Barclays U-21 Premier League
Monday 10 December
Hinckley United FC, De Montfort Park


(Bebe 53, Macheda 88)

10/12/2012 20:35, Report by Adam Marshall
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U21s: Villa 0 United 2

United posted a 2-0 win at Aston Villa to clinch a place in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League elite phase.

Warren Joyce's side needed to win the final group game to qualify - either via the top two or the best third-placed side depending on how Villa fare in their final fixture - with Bebe and Federico Macheda conjuring up the goals in the second half.

It was no more than the Reds deserved for a fine performance after the break and Macheda's late second ensured there was no route back for the Midlanders.

Villa were the brighter side in a low-key start with Danny Johnson firing wide and Graham Burke returning Jonny Sutherland's loose kick-out with interest but the ball deflected behind the goal.

Mason Watkins-Clark was relieved to only receive a yellow card after a wild tackle on Davide Petrucci as things were rather scrappy in a tussle mainly played out in midfield. Villa's first-team boss Paul Lambert moved to the bench to offer advice to Gordon Cowans and Sutherland had to scamper to keep out a Burke shot from a difficult angle.

United struggled to test Calum Barrett as Petrucci mishit a shot wide after some delightful skill before Ryan Tunnicliffe's inspiring run could not find a finish from Macheda in the middle due to Bradley Lewis' last-ditch tackle.

A Macheda cross looped off Watkins-Clark and over his own bar and the same player was later grateful to Barrett for keeping out another

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