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Match report: Villa Res 2-1 Swansea Res

Live coverage - Villa Res v Swansea Res Grant: Setting the players free will encourage attacking instincts
Match report: Villa Res 2-1 Swansea Res

By Dan Harrison at Hinckley

Villa will go into the Christmas period on top of the Barclays Premier Reserve League South after seeing off Swansea with a storming second-half comeback.

Skipper Daniel Johnson was on target to cancel out Stephen Dobbie's opener before turning provider for match-winner Michael Drennan.

It was an excellent fightback from Kevin MacDonald's team after a disappointing first-half in which the hosts created few goalscoring opportunities.

But they attacked with purpose after the break to earn a victory that puts them two points above West Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion at the Reserve League South's summit.

Drennan and attacking midfielder Darious Darkin made a swift return to action after last night's FA Youth Cup exit at Brighton.

The duo came off the bench in the 1-0 loss at the Amex Stadium, while Richard Bryan was an unused substitute.

Swansea gave Spanish winger Andrea Orlandi and experienced Scottish forward Dobbie the chance to stake a claim for first-team places.

A menacing ninth minute corner from Courtney Cameron almost led to Villa taking the lead but Bryan's close-range effort was cleared off the line when he reacted quickest to meet Drennan's flick-on.

Other than an off-target header from Samir Carruthers, Bryan's chance was the best the hosts could muster.

Dobbie, a veteran of promotion campaigns with the Swans and Blackpool in consecutive seasons, took centre stage to produce the first period's only moments of genuine quality.

Firstly he struck the post with a fierce 25-yard drive before having a powerful header from Gwion Edwards' corner pushed over by Villa keeper Benjamin Siegrist.

Then, with three minutes left in the first half, Dobbie finished off a neat exchange with Orlandi. He latched on to the Spaniard's incisive ball before producing a clever dink over Siegrst.

But MacDonald got the desired response from his players after the break.

Darkin went close with a half-volley immediately after the restart, while a dipping free-kick from Carruthers was well saved by the away side's goalkeeper Jose Moreira.

The pressure paid off on 61 minutes when Johnson received possession just outside the box and embarked on a trademark driving run before converting a low left-foot shot that Moreira couldn't keep out.

The Swans rattled the woodwork for a second time when Gwion Edwards struck the upright from a tight angle.

But on 71 minutes Drennan made it 2-1. The Irishman rose to emphatically head home Johnson's perfect left-wing cross from six yards.

Carruthers almost added a third in the closing stages when he volleyed wide after Cameron's free-kick was only half cleared.

VILLA: Siegrist, Nelson-Addy, Bryan, Williams, Caira, Carruthers, Johnson, Darkin, Cameron, Drennan, Taylor. Subs: Barton [for Darkin, 84], Watkins, Juan Serrano, Eminoglu, Nelson.

SWANSEA: Moreira, Tancock, Moras, Walsh, Bessone, Lucas, Orlandi, Dobbie, Edwards, Loveridge, Cotterill. Subs: O Davies, B Davies, Smith, March [for Loveridge, 84].

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 14th December 2011
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