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Youthful Villains end The Lamb pre-season

FT: Tamworth 0    4 Aston Villa XI

28 July 2017

In the final run out of the pre-season Aston Villa brought a youthful side to The Lamb with a handful of ‘names’ in the squad, including Hepburn-Murphy who struck twice in the same fixture last season.

Andy Morrell started with possibly his strongest eleven ahead of the opening league fixture in 8 days time, although both Jezeph and Coulson were out through injury and Reid started on the bench and Powell was unavailable. Former Wolves player Regan Upton started the game on trial.

Verma tried a fourth minute strike from the edge of the area which Sarkic took easily, but it was the visitors that struck the opening goal on 18 when O’Hare cut into the box and curled his shot past the dive of Oxford keeper Stevens in off the far post (0-1).
Hepburn-Murphy should have made it two on 20 from a similar position but put his shot wide of the left hand post.
Lane was forced to put his body on the line on the half hour when Villa made an incisive move which O’Hare struck low past Stevens but was blocked by the centre half and cleared.
Burns struck on the volley on 32 but his shot from the right went wide of the mark and in the counter move Villa’s Hepburn-Murphy dinked the ball wide of the right hand post from 12 yards out.
Burns found Styche with a pinpoint cross from the right on 39 but the Lambs striker skipped his header wide of the far post from a central position 8 yards out.
Clark ghosted in at the far post to meet a deep cross from the left on 43 but he could only find the side netting and Morley forced a parry from Sarkic with a driven effort at the other end. Burns denied Davies a shooting chance with a timely challenge in the area on 45 before the whistle blew on the first half.

HT: Tamworth 0    1 Aston Villa XI

The second half started at a similar pace to the first with the slight drizzle in the air continuing to make the 3G surface glisten under the floodlights.
Stevens denied the Villa front line with another telling block on 52 before the visitors made a couple of changes.
Borg sprinted down the left and whipped the ball across the box but there was no one in the box to tap it home for the Villa on the hour and when substitute Blackett-Taylor found Davies a minute later he failed to find the target, striking the ball into the side netting instead.
Davies netted from close range to double the Villains advantage on 72 (0-2) as more changes were made on both sides.
Knibbs made it 3-0 on 89 Sinclair headed a shot that was going in the opposite direction past Stevens on 89 to give Aston Villa a 3-0 lead before the final whistle blew.

Tamworth Team:
Stevens, Burns, Morley, Deeney (Walters? 86), Jones (c.) (Curley 61), Lane, Upton (Sinclair 73), Verma (Davies 67), Styche (Reid 61), Knights (Opoku 79), Taylor (Rathbone 67)
Subs: Beardsmore

Aston Villa XI Team:

Sarkic, Clark, Borg, Suliman (Pastorek),Toner, Clarke, O’Hare (Knibbs 76), Doyle-Hayes (Prosser 76), Hepburn-Murphy (Blackett-Taylor 56), Davies (Mooney 73), Cox (Bedeau 56)

Subs: All used 

Attendance: 0

Referee: Mr. B. Cooke

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