Comeback King

Stewart Downing played 75 minutes and managed to set up a goal on his first outing for the Villa reserves.

The former Middlesbrough winger provided a superb assist for fellow wide man Marc Albrighton as the Claret and Blue second string came back from a goal down to beat Arsenal at Underhill.

Craig Gardner scored the winner to help Villa claim an important win against the Gunners, who opened the scoring through Sanchez Watt.

Young Spanish midfielder Fran Merida was sent off for the home side before Villa mounted their comeback, but it was Downing who stole the headlines as he continued his recovery from a long-term foot injury.

The England star looked in fine fettle as he latched onto Barry Bannan's perfect pass and volleyed back across goal for Albrighton to restore parity on the night.

Bannan then showed some more passing prowess as he laid the ball on for Gardner to claim all three points and put Villa five clear of their nearest rivals at the top of the Reserve League South.

It is now two comebacks in four days for Downing as he helped the first team claim a point at Burnley on Saturday and then instigated the Underhill turnaround.

He is certainly making rapid progress and don't be surprised to see him get a few more minutes under his belt against Tottenham this weekend.