Villa youngsters complete League One clean sweep against MK Dons

Cameron Archer shone again as Aston Villa’s U21s defeated Mk Dons 4-2 in the Papa John’s Trophy.

After a less exciting second half, Villa’s U21s topple over another League One opposition Mk Dons in the Papa John’s Trophy, after beating them 4-2 on the road and Archer grabbing himself another brace for the season, to make it 9 points out of 9 for the Villains. 

In recent years Aston Villa have enjoyed going on some good cup runs and getting themselves to a few finals, and with victories over both League One sides Wycombe and Burton Albion in the group stage of the Papa John’s Trophy, Mk Dons were looking to burst the young Villains’ bubble. 

The Villa youngsters entered the dressing room at half-time at 2-2 thanks to goals from Davies and Archer, giving them confidence to go out into the second half and beat the League One outfit in the second half, with Archer getting another brace and Ramsey chipping in with a goal himself too. 

Just shy of the 13-minute mark, Ilunga played a shocking hospital pass back towards Jules, which was latched onto by Davies, who showed great strength to hold off the Mk Dons defender before slotting it into the bottom left-hand corner and make it 1-0 to Villa.

Davies was also involved in creating Villa’s second goal, after receiving the ball on the edge of the Mk Dons’ box, facing up and taking on Baldwin to then put it on a plate for Archer to head home and continue his fine goalscoring form. 

After regrouping and dusting themselves off after Davies’ goal, MK Dons managed to strike back after a fantastic passage of play down their right-hand side, finished off with a thunderous strike off the crossbar from Parrott in the 16th minute. 

Following on from their equaliser, came an onslaught from MK Dons who came close a few times with Parrott, Martin and Watters all coming close.  

25 minutes in Parrott received the ball facing his own goal and played a delightful disguised backheel down the line to Boateng, whose first time left-footed cross was latched onto by Watters, who rolled the ball underneath Villa’s keeper Sinisalo’s legs to make it 2-1. 

Carney Chukwuemeka came close just under 1 minute into the game with a right footed shot from just outside the penalty area, inches wide of Ravizzoli’s left post. Moments later, Lindley played a fantastic through ball behind Baldwin for Davies who latches onto it and is clean through on goal, but is flagged for offside by the linesman. 

Davies was shown a yellow card for an overly aggressive approach in his tussle with MK Dons’ #2 Watson after just 8 minutes into the game. Lindley also picked up a card in the first half for a bad challenge on McEachran 32 minutes in. 

A plethora of chances for both sides in and even half saw Ravizzoli forced to make some good saves, notably from Aston Villa’s Thorndike’s left footed strike in the 9th minute, after some great creativity from Chukwuemeka to beat 2 players and find Thorndike just inside of the box on the left-hand side. Another key chance that wasn’t capitalised on was from some good play down MK Dons’ right-hand side, where Martin played a one-two with McEachran 20 yards into the Aston Villa half, before punching it into Watters, who turned and got a quickfire shot off to catch out the goalkeeper, but had to watch the ball fly off target. 

(Second Half) 

54 minutes in, Ramsey came close with a 25-yard strike into the top corner, which was matched by a great save from Ravizzoli in goal. Chukwuemeka showed his class again 55 minutes in, after gliding passed McEachran before slipping Archer through, who dragged his left footed shot wide of the far post. 

58 minutes in and after constant pressure from Aston Villa, they got their 3rd goal. Archer drives at Watson and pushes him back, before slipping in Davies whose left footed strike smashed the bar, rebounding back for Ramsey to tap into an empty net and make it 3-2. 

65 minutes in, Parrott became the unluckiest player on the field for a period of a minute or so, as he hits the bar from a direct free-kick 25 yards out and then is substituted moments after for Mk Dons forward, Eisa.  Davies was also substituted after 72 minutes for Abldeen-Goodridge and was given a standing ovation from the travelling Villa supporters for his performance. 

With the game looking like it was finishing 3-2 with nothing notable happening for the majority of the second half, Chukwuemeka dispossessed substitute O’Riley, before poking it through Martin’s legs to Ramsey, who played the killer pass in behind to Archer, and Archer finishes the tie with a lovely, dinked left-footed finish into the top corner and settles the tie at 4-2 in the 91st minute. 

This result is fantastic for Aston Villa as a club, who are showing that their youth system really is one of the best in the country at current moment, following up from their FA Youth Cup victory in May over Liverpool. 

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