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Season 2020-21
Aston Villa U23s (h) Premier League 2 Division 2


Friday May 7th 2021, 7pm

 Whitley Park

Admission: BCD


Newcastle U23s

Aston Villa U23s

  1 - 2





21 mins Brad Young penalty. 0-1

43 mins Louie Barry shot. 0-2

Half time: Newcastle 0 Villa 2

mins Tom Allan penalty. 1-2

Full time: Newcastle 1 Villa 2




Another night behind the wire

Newcastle's U23 side rounded off their Premier League 2 Division Two season with defeat on Friday, beaten by ten-man Villa at Whitley Park.

A point or better for the Magpies would have removed any chance of ending the campaign bottom of the table, and they dominated the early exchanges.

However, a rare Villa attack in the 21st minute ended with Brad Young going down in the United box under challenge from Brad Cross, Young getting up to put his side ahead from the penalty spot.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men on 41 minutes when substitute Brad Young saw red for striking Matt Bondswell in the face after the ball ran out of play - the Toon defender booked for his reaction.

What proved to be the winning goal came two minutes before the interval, when Louie Barry worked an opening on the edge of the box before supplying an excellent shot that beat Dan Langley.

The second half saw the hosts continue to control possession, but apart from tipping over Stan Flaherty's free kick, visiting custodian Akos Onodi had little to do until the closing stages of the game.

Owen Bailey almost marked what is expected to be his final game for the club with a goal, only to see his 75th minute effort ping off the Villa crossbar.

And although the Villans had a few near escapes from balls played into their six yard area, it took 88 minutes for Onodi to retrieve the ball from his net.

That came when Lamar Bogarde barged into Bailey, Tom Allan coolly dispatching his penalty kick to halve the deficit. There was to be no leveller however, Cross the nearest when denied from close range.

Chris Hogg's side remained second bottom of the table but basement side West Bromwich Albion then beat Norwich City 3-2 on Monday afternoon to ensure that we finished 13th out of 13th on goal difference.

Southampton and Leicester City drop from Division One into our league, with
Leeds United promoted as champions. Contesting the playoffs are Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Wolves and the mackems.

In conclusion, this has been the most difficult of seasons to watch and pass comment on, simply due to the total ban on attending. That has reduced us to watching the U23s in the flesh from a distance through a fence, aside from those away sides who went to the bother of live streaming their games.

It's fair to say that distance hasn't lent much enchantment, non-entities such as Florent Indalecio not even flattering to deceive and the barest of contributions from the likes of Christian Atsu leading to another season of underachievement.

While Elliot Anderson's rise has been well documented, too few players have followed his lead in threatening to break into the senior squad; in part due to injuries and fitness, with COVID affecting the second string.

A sick list that at various times included Adam Wilson, Rodrigo Vilca, Rosaire Longelo and Joe White contributed to a hefty turnover of players (50) and an inevitable lack of continuity.
From those who did maintain fitness, attacking midfielder Stan Flaherty caught the eye at times in his first full season at the club and could beat White into being the next one to swap Little Benton for Darsley Park - or be sent out on loan.

That Stan ended the season top scorer with seven goals tells another tale of our limitations: 31 goals from 24 games compares unfavourably even to 29 scored in the 18 fixtures that we completed in the truncated 2019/20 campaign.

Just two clean sheets in 24 was hardly encouraging either, while managing to collect 10 points less than the mackem second string who squeezed into the playoffs was just plain careless. Shamefully, the red and whites were one of five clubs whose first teams play in the EFL to finish above us.



Page last updated 10 May, 2021