Colchester United 1 Aston Villa 2, match reaction: ‘Colchester gave us a hell of a game’ – admits Steve Bruce

PUBLISHED: 22:27 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 22:58 09 August 2017

Sam Walker loses the ball, leading to Villa's first goal during tonight's 2-1 defeat. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Sam Walker loses the ball, leading to Villa's first goal during tonight's 2-1 defeat. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Aston Villa boss, Steve Bruce, admitted that Colchester United gave his side “one hell of a game” following tonight’s 2-1 win at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

A seventh minute opener from Scott Hogan, and a 19th minute own goal from Frankie Kent, proved just enough for Villa to reach the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Kent pulled a goal back before half-time, after Mikael Mandron had earlier seen his penalty saved by Jed Steer.

“I haven’t seen conditions like that since I was a young lad. It was wet and windy, and the conditions made it a real leveller,” explained Bruce.

“Colchester gave us one hell of a game, and credit to them.

“My keeper (Steer) made five or six good saves to keep us ahead. Colchester gave us a good game.”

Former England and Chelsea skipper John Terry did not feature tonight, being rested by Bruce after making his Villa debut in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Hull. But centre-half Terry was still at the Community Stadium to watch the match.

“That’s typical of John Terry, the man,” said Bruce.

“I gave him the night off but he still came down to watch our young lads perform.”

Meanwhile, U’s manager John McGreal was happy with his side’s display against illustrious opponents.

McGreal said: “I’m really proud of our performance. I had a very young team out there and they gave a very good account of themselves.

“Their keeper kept them in it, and made the penalty save (from Mandron). Mikael hit it well, but that’s where we are at, at the moment.

“Their first goal came out of nothing, but we bounced back well, and did it again after the second goal.

“The lads showed a good reaction to going 2-0 down. We got the goal back before half-time and we then felt that we could go on and nick another goal to force extra-time.

“We kept going throughout – we had five ex-Academy players out there –and it was a great save to deny Sammie (Szmodics) a late equaliser.”

With regards Tom Eastman’s injury from Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Accrington, McGreal said: “Tom has an ankle injury and also took a heavy knock to the leg. He was no where near for this match, but we will assess him again tomorrow.”

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