Match report: West Brom Res 0-3 Villa Res
Barry Bannan scored a stunning goal on his comeback as Villa ripped West Brom apart with a blistering second-half display.
The midfielder teed up Marc Albrighton for the first and then struck a 30-yard volley before Graham Burke found the target as Villa scored three times in a terrific six-minute blitz.
The result moved the boys in claret and blue up to second in the Barclays Premier Reserve League South.
This table-topping West Brom outfit had made an impressive start to the reserve league campaign with just one defeat in eight.
But Villa, who have played a game less than their West Midlands rivals, arrived at the Hawthorns knowing a win could close the gap to four points.
A side packed with an experienced spine made a bright start - Bannan dragging an early effort just wide of the post on his first appearance at any level since the senior clash against the Baggies on October 22.
The Scotsman also linked up well with midfield colleague Daniel Johnson on 22 minutes but last season's U18 skipper saw his rasping drive miss the target.
It was the Baggies, though, who looked the more threatening in the first period.
Villa keeper Brad Guzan marked his second start for the reserves this term with a fine save to hold on to Kemar Roofe's rasping low volley from 20-yards.
The American also did well to force Marc Antoine-Fortune out wide, ensuring the former Celtic striker fired into the side netting after he beat the offside trap.
As the half came to a close, Romaine Sawyers made two surges into the penalty area but sent shots wide on both occasions.
It was Sawyers who looked most likely to break the deadlock when he turned Shane Lowry and drilled an attempt into the side netting early in the second period.
But Villa took charge when Bannan floated a cross to the back post which Albrighton thumped home from close range on 64 minutes.
Then it was Bannan's turn to add to the scoring with a true collector's item.
A remarkable display of awareness and technique on 68 minutes allowed the 21-year-old to latch on to a defensive clearance and lift a 30-yard volley over Baggies custodian Shane Lewis.
A delighted Bannan celebrated by heading straight for the dugout in a show of appreciation for coach and mentor Kevin MacDonald.
Less than a minute after the Scotland international's heroics, Burke rounded off the scoring with a poacher's goal from around six-yards after West Brom failed to deal with Albrighton's low right-wing cutback.
WEST BROM: Lewis, Hurst, Gayle, Thorne, D Daniels, O'Neil, Roofe, Mantom, Bednar, Fortune, Sawyers. Subs: Rose, Edge [for Fortune, 66], O'Sullivan, Garmston, A Jones.
VILLA: Guzan, Webb, Clark, Lowry, Baker, Albrighton, Johnson, Gardner, Grealish, Bannan, Burke. Subs: Williams, Barrett, Carruthers [for Gardner, 59], Cameron [for Grealish, 68], Taylor [for Burke, 81].
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