Aston Villa Football Academy 1st Match Report – VS Peterborough (Cup) Wednesday 27th April 2021

Today’s 1st team game was away against second in the cup league Peterborough United. We arrived with plenty of time to spare for a good warm up, after the longest drive of the season so far.  Peterborough looked well drilled and organised in the warm up, the Aston Villa lads were up for this game and wanted to finish top of the league and a guaranteed sport in the last 32 of the National Cup Competition.

Starting line up was similar to the previous week, only change was Sudey’s to the bench due to fasting and Demico Burton put to left wing and Corey Leslie transferring to right wing. Great to see the players having the ability to adapt week in week out.

Kick off was at 1pm and it was a very strong start by Villa right from the start. In the 1st minute Lewis and Demico combined brilliantly to set up centre midfielder Kieran McElwaine for a shot on target that was well saved by the Peterborough number one.

Possession was strong for the away team and in the 5th minute a mix up by the Peterborough defence enabled Lewis to break through for a 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper. If it wasn’t for great defending by the retreating centre back, I’m sure this would have been 1-0 up for the Villa.

The 7th minute was the first attack for the home team, who broke down their right flank with a chipped ball in the channel. Villa left back Darmarnick Campbell found himself the wrong side of the Peterborough right winger and gave a free kick away just outside the Villa box. A great cross in found an unmarked Peterborough defender that headed just wide. Definitely a missed chance for the home team.

Peterborough were starting to bring themselves into the game a little more as the game went on. In doing that, the game became very scrappy, lots of lost possession and overall panicking in possession of the ball by both teams.

In the 10th minute the away team lost right winger Corey Leslie, who came off injured, which meant it was an earlier than expected game for Sudey’s, who came on to replace him.

In the 15th minute a collision with Darmarnick and Peterborough striker results in a freekick on the outside of the Villa box, another chance for Peterborough to test Villa’s goalkeeper, but fortunately the strike didn’t cause any problems for Jack.

A great chance came up for Villa in the 35th minute. Quick thinking from Villa keeper Jack Richards as he distributed the ball wide left to Demico, who took the ball towards the Peterborough box and tried the extravagant lob, only for the keeper to read the shot and collect easily. A 1 v 1 that probably should have been converted.

In the 39th minute, slightly against the run of play, Sudey’s wins the ball back on the right side of the pitch after Peterborough try to play the ball out from the back, excellent pressing from the front. The ball is transferred over to the left wing via Kieran and Raheem, Darmarnick picks the ball up and drives down the left side and puts a cross into the box. This is cleared and picked up by Demico Burton, who drives past two defenders into the Peterborough box and is brought down. His pace is too much to handle, Penalty given. Lewis steps up and converts. Villa 1-0 up.

Excellent performances all round by both teams, Villa just edging the score at half time with a well converted penalty. Lots to play for in the second half.

Half-time Peterborough 0 Aston Villa 1

The second half starts brightly for Aston Villa, much the same as the start of the first half. Kieran picks up the ball and plays it to Lewis, who plays out wide left to Demico. A great cross into the box is clipped on by striker Dan Henry towards goal, only for a great save to deny Aston Villa going 2-0 up.

In the 49th minute Dan plays the ball over to Demico within our own half. Demico is causing all sorts of problems for the Peterborough defence. A powerful run through the Peterborough defence, 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper and slots the ball home to make it 2-0.

Peterborough now need to come up with something before this game gets too far away from them. Straight after the retake a few silly fouls are given away in and around the Villa box, giving Peterborough the chance to test Jack. Fortunately, Peterborough don’t have their shooting boots on, nothing tests the goalkeeper.

In the 55th minute a ball played in by full back Reni, wide to Sudey’s. A cheeky nutmeg passed the left full back put him through for a 1v1 with the goalkeeper. A great save denied him a goal.

In the 57 minute another great run by Demico down the left towards the by-line, a clever pull back came to Lewis Smith for him to pass into the goal, a well-played goal. Aston Villa 3-0 up and looking like defeat for Peterborough.

In the 63rd minute we saw Andy Edwards coming on for a hard-working Raheem, who put a great shift in centre midfield.

Another 1v1 chance for Demico in the 64th minute after great work by Lewis, unfortunately hitting the shot wide. Straight after, the ball goes to the other end of the pitch, some sloppy defending by Villa means Peterborough get a couple of chances. It looks like pin ball in the box, fortunately for Villa there’s no shots on target.

In the 73 minute the game is tied up by Villa. A mis-placed pass by the Peterborough defender towards his own goalkeeper gives Demico the chance to pick the ball up. He passes onto Lewis as they link up well together again. Lewis passes the ball into the net beyond the goalkeeper to make it 4-0 to Villa and completing his hattrick for the second week in a row.

Peterborough had worked hard throughout the game, only for a really strong Villa side who have played extremely well to overpower them. Peterborough did get the last chance to get on the score sheet and with the final kick of the game. A long ball came over, which was missed by the Villa defence, the striker pounced and gave Jack no chance in goal.

Final score Peterborough 1- Aston Villa 4 

Final standing for the National Cup competition see’s Villa op the group and through to the last 32. A fixture which see’s Villa up against a strong Burton Albion side that came runners up in their group.

Aston Villa’s second team had a friendly against West Bromwich Albion. The game took place at Nuneaton Borough’s home team pitch, a team that was managed by ex-premier league and England under 21 striker Leroy Lita. A great experience for the lads. Unfortunately, it was a 3-2 loss, but goals from Holy and Vishnu saw the game was a close one.