Colchester 1-2 Aston Villa Player Ratings: solid Chester

Steer saves Mandron’s pen –

Aston Villa edged into the League Cup 2nd Round thanks to a narrow 2-1 win at Colchester – but how did players on both teams do? Here’s our ratings.

Colchester United

Sam Walker – spilt the ball for the opener but could do little about the second goal that was deflected. 4

Cameron James – composed in possession and made one good clearance in the second half. 5
Frankie Kent – a little unlucky with his own goal but redeemed himself with a fine, improvised finish from Reid’s drive, then cleared Adomah’s shot off the line. A busy evening. 7
Cole Kpekawa – better when he moved to left-back than in his starting position of left centre-back. Struggled when isolated against Adomah. 4

Ryan Jackson – quelled the threat posed by Andre Green reasonably well. Tried to do too much on his own at times in the second half. 5
Tom Lapslie – everywhere in the early stages and looked up for the fight. Dropped a little too deep on occasions, but sometimes he needed to due to the lack of cover in wide areas. 6
Sean Murray – had a few off-target efforts from range but his passing ability made him key to his side’s better spells. 6
Kyel Reid – shouldn’t have been used as a left wing-back in this type of game due to his lack of defensive nous. Benefited from a change of system that saw him deployed as a winger, giving him licence to push forward. 5

Drey Wright – enjoyed a lively first half, setting up Szmodics for a shot and getting beyond Bjarnason on occasions. Quieter in the second half. 6
Sammie Szmodics – won the penalty and forced two good saves from Steer, especially the second in the closing stages. 7

Mikael Mandron – decent first half but saw a weak penalty saved. In the second 45 he was guilty of slowing play down and lost a lot of his aerial duels to Samba. 4

Craig Slater (on 65) – Another important substitute whose composure in possession gave the Sussex side some control. His fitness could be key to Colchester’s season. 7
Lewis Kinsella (on 69) – instrumental to the U’s late surge. Made two good deliveries, got forward well and was far better suited to a wing-back role than Reid. 8
Denny Johnstone (on 82) – didn’t have much time to make an impact, bar one speculative effort. 5

Aston Villa

Jed Steer – saved Mandron’s penalty and denied Szmodics twice, the latter with a fine left-handed save in the dying moments. Would’ve been a perfect debut bar Kent’s goal and one brief spill. 8

James Bree – an energetic performance in which he combined well with Adomah. Struggled a little more defensively when his right-sided partner came off. 6
James Chester – not as aggressive as his partner but nowhere near as error prone. Quietly effective. 8
Chris Samba – conceded the penalty and had other shaky moments in the first half. In the interests of balance, he won his aerial duels against Mandron after the break. 4
Birkir Bjarnasson – played in a combative, impulsive manner that may have been more suited to a wing-back role rather than full-back. An error-prone performance that highlights Villa’s need for natural cover for Neil Taylor. 2

Albert Adomah – Villa’s chief threat for much of the contest, his cross leading to the second goal and other efforts unlucky not to be rewarded. Did his fair share of defensive work and Villa’s performance suffered when he came off. 8
Josh Onomah – grew into the game after a sloppy start. Carried the ball forward from defensive areas and helped get his team up the pitch. 7
Conor Hourihane – one of his free-kicks created a good headed opportunity for Hogan in the first half, but he looked very much off the pace in open play. 3
Andre Green – his seventh minute effort led to the opener, but couldn’t get into the game otherwise. Always wanted to cut onto his right foot which made him a little predictable. 4

Scott Hogan – not involved in build-up play as regularly as his partner, but scored the opener and had a knack of popping up in goalscoring positions. 6
Callum O’Hare – showed youthful exuberance, getting involved wherever the ball was and had a hand in the opener. Does he yet have the technical quality to influence a team with Premier League ambitions? To be decided. 6

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (on 69) – showed pace but needed to look for options more often when running with the ball and without it, do more defensive work to help Bree. 5
Keinen Davis (on 73) – was unable to influence play in the closing stages. 5
Richie De Laet (on 85)