Kenyan defender Gitau battles in Middlesbrough U21's tough defeat to Villa

STARS ABROAD Kenyan defender Gitau battles in Middlesbrough U21's tough defeat to Villa

Mark Kinyanjui 12:00 - 17.02.2024

Gitau made his fifth PL 2 appearance of the season for Middelsborough but could not do much to prevent them losing heavily to Aston Villa.

Kenyan prospect George Gitau featured for Middlesbrough u21s as a right wing back as they got battered 4-0 by Aston Villa U21s in a Premier League 2 Clash that took place on Friday evening.

Gitau, who had a brief spell on loan at Marske United in December, was making his fifth PL2 appearance of the season,  but could not do much to help Middlesborough avoid the defeat they had to endure.

Following a balanced first half,  Villa's clinical efficiency made the difference, leaving the young Teessiders stunned by a rapid double in the early stages of the second half.

Both teams had their clearest goal-scoring opportunities from set-pieces. From a corner, James Wright made a fine save after Jack Hannah's header was redirected towards goal by Oliver Samuels. At the other end, alert defending from George Gitau cleared the ball off the line as Villa delivered from the quadrant.

The match continued with some patchy moments, including an injury concern for Nkrumah. However, upon the restart, Nkrumah capitalized on Yacou Traore's precise pass to slide in at the near post, only to be ruled offside by a narrow margin.

Villa had their chances to break the deadlock before the interval, with Shea Connor making smart saves to deny Kobei Moore twice. Hannah's vital touch ensured that Kadan Young's attempt hit the side-netting, concluding the first half with a goalless scoreline.

However, the game took a dramatic turn in the opening five minutes of the second half, with Villa scoring twice to establish a clear lead. Kobei Moore stabbed in the first goal from underneath the crossbar, capitalizing on a superb save by Connor against Travis Patterson's initial attempt. 

Minutes later, Patterson doubled Villa's advantage by slotting into the corner from inside the 18-yard box.

Tinkler responded with his first substitution, bringing in 17-year-old Charlie Lennon for his first U21 appearance of the campaign. Despite the change, Villa's ruthlessness continued, with Jamaldeen Jimoh adding a third goal on 65 minutes.

The young Teessiders persisted in their efforts to get back into the contest. Law McCabe's acrobatic attempt could have been a contender for goal of the month had it landed, and Fenton John blazed over after a neat passage of play. However, Villa sealed the victory in stoppage time, with Jimoh scoring his second of the evening.

Gitau is also eligible to represent England and Germany.

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