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Villa U21 2-2 Southampton U21 report: Saints snatch late draw
Devine scores two as Agbonlahor, Westwood and Bowery feature.
8th Sep 2012
Villa U21 2-2 Southampton U21 report: Saints snatch late draw


By Dan Harrison at Bodymoor Heath

A stoppage-time equaliser denied Villa all three points as they played out yet another a thrilling draw with Southampton.

Gabby Agbonlahor and deadline day signings Ashley Westwood and Jordan Bowery were surprise inclusions in the Villa starting XI.

But the trio were upstaged by young central defender Daniel Devine, who capped a superb performance with two goals.

The Irishman's late strikes put Gordon Cowans' team in control after Sam Hoskins had given Southampton the lead with the first attack of the match.

However, the Saints left with a point after an own goal from Josh Barton in the third minute of injury time.

Development coach Cowans called for a response from the young claret and blues side after they surrendered a three-goal lead in Monday's 3-3 draw against the same opponents.

But Southampton continued where they left off five days ago with Hoskins converting a glancing header from Andy Morrison's left-wing free-kick on 11 minutes.

It should have been 2-0 on the half hour mark when Jake Sinclair beat the offside trap and rounded Calum Barrett only to shoot into the side-netting.

However, the home side looked more comfortable in possession and did manage to carve out a couple of opportunities.

Firstly, Saints keeper Cody Cropper got down to save Bowery's header from a Jack Grealish cross.

Then the powerhouse striker teed up Westwood whose stinging drive was held by the visiting custodian at the second attempt.

Cropper stood tall to block Devine's close-range effort after Southampton failed to clear Courtney Cameron's corner.

Villa had Barrett to thank five minutes before the break when he saved Lloyd Isgrove's shot with his legs.

The hosts stepped things up after the break and Bowery was desperately unlucky not to round off a lively debut display with a first goal for the club.

The former Chesterfield man had a 71st minute effort cleared off the line when he headed Grealish's cross back across goal.

Moments later another Bowery header was saved by Cropper before his follow-up came back off the bar.

Villa's pressure finally paid off on 83 minutes when Devine drove a low shot into the bottom corner following a mesmerising run across the box from Grealish.

And Devine had his second three minutes later with a looping header from Jordan Graham's right-wing free-kick.

With seconds remaining, though, a Hoskins attempt found the net via a nasty deflection off Barton.

VILLA: Barrett, Barton, Devine, Baker, Cameron, Westwood, Johnson, Grealish, Burke, Agbonlahor, Bowery. Subs: Graham [for Agbonlahor], Watkins, Ward, Stieber [for Westwood, 64], Watkins-Clark [for Baker, 64].

SOUTHAMPTON: Cropper, Chambers, Dickson, Robinson, Stephens, Turnbull, Sinclair, Reeves, Hoskins, Curtis, Isgrove. Subs: Moore [for Dickson, 28], Britt, McQueen [for Isgrove, 88], Young [for Robinson, 70], Seidi.

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