Collins condemns Toon to defeat

10 April 2011 06:30
James Collins eased Aston Villa's relegation worries with a first-half strike to secure a 1-0 victory over Newcastle in the Barclays Premier League clash at Villa Park. The Welsh international defender headed home an Ashley Young free-kick midway through the first half to give Villa revenge for a 6-0 mauling at the hands of the Magpies at St James' Park in August. More importantly, the victory lifted Gerard Houllier's side five points clear of the bottom three, with six games remaining. Villa were relieved to hang on for the victory after dropping more points - 23 - from winning positions than any other Premier League team this season. The game was not a classic but the result rather than the performance was crucial given Villa's current predicament. After 24 minutes Collins' glancing header flew past goalkeeper Steve Harper into the far corner of the net for his third goal of the campaign before Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel clung on to a Peter Lovenkrands header and then blocked a low drive from the same player in injury-time.

Source: PA

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