Baggies beat Villa in seven-goal derby
Chris Brunt played just over an hour on his return to action as Albion beat Aston Villa 5-2 in the Premier League 2 at the Banks’s Stadium.
The Northern Ireland international, making his first appearance since February, saw his side fall behind in the 14th minute after Rushian Hepburn-Murphy opened the scoring for the hosts.
But the Baggies were 2-1 up within half an hour after strikes from Rekeem Harper and Callum McManaman.
Villa struck back, again through Hepburn-Murphy, but Kane Wilson’s fine effort restored Albion’s lead just before half time in what was a breathless first 45 minutes.
Brunt looked comfortable in the middle of the park and was involved in Albion’s fourth in the 56th minute.
The Baggies midfielder slipped the ball through to Jonathan Leko who was tripped in the box, with Tahvon Campbell stepping up to slot home from the spot.
And Campbell put the game to bed in the 71st minute with an acrobatic finish at the back post.
Any faint hope of a Villa fight-back was put to rest in the 85th minute when Aaron Tshibola was sent off for a deliberate handball.
Back-to-back victories leave James Shan’s side on nine points from five games in the Premier League 2.
ALBION: Rose; Nyom (McCourt 45), Fitzwater©, O’Shea, Wilson; Leko, Donnellan, Brunt (Smith 61), McManaman; Harper, Campbell.
Unused subs: Palmer, Elbouzedi, Sweeney.
Villa: Steer; Linley (Blackett-Taylor 49), Clark, Sundman, Leggett, Abdo (O’Hare 69), Hale, Tshibola, Green, Hepburn-Murphy, Kozak (Doyle-Hayes 88).
Unused subs: Johansson, Davis.
Sent off: Tshibola.