Villa U18s 2-1 Stoke U18s: Strain on the mark yet again
Thomas Strain continued his brilliant scoring run as Villa edged Stoke in the Barclays U18 Premier League.
Strain bagged his eighth goal of the campaign as Tony McAndrew's team returned to winning ways following back-to-back draws against Sunderland and Tottenham.
It took just seven minutes for the claret and blues to take the lead at Bodymoor Heath.
Riccardo Calder was released down the right hand side and Stoke skipper Ed Sanders turned the winger's cross into his own net.
Villa had further chances to extend their lead.
Jerell Sellars' shot across goal took a deflection and went just wide, before Ryan Strain unleashed a drive from the edge of the area which flew narrowly over.
Sellars also had two efforts tipped behind by the Potters goalkeeper.
Just past the half hour mark, Villa doubled their advantage when Khalid Abdo seized on a loose ball before releasing Strain who slotted home from inside the box.
Stoke responded well after the break and Kelvin Douglas fired home from eight yards on 61 minutes to set up a fascinating finale.
Aiden Grant tipped over Douglas' audacious 45-yard free-kick in the closing stages but Villa held on for three points.
VILLA: Grant, R. Strain, Wildin, Cowans, Lyons-Foster, Toner, Lyden, Sellars, T. Strain, Abdo, Calder. Subs: Zazrivez, Bannister, O'Brien, McKirdy, Lewis.