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ASTON VILLA: ON THE WHISTLE MATCH REPORT

26 December 2016

Nigel Clough made one change to the team that lost 2-1 to Newcastle last time out in the Sky Bet Championship.

Chris O'Grady was the man to drop to the bench after he was deemed not fit enough to start, he had a back injury which meant Jamie Ward returned to the fold after making a sub appearance against the Magpies.

Ben Turner had served his two-match suspension but he missed the game due to a hamstring injury he picked up in training during the week.

Mark Bunn was the man between the Villa sticks, and he was forced into an early save but it was from his own man as Lloyd Dyer crossed it in from the right and Mile Jedinak diverted it towards his own goal, but it was well saved.

GOAL: Leandro Bacuna saw his volley go just wide in the early exchanges, but he managed to put it right with a bullet header just 15 minutes in to convert Albert Adomah's cross from the right (1-0).

GOAL: Matty Palmer's goal of the season contender is now under threat. John Brayford whipped in a cross from the right in which Jamie Ward just launched himself in the air and pulled off a stunning scissor kick to level the scores (1-1).

HT: Aston Villa 1-1 Burton Albion

The home side made an attacking change at half time as Jack Grealish replaced Gary Gardner and the Villa sub made an instant impact as he picked up the ball early in the second half before driving at the Albion defence and shooting at Jon McLaughlin which the Albion stopper managed to parry into the path of Jonathan Kodjia who poked home, but he was flagged offside.

The Albion were dealt an injury blow as Kyle McFadzean pulled up, he was replaced by Chris O'Grady on 57 minutes.

Aston Villa's attacking forced had looked a major threat all game, but the provider of the first goal couldn't put the Villans in front on the hour mark when Bacune got a low cross in fromt he left which was missed by Kodjia then curled over by Adomah.

Injuries went from bad to worse for Burton Albion when Jamie Ward was replaced by Lee Williamson.

Jonathan Kodjia's must have been wondering what it takes to beat Jon McLaughlin as the Albion stopper was quick of his line to deny the £15 million man who took a shot on the volley inside the box.

GOAL: The home side took the lead against the run of play when Ross McCormack was waiting at the back post to tap in a low cross from the right (2-1).

FT: Aston Villa 2-1 Burton Albion

Attendance: 41,337

Ash's man of the match: John Brayford

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