A brace from Jerell Sellars earned Villa a point against Southampton - although Tony McAndrew's team were unlucky not to grab all three.
The claret and blues surged into a 2-0 lead in the clash at Bodymoor Heath thanks to goals from Sellars and Harry McKirdy.
The Saints managed to turn the tables on Villa by fighting back to take a 3-2 lead but Sellars scored a late equaliser.
The first real chance of the game fell to Kevin Toner who miscued with a header from Khalid Abdo's free-kick.
Then, on 24 minutes, McKirdy rode several challenges before coolly slotting past keeper Harry Isted.
A second arrived five-minutes later when a corner was cleared as far as Sellars who rifled a shot into the roof of the net.
The Southampton comeback began on 59 minutes through Marcus Barnes, who side-footed Jake Hesketh's cross into the net.
Sims curled a superb 25-yard free-kick into the top corner to bring the scores level on 71 minutes before Hesketh scored a well-taken solo effort to make it 3-2.
Sellars met a long ball forward and prodded the ball home 15 minutes from time to earn Villa a share of the spoils.
VILLA: Forth, Zazrivec, Wildin, R Strain, Lyons-Foster, Toner, O'Brien, McKirdy, Sellars, Abdo, Calder. Subs: T Strain, Bannister, Lewis, Taylor, Green.