Post-Match Report

Match report: Aston Villa 2-3 Arsenal U-18s

Aston Villa U18 -

Aston Villa Academy
U18 Premier League South
U18 Premier League South
  Aston Villa U18
Aston Villa U18
2 3
  Arsenal U18
Arsenal U18


We left it late to claim all three points at Aston Villa on Saturday, scoring a stoppage-time winner to edge a five-goal thriller.

Dan Micciche handed a second start in as many games to Ethan Nwaneri after his two assists against Reading, and our winger more than justified his selection.

Nwaneri looked sharp early on and picked out Billy Vigar with a floated cross, but our striker could only guide his header wide in the game's first real chance.

The hosts made us pay for that missed opportunity and took the lead through Taylor-Jay Hart, who rounded Alex Kovacevic to finish into the empty net.

We responded well to the early setback and were awarded a penalty after James Sweet's surging run into the box was halted by Kell Smith.

Vigar stepped up and went low to his left, but his spot-kick was kept out well by James Wright.

Our mounting pressure was rewarded minutes before the break, Mauro Bandeira firing one in low from outside the box after a pass from Mathaeus Roberts.

We came out for the second half with the same intensity as we finished the first and took the lead through Josh Robinson. Our centre-back exchanged passes with Bandeira on a marauding run from deep before finishing coolly past Wright.

Roberts, fresh from his brace against Reading, twice went close to scoring in a matter of minutes, first testing Wright from a free-kick, before crashing his strike against the bar after a driven cross from substitute Charles Sagoe Jr.

Villa equalised against the run of play with 10 minutes remaining, Robinson inadvertently flicking the ball beyond Kovacevic as he attempted to clear Finley Munroe's corner.

We continued to mount late pressure and Sagoe Jr was denied only by a goal-line clearance after rounding Wright, but failing to get a clean enough contact to push his strike over the line.

Our pressure eventually told in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Sagoe Jr latching onto a ball over the top from Jimi Gower and showing real composure to slot it across goal into the far corner and secure us three points.


We stay sixth in the Under-18 Premier League, eight points behind the leaders, Southampton.


We're back in Under-18 Premier League action on Saturday, March 12, when we host West Brom.

Kick-off at London Colney is at 12pm (UK time).

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