Carabao Cup: Colchester 1 Aston Villa 2 - Report
Aston Villa safely made it through to the second round of this season’s Carabao Cup after seeing off lower league Colchester United 2-1 tonight...writes Alex Moss from the Colchester Community Stadium.
Scott Hogan’s second goal in a Villa shirt put Steve Bruce’s side in front after just seven minutes, before Colchester defender Frankie Kent put the ball in his own net to double the advantage.
Jed Steer kept out Colchester striker Mikael Mandron’s penalty in-between the two goals, with Kent’s 39th-minute reply for the League Two hosts proving to be just a consolation.
It was a much-changed Villa side which was fielded for the club’s first competitive fixture at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, as Villa boss Bruce made nine changes to the starting line-up from their 1-1 draw against Hull City on Saturday.
James Chester, one of two players to start in Villa’s Championship curtain-raiser at Villa Park, along with Hogan, captained a Villa side looking to avoid back-to-back first round exits in the newly-sponsored Carabao Cup, having been knocked out by another League Two outfit, Luton Town, 12 months ago.
The visitors made the perfect start in Essex as Hogan put them in front with just seven minutes on the clock. Colchester goalkeeper Sam Walker spilled the ball and Hogan finished into an inviting net for his first goal of the season.
But barely had the 1,559 travelling supporters had time to finish celebrating Hogan’s opener and United were presented with a golden chance to equalise.
Christopher Samba brought down Colchester’s Sammie Szmodics in the penalty area and referee John Brooks had no choice but to point to the spot.
Steer came to Villa’s rescue with a fine save to deny Mandron from 12 yards to keep his side in front, before the visitors opened some breathing space on their lower league opponents when Albert Adomah’s cross was inadvertently turned in by Kent on 18 minutes.
Colchester kept themselves in the tie with a goal six minutes before the interval; a corner fell to Tom Lapslie outside the box and his low strike was deflected in by Kent to give Villa plenty to think about during the break.
Bruce’s men pushed for a third goal in the second half to effectively kill off the tie, with Conor Hourihane and Adomah both seeing their efforts kept out by home goalkeeper Walker.
Steer came to Villa’s rescue again in the closing stages to ensure there would be no extra time, tipping away Szmodics’ goal-bound effort from inside the box on 81 minutes.
Colchester continued to push for an equaliser but Villa held firm to secure their first win of the season and a place in tomorrow night’s Carabao Cup second round draw.
Aston Villa: Steer, Bree, Chester, Samba, Bjarnason, Adomah (Hepburn-Murphy 69), Onomah, Hourihane, Green (de Laet 85), O’Hare, Hogan (Davis 73). Subs not used: Bunn, Lansbury, Doyle-Hayes, Clark. Booked: Green, O’Hare. Referee: John Brooks. Attendance: 6,603 (1,559 Villa).