Fleetwood Town continue their run in the EFL Trophy as they beat Aston Villa U21 3-0 at Highbury Stadium on Tuesday.
Fleetwood came out the blocks firing as Harvey Saunders scored the first goal of the day within two minutes of the starting whistle. He doubled that soon after before completing his hat-trick on the 15 minute mark.
The first chance of the game fell to Fleetwood as Ryan Rydel played a through ball over the top of the Villa defence, for Saunders to run onto. The forward tapped the ball past Akos Onodi and placed the ball in the back of the net to open the scoring.
Three minutes into the game, Saunders secured his brace as Mungo Bridge played a loose ball across the back, which was pounced on by Fleetwood’s forward. He moved towards goal and struck it into the top corner.
The visitors had their first clear-cut chance of the game eight minutes in as Aaron Ramsey turned well in Fleetwood’s box, before trying his luck but striking the ball straight at Jayson Leutwiler.
Fleetwood made it three around the 15-minute mark as Rydel whipped a perfect cross in from the left-wing, which found Saunders in the box, who finished off his hat-trick with a diving header.
The Cod Army carried on the pressure as they won a free-kick 20-yards after a last-ditch tackle by the Villa defence. Mark Duffy stepped up, but his curling effort went high and wide of the target.
Town started the second half the better as they had a chance straight away as Shayden Morris ran past his man on the right-wing, before crossing the ball to Ged Garner, whose shot went just over the bar.
Villa had a chance just after as Louie Barry dribbled forwards and tried his luck from range sailed over the bar.
Just after the hour mark, Mark Duffy crossed the ball into the Villa box, where Harrison Holgate was waiting, but his effort went over the bar.
Substitute Cian Hayes made an instant-impact after coming off the bench as he dribbled past two players before forcing a defender into a challenge in the box, earning the side a penalty. Saunders stepped up but Onodi pulled off a good diving save to his left.
The last chance of the game came from Fleetwood as a cross was played in from the left into a packed Villa box, where Sam Stubbs rose highest but couldn’t guide his shot goalwards.
Town XI: Leutwiler (GK), Duffy, Coutts (C) (Johnston 56’), Saunders, Stubbs, Garner (Raffie 69’), Smith, Holgate, Rydel, Matete, S.Morris (Hayes 69’).
Unused subs: Cairns (GK), Hill, Takpe, Barratt.
Villa XI: Onodi (GK), Bridge, Ramsey, D.Revan, Walker (Appiah 70’), Wright, Sturridge (Young 74'), Chukwuemeka, Barry (Farr 77'), A.Ramsey, S.Revan.
Unused subs: Marshall (GK), Tait, Sonha, Raikhy.