REDDITCH United striker Jermaine Hylton scored one goal and had a hand in the other two as he helped Birmingham City’s under 21s team to a 3-2 victory at Manchester City on Monday (December 22).
The young hot-shot was given the chance to impress by Blues boss Gary Rowett as the Championship club – just one of numerous potential suitors of Hylton and having already watched him in action at the Valley Stadium – took the chance to have a further look at a player widely regarded as the best in the Southern League Premier Division.
The victory in Birmingham colours capped another successful few days for Hylton, who bagged his 14th league goal of the season on Saturday (December 20) as the Reds defeated visitors Arlesey Town 2-0 to move top of the table on goal difference.
The Blues youngsters found themselves 2-0 down inside four minutes in the match at the Premier League champions’ fantastic £200m Academy training complex, but Richard Beale’s side launched a fine comeback to prevail.
The fightback began when pressure from Hylton resulted in an error in the home defence and Charlie Cooper’s deft chip found the net.
Hylton hauled Birmingham level before the break with the best goal of the game when he received the ball with his back to goal, dropped his shoulder and then jinked one way and then the other before firing the ball home.
Hylton, who played as a lone striker for a visiting team containing highly-rated midfielder Reece Brown, then served further notice of his talents by creating the winning goal in the second half when he won possession and his pass into the box was converted by Kamal Guthmy.
Two days earlier Hylton and his Redditch team-mates sealed a third successive league win when two goals in the final 20 minutes proved sufficient to see off Arlesey in an entertaining affair.
In the 70th minute Simeon Maye headed home from a corner to open the scoring before Hylton made it 2-0 on 79 minutes when he put the finishing touches to a superb passing move.
In the closing stages the visitors, who had chances of their own but were always struggling to contain the Reds, were reduced to ten men when Martel Powell received a second yellow card for dissent.
The Reds have no game on Boxing Day following the winding up of scheduled visitors Hereford United, meaning they will return to action on New Year’s Day (3pm) with a trip to bottom side Banbury United before another away day on January 3 (3pm) at mid-table Cambridge City.