U23s Report: Aston Villa 1-2 Leeds United
Win at Villa secures the title!
Premier League 2
Aston Villa 1 (Ramsey 85’)
Leeds United 2 (Greenwood 4’, Jenkins 59’)
Leeds XI: Elia Caprile, Cody Drameh, Niall Huggins, Jack Jenkins, Charlie Cresswell (c), Olly Casey, Bobby Kamwa (Nohan Kenneh 77’), Adam Forshaw (Stuart McKinstry 84’), Joe Gelhardt (Liam McCarron 45’), Sam Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville. Subs not used: Dani Van Den Heuvel, Charlie Allen.
Mark Jackson’s Under 23s side defeated Aston Villa to win the Premier League 2 Division 2 title!
The away clash was intense throughout, full of incidents and a thoroughly entertaining affair, which saw the Whites claim victory and win promotion to Premier League 2 Division 1 next season, going up as champions!
After just four minutes, nerves were settled when Sam Greenwood curled home a stunning free-kick beyond Jed Steer in the Villa net, hitting the top corner once again.
Leeds kept the pressure on in their pursuit of the title and were awarded a penalty, just a couple of minutes later. Joe Gelhardt was the player fouled as he danced his way into the Villa penalty area.
The striker stepped up himself, but Steer saved superbly diving to his left, and was also able to keep out the rebound as multiple players followed up.
Going close for the hosts, Aaron Ramsey was the main threat throughout and he was denied by a good save from Elia Caprile between the posts for the Whites.
In what was becoming a hotly-contested affair, both Jack Jenkins and Charlie Cresswell were booked within seconds of one another, along with Ramsey for the home side.
Adam Forshaw, on his return, was controlling the play in the midfield and he not only stopped Villa attacks, but looked to get his side up the pitch when needed as well.
There were no further efforts of note before the break and Jackson’s side had an important advantage at the whistle, but it could have been more.
HALF TIME: Aston Villa 0-1 Leeds United
The team were sent out in the second half with a clear idea of what they needed to do. Just the one point was needed to claim the title, but all connected wanted to secure it with three points.
After another battling 15 minute or so spell, the second and all important goal did arrive.
Jenkins was the player got get it, after he turned home inside the box following a stunning solo run from Crysencio Summerville to create the opportunity.
In what had been a dominant performance from Leeds, the yellow cards picked up in the first half would come back to cause issues, as Cresswell was given a second yellow and dismissed, meaning his side had to play the remaining 15 minutes with 10 men.
Adam Forshaw made way inside the final five minutes after putting in a solid display, whilst Nohan Kenneh came on in defence to tighten things up.
Villa did strike back though, as danger-man Ramsey followed in Greenwood’s first-half footsteps by scoring an excellent free-kick, creating a nervy final few minutes.
The chance to equalise for the hosts did arrive, but a wonderful save from Caprile and a mesmerising block from Olly Casey denied any hope of the leveller, with the final whistle blowing just moments later.
There were jubilant scenes at full time, as the Leeds United U23s coaching staff and players were able to celebrate a deserved and hard-fought title-winning campaign!
FULL TIME: Aston Villa 1-2 Leeds United