienced heads.

Craig Hill returned in goal in place of Calum Barrett, while first team trio Derrick Williams, Marc Albrighton and Jordan Bowery replaced Mason Watkins-Clark, Brad Lewis and Josh Barton.

Teenage defender Josh Webb was a late addition to the line-up in place of Daniel Devine, who was struck down by illness.

Spurs named Parker and Andros Townsend in their starting XI, 24 hours after their involvement in the Barclays Premier League win over Swansea.

Although Villa made a lively start, with Graham Burke firing just off target from 20-yards and Bowery sending an effort over from close range after meeting Daniel Johnson's cutback, it was Tottenham's first team duo that shone.

Townsend struck a low drive just wide of the post before almost forcing Williams to slice into his own net.

Keeper Hill also had to get down low to push away a drive from Ryan Fredericks.

The breakthrough arrived on 31 minutes when Jack Barthram motored forward to run on to Townsend's ball down the left.

He crossed into the six-yard box and Mason was well-positioned to force it over the line.

A minute before the break, Yago Falque embarked on a surging run from just inside the Villa half.

John Obika laid off Falque's cross for England midfielder Parker to stroke into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Johnson sent a couple of long-range drives over the bar, while keeper Lawrence Vigouroux blocked Albrighton's shot but overall it was a frustrating first-half for the claret and blues.

There was a brief Villa resurgence after the break with Vigouroux making an excellent save to his left to keep out Bowery's header after the former Chesterfield forward met a pinpoint cross from Michael Drennan.

But Spurs continued to dominate. Obika rattled the crossbar with a left-foot drive, while Hill made one-handed saves to deny Falque and Townsend.

The third goal arrived 12 minutes from time, with Townsend proving to be the dangerman again.

Janoi Donacien stretched desperately to cut out Townsend's cross from the left.

He diverted it past his own keeper and substitute Gallifuoco was on hand to make sure the ball went over the line.

There was still time for one more reflect save from Hill, who did brilliantly to prevent Albrighton's miscued clearance going into his own net.

VILLA: Hill, Donacien, Williams, Carruthers, Webb, Johnson, Albrighton, Bowery, Drennan, Burke, Stieber. Subs: Barton, Barrett, Lewis, Grealish [for Burke, HT].

TOTTENHAM: Vigoroux, Fredericks, Bartram, Luongo, Hall, Mason, Carroll, Parker, Obika, Townsend, Falque. Subs: Coulibaly [for Obika, 67], Priestley, Stewart, Gallifuoco [for Parker, 67].

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 17th December 2012
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