U's grow into game, but visitors take the victory.
On a sunny evening, Villa had the lead within a couple of minutes of kick-off. Harvey Knibbs found himself in space at the far post, and slammed home past the helpless Stan Walker to give the visitors an early advantage.
The home team had the better of that second period and grabbed two goals to Villa's one to ensure there were plenty of positives for the coaching staff as they analyse the match in the coming days.
And whilst they took a comfortable advantage into the interval, the U's youngsters will take great comfort in how they responded to that in the second half with a very assured performance.
The Premier League side burst out of the blocks as they raced into a 3-0 lead after just fifteen minutes.
Aston Villa took the win in an entertaining U16s affair at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Thursday night.
The U’s almost found an instant riposte, as from a cross from the right hand side, Eoin McKeown flicked a header that Cameron Gregory got an outstretched hand to.
But they were two behind on ten minutes, as Villa got in down the right hand side and Knibbs was on hand to roll home a finish from close range.
And the visitors further extended their advantage on fifteen minutes, when a cross from the right hand side from Humphries found Mooney at the far post, and he converted with a good finish.
Again the U’s almost found a riposte, McKeown forcing a good stretched save out of Gregory to his right hand side, with Clampin not quite able to get to the follow-up.
The game settled after that early goal flourish and the U’s were next to go close, as Mulryne flicked a header over from a Colchester corner.
The U’s lost starting keeper Walker to injury on 32 minutes, with Joe Potter coming on to replace him between the sticks.
Shortly after, the U’s won a penalty as they won the ball back high up and Cosgrave was fouled as he jinked into the box. Josce Syrett made no mistake with the penalty.
The three goal advantage was restored shortly afterwards, though, as Jordan Cox seized on a good save from Potter to tuck home the rebound.
And four goals became five as Villa escaped on the counter attack and found Louis Hall on the far post, with his shot going in off the upright.
The U’s almost got another back before the break as McKeown broke the offside trap. He cut the ball back for Cosgrave, but his shot was blocked.
Just after the restart, the U’s should have pulled one back as, after good work by Clampin, Cosgrave burst into the box but was unable to get his shot on target as he stretched for it.
The home side were pressing the ball better in the second period and, from winning the ball back in that fashion eight minutes into the half, they got their next chance.
Jones lofted a great ball over the centre halves, and Syrett forced a good save out of Gregory with a left footed shot.
Villa’s first chance arrived 15 minutes into the second half as a cross from the right was met by Clarke in the middle but it went straight at Potter.
Two minutes later, and Potter pulled off a fine stop. As the cross came in, he went towards the ball, before Crisp’s shot went the other way. He twisted and reacted to tip it away.
The U’s got the rewards for their hard work 21 minutes into the second period. They got away down the left and a low cross into the area was met by Callum Jones who rifled home into the net to make it 2-5.
Villa again went on the offensive, and first half goalscorer Knibbs got in on the right as he got in front of Lelliot, but he blasted his shot wide of the post.
The U’s again got in down the left four minutes after their second goal, and this time it was Cosgrave bursting into the box. He kept his calm to round the keeper and bring the scoreline back to 3-5.
The goals kept coming though, and Villa broke through the midfield lines for Cox to get to the edge of the box and drill home an unstoppable shot and take the advantage back to three once more.
Potter pulled off another good stop from Knibbs as the game drew to a close, standing strong to fend away his shot, before kicking away another shot from a free strike in the area.
At the other end, goalscorers Jones and Syrett combined again, with the former setting up the latter with a one on one with the keeper, but he scuffed his shot.
That was the last of the action and, after Villa's early goal flurry, the U's can take plenty of pride in the fact they then matched their opponents goal for goal and stride for stride.