Double blow for U's youths
Colchester 0 Aston Villa 1A DOUBLE blow inside 60 seconds cost Colchester United Youths a chance of making progress in the FA Youth Cup at Layer Road last night.
Colchester 0 Aston Villa 1
A DOUBLE blow inside 60 seconds cost Colchester United Youths a chance of making progress in the FA Youth Cup at Layer Road last night.
The U's were more than a match for Premier League Academy visitors Aston Villa, until they were reduced to 10 men by Sam Corcoran's sending-off in the 80th minute.
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Corcoran was flashed the red card for a two-footed lunge on Dominic Hofbier, and Villa struck the winner just a minute later.
Nathan Delfounso swept home into an empty net from eight yards after U's keeper Jack Smelt had parried a fierce drive from Marc Albrighton.
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It was a disappointing end to this fourth round tie for United, who had battled gamely all night. Several of their players needed treatment for cramp in the second-half, showing their commitment to the cause.
Highly-rated Villa could boast a six-point lead at the top of their under-18 league, and they threatened to steamroller the U's in the opening minutes.
Midfielder Harry Forrester, who has recently signed a professional contract at Villa Park, struck the far post with an intended cross after just two minutes, and U's centre-half Ryan Amass then did well to complete a goal-line clearance from an early corner.
But the avalanche of goals never materialised, and the U's gradually grew in confidence. In fact, they came close to breaking the deadlock on 14 minutes when front-runner Fabian Quintyn's looping long-range effort was deflected over the bar and onto the top of the net.
Home keeper Smelt clung on to Daniel Bradley's low goal-bound drive in the 28th minute and soon after the break he thwarted tricky striker Delfounso, who was clean through on goal.
In the 72nd minute the U's could have taken the lead. Russell Malton could not force home the initial shot, and Josh Oakley then sliced his effort wide from the rebound from just outside the six-yard box. That was their best chance of the evening.
It all went wrong when Corcoran was sent off and it took Villa just 60 seconds to make their numerical advantage count, with Deflounso tucking home the loose ball after Smelt could only block Albrighton's angled drive.
The U's never looked like fashioning an equaliser during the closing minutes, and Delfounso had a second goal ruled out for offside.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Smelt, Speed (sub Bailey-Dennis, 90) Griffiths, Corcoran, Hammond, Amass, Olusanya (sub Marvell, 78), Oakley, Quintyn, Malton (sub Sansford, 84), Elito. Unused subs: Pirie, Barker.
ASTON VILLA: Parish, Simmonds, Baker, Roome, Clark, Forrester (sub Collins, 84), Bradley (sub Weimann, 60), Hofbier, Delfounso, Albrighton, Bannan. Unused subs: Clancy, Dau, Collins, Grocott.
Referee: Mr G Evetts.