Aston Villa’s reserves retained the FA Premier Reserve League South title last night thanks to a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park.
Marc Albrighton’s 35th-minute opener and a stoppage-time second goal by James Collins clinched the second string championship for a second successive year.
Villa kept their end of the bargain, even though nearest rivals Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Chelsea would have handed them the title anyway.
Albrighton was a constant threat for Kevin MacDonald’s team, going close on two occasions before handing Villa the lead ten minutes before half time.
Nathan Delfouneso, fresh from his first-team experiences, was the architect, racing into the area and taking on Ryan Donk before Albrighton took over and curled in a fine left-footed strike.
The goals helped settle Villa who minutes earlier had survived a scare when Albion striker Roman Bednar struck the post before the ball was scrambled clear.
It was Villa’s turn to strike the woodwork at the start of the second half when Albrighton headed against the upright from Jonathan Hogg’s cross.
In an exciting derby there were chances at both ends before the claret and blues made sure of victory and the championship as the clock ticked down.
The match had already entered time added on when scorer Albrighton turned provider to cross for Collins who used his strength to convert.
Villa will entertain Northern League champions Sunderland in the Reserve League play-off final on Wednesday, May 20.
Villa: Parish, Lichaj, Baker, Hogg, Clark, Roome, Albrighton, G Gardner, Collins, Delfouneso, Hofbauer. Substitutes: Mikaelsson, Bevan, Forrester, Blythe, Grocott.
Albion: Kiely, Hoefkens, Samuels, Labadie (Mantom 82), Donk, Downing, Kim, Mulumbu, Wood (Brown 76), Bednar, Elford-Alliyu. Substitutes: Allsop, Lovell, Waghorn.