Aston Villa's under 21 side continued their unbeaten start to the season this evening, as they beat Derby County 1-0.
There were a number of senior players on show tonight; as Mark Bunn, Joe Bennett, Nathan Baker, Carles Gil and Jack Grealish all started. But more excitingly, Villa new boy Adama Traore also featured, playing the full 90 minutes along with Jack Grealish.
It was Adama who launched the first attack of the game for Villa, beating three men out wide before crossing in for Carles Gil, who fired wide after two minutes. The first half was full of end to end football, with Ivan Calero and Mason Bennett looking lively for the hosts. Mark Bunn was on hand to prevent the former, whilst the impressive young defender Easah Suliman cleared a Bennett effort off of the line.
On Friday night, Villa's attack missed the presence of Grealish, Gil and Traore; but all three were on hand as Villa struck in the first half. Traore found Gil, who played in Jack Grealish, who in turn fired home past the Derby keeper to give Villa the lead.
In the second half, Joe Bennett of all people had the chance to double the lead, but he was denied by a save following some brilliant dribbling by Gil. Jack Grealish and Carles Gil returned to action following injuries picked up during pre-season, and midway through the second half Carles Gil picked up a knock, though he was fortunately able to carry on until he was replaced in the 71st minute by Harry McKirdy. Derby had a late rally but were denied by both Mark Bunn and the crossbar as Villa's young side held out for the win.
Below is Aston Villa's man on the sidelines, Jack Woodward's match report.