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Report: Villa U21 1-2 Serie B U21

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Report: Villa U21 1-2 Serie B U21

Jerell Sellars was on target as our youngsters suffered a narrow defeat in a well-contested fixture against an Italia B side at Bodymoor Heath.

The Italian side was made up of a selection of the best U21 players from Serie B while the claret and blue line-up was a mix of U21 and academy stars.

Young striker Keinan Davies impressed throughout - his mix of skill and strength too hot to handle for the Italians' backline.

Villa took the lead after just nine minutes - Sellars converting coolly following good work from Riccardo Calder down the left flank.

Goalkeeper Matija Sarkic was called into action moments later - saving well when Federinco Di Francesco's volley seemed destined for the back of the net.

Yet, they were level from the resultant corner, albeit in fortuitous circumstances.

Niccolo Belloni's set piece taking an unfortunate deflection off Rory Hale to beat the stopper.

To their credit, the young lions did not let their heads drop with forward Davies in particular causing problems.

The former Biggleswade man charged into the box but was just crowded out when poised to pull the trigger.

On 27 minutes, the home side won a penalty - Davies, in the thick of the action once again, was fouled.

Sellars stepped up but saw his spot-kick well saved by Andrea Fulignati.

This appeared to give the Italians the lift they needed.

Winger Belloini continued to cause problems and he almost made it two as his cross was cleared towards his own goal by full-back Josh Webb - Sarkic alert to intervene.

Sellars 640

As the first period drew to a close, clear-cut opportunities were few and far between.

Janis Cavagna tried his luck from distance but shot off target.

Starting with the same XI, the claret and blues could have regained their advantage after the interval.

Young star Andre Green embarked on a jinking run down the left, his cross picked out Niall Mason who was unable to keep his effort down.

Davies and Sellars both worked tirelessly up top and also saw efforts blocked.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, Sarkic set the claret and blue goalkeeping tone for the remainder of the contest denying Franceso Vicari from point-blank range as he met a dangerous free-kick.

Moments later, Accursio Bentivegna turned the game on its head - completing a fine breakaway move to place the ball home.

Stopper Emmanuel Idem played the final 20 minutes for Villa and he shone between the sticks.

The pick of the lot his double save and stop from Cristian Bunino's shot on the turn.

Villa continued to threaten with crosses but no one was able to convert.

The fast-paced nature of the contest continued until the final whistle - substitute Tom Leggett's cross clawed clear before Luca Crecco dragged an effort wide at the other end.

Villa U21:Sarkic (Idem 70), Webb (Clark 65), Toner, Suliman, Kinsella, Mason, Hale (Leggett 80), Calder, Davies (Hayes 72), Sellars (Cowans 80), Green.

Serie B U21: Fulignati, Berra, Filippini, Bulevardi, Biraschi, Vicari, Belloni, Palumbo, Bunino, Di Noia, Di Francesco. Subs: Andrenacci, Dickmann, Crecco, Cavagna, Valzania, Bentivegna, Talamo

By @AVFCOfficial 19th January 2016