Sutton United (Kasimu 79, Beautyman 90+10) Aston Villa U21 (T O'Reilly 6 pen, Kellyman 68). Aston Villa win 5-4 on penalties
There were mixed feelings for Sutton at the end of Tuesday's EFL Trophy game as U's, in the middle of a wretched run of results in the league that looked as though it was going to extend to this competition as Aston Villa's Under 21s went 2-0 up with just over twenty minutes to go, showed great spirit to fight back and earn a draw. Harry Beautyman's equaliser in the tenth minute of stoppage time was the least U's deserved for a performance in which goalkeeper Jack Rose had nothing to do except pick the ball out of the net twice, but having gained a point in the group the second one available to the winners of the penalty shootout proved elusive as Rose was again pretty much a spectator against five excellent Aston Villa penalties, and Rob Milsom's first failure to hit the target from a penalty in his Sutton career proved decisive.
U's fielded a side including only Ryan Jackson and Chrstian N'Guessan of those who had started at Accrington, with Sam Hart returning after injury at left back to play the first half, but were away to the worst possible start when after only five minutes Villa captain Tommi O'Reilly was brought down by his Sutton counterpart Beautyman and picked himself up to convert the penalty, the quality of which proved a foretaste of what would come later as Rose went the right way but still couldn't get a hand on it.
That was the only action the keeper saw for the remainder of the first half, though, as Sutton dominated and created enough chances to go in at the break ahead. Lee Angol's close range effort from Beautyman's low cross was saved by Filip Marschall, and then Scott Kashket played a superb one-two with D'Mani Mellor on the left and continued his run to receive the winger's cut back, only for his first time shot to come back off the post with Beautyman just beaten to the rebound by a Villa defender. Beautyman had a header saved, and Mellor curled a shot just wide as U's looked in vain for the equaliser, and in the second half, while not so dominant, U's still spent much of the time on the front foot against a well organised Villa defence, and Mellor saw a low shot saved by Marschall.
There was a blow for U's twenty minutes in to the second half when Kashket was helped off in some pain after a heavy challenge in midfield, U's also replacing Mellor and Angol at the same time, but before the changes could take effect Villa had doubled their lead on the counter attack as Omari Kellyman lifted a first time shot over Rose from a low Mikell Barnes cross.
Sutton refused to accept defeat, though, and with eleven minutes to go two of the substitutes combined as, after Beautyman had done well to win the ball in midfield, Aiden O'Brien put Hisham Kasimu through and although a heavy touch seemed to have given Marschall a chance, Kasimu's pace saw him get to the ball first and lift it past the keeper.
The goal gave U's the impetus they needed to pile on the pressure for the equaliser. Kasimu was inches away from an Omari Patrick cross, and O'Brien saw a goalbound shot deflected wide. Two long stoppages, one for Kashket's injury and one when Villa defender Kerr Smith had to have his head bandaged, meant that the addition of ten extra minutes was no surprise, and Beautyman shot too high from O'Brien's cross in the sixth of those. Omar Sowunmi was pushed up for the closing stages, and this time the ploy worked as, after he had glanced one header over the bar, he guided a Milsom cross back across goal and Beautyman's header just had enough on it to cross the line before it could be cleared.
The penalty shootout that followed was of high quality, with Rose given little chance by any of Villa's spot kicks and Beautyman, O'Brien, N'Guessan and Patrick scoring equally convincingly. However Milsom had dragged U's third kick wide, meaning that Ben Broggio's successful conversion of Villa's fifth penalty gave them the extra point.
Sutton: J Rose, R Jackson, S Hart(sub R Milsom H-T), O Sowunmi, J Kizzi, D Mellor (sub O Patrick 65), D Pereira(sub J Coley 79), C N'Guessan, L Angol (sub H Kasimu 65), H Beautyman, S Kashket(sub A O'Brien 65). Subs n/u D Bouzanis, L John Booked: Angol, Pereira, Sowunmi. Penalties: Beautyman, O'Brien, Milsom(missed), N'Guessan, Patrick.
Aston Villa: F Marschall, Triston Rowe, F Ealing(sub F Munroe 45+5) M Barnes, J Feeney, K Smith, R Richards(sub Teddy Rowe 86) T O'Reilly (sub K Moore 90+4)O Kellyman(sub A O'Reilly 90+4), T Alcock (sub B Broggio 87)T Patterson. Subs n/u K Pierre, J Wright. Booked: Kellyman. Penalties: Munroe, Teddy Moore, Patterson, Moore, Broggio.
Referee: Jacob Miles
Attendance: 859(115 away)