Aston Villa’s second string, managed by Kevin MacDonald came from a goal behind at half time to beat visitors Blackburn at Bodymoor Heath. The game was a chance for the youngsters in the set up to show what they could do with Reserve team regulars such as Clark, Bannan and Salifou all unavailable. MacDonald had been linked with the vacant Hibernian post this week but focused on maintaining a decent start to the reserves campaign seeing the claret and blue side unbeaten in their last 4 outings. The match proved to be a game of two halves and indeed two penalties with the returning Nathan Delfouneso clinching the victory for the home side.
Villa started brightly and star man for the day, Nathan Delfouneso rattled the bar with a header early on. Blackburn had the experienced Jason Roberts up front and he was causing problems for the Villa back line. A half chance then fell to Villa’s Barton whose shot dragged just wide of the far post. James Collins Jnr. then fired a shot straight at opposing keeper Bunn after a good move from the young Villans. Elliot Parish was forced into a decent save from Rovers’, Maclaren before the visitors broke the deadlock from the spot. A hand ball appeared to be given against Collins in the box and Roberts duly converted to make it 1-0 Blackburn. Samir Carruthers then came close to equalising forcing a fantastic save by Bunn from distance. Villa went into half time undeservedly 1 down with a job on their hands to maintain their decent run.
The second half again started brightly for Villa with Delfouneso still causing the Rovers defence all kinds of problems. Johnson then came close with a low drive but the Blackburn keeper was again equal to it. Then came the equaliser, a cross from Johnson struck the hand of a Blackburn defender giving Collins Jnr. the chance to level from the spot and that he did. Parish then denied a stinging effort from the visitor’s main threat, Jason Roberts against the run of play. Villa then took a deserved lead through Delfouneso as Carruthers drilled in a free-kick which the 19-year-old converted neatly past Bunn. Durrell Berry made numerous crucial challenges to deny Blackburn an equaliser and Villa played out the game, winning 2-1.
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