Villa were edged out by Sunderland in an entertaining game at Bodymoor Heath.
The boys in claret and blue staged a brilliant second-half comeback after trailing by two goals.
However, two-goal hero Mikael Mandron made sure of the points for the away team.
Sunderland made a bright start and took the lead on 20 minutes when Carl Lawson produced a calm finish.
And the Black Cats doubled their advantage just after the break when Lawson squared for Mandron to tap home from close range.
But two goals within five minutes restored parity for the hosts.
Firstly Jordan Graham scored a well-worked goal to bring his team back into the contest on the hour mark.
Then, on 65 minutes, midfielder Charlie Ward made it 2-2.
However, four minutes later, Mandron found space down the left and sidefooted into the far corner to restore the lead for Sunderland.
Sunderland were reduced to 10 men when substitute Martin Smith was given his marching orders for two bookable offences but the visitors held on for three points.
VILLA: Hill, Dempsey (Bateman, 77), Wildin, Melvin, Watkins-Clark, Lewis, Graham, Crowley, Strain (Williams, 82), Ward, Grealish. Unused subs: Watkins, Nelson, Cowans.