Football: Darren Bent came off the bench to score his 150th league goal as Aston Villa rescued a point against West Bromwich Albion in the first Midlands derby of the season today.
Shane Long opened the scoring for the Baggies six minutes after the break having seen a chance disallowed for offside moments earlier.
But it was Villa’s record signing Bent, who had been warned by manager Paul Lambert prior to the game that he could be dropped from the Villa starting line-up, who netted the equaliser after coming on as substitute.
Steve Clarke’s side started the brightest and could have opened the scoring after six minutes when Long headed inches wide of the goal following decent build-up play from Chris Brunt and James Morrison.
As the game went on both teams showed promise, but lacked any conviction in the final third.
So Villa’s Brett Holman, a summer signing from AZ Alkmaar, took it upon himself to test Ben Foster from fully 35 yards out with a spectacular shot which was saved by the former Birmingham City keeper.
Australian Holman was again thwarted moments later by Foster as his rasping shot from inside the area was superbly saved by the Baggies number one.
The second half started brightly and the side from a few miles up the Soho Road had the ball in the back of the net within minutes of the restart when Long headed home a deep cross from Youssuf Mulumbu. The goal was quickly chalked off as the assistant referee flagged for offside.
But just moments later the Irishman would give his side the lead, turning in a low cross from Morrison to score his second league goal of the season before Bent took advantage of a scramble in the West Brom area to sweep home.