• ASTON VILLA 1 WEST BROM 1
• Swift break from Morrison sets up Long (51')
• Villa pour forward after going behind
• Sub Bent stabs home an equaliser (80')
FULL TIME ASTON VILLA 1 WEST BROM 1 Well, I reckon that is a pretty fair result all in all. Aston Villa probably had more ambition but WBA defended stoutly and looked the more experienced outfit. After going behind to a good counter-attack goal, Villa showed some cojones to haul themselves back into it, and Darren Bent proved a point to his manager by coming off the bench to score. Enjoyable game in the end, well refereed and played in a good spirit. Brett Holman and Marc Albrighton impressed for the home side in the first half, Tamas came on and had a good game for the visitors, whose James Morrison also showed some class. Couple of injuries in the first half were a downer for WBA. Fair result for both sides, and something to build on for Paul Lambert. Thanks for following it with us, enjoy the rest of the weekend.
90+ mins: Both sides trying to win this, it's been a well contested game played without too much fouling, cheating or silly behaviour. Ref Anthony Taylor has let it flow well. Ha, and as soon as I type that, Tamas with a cynical foul on N'Zogbia, who had made a break. N'Zogbia clutches his face. The deep freekick leads to nothing, and that is the end of the match.
90 mins: Good defending from Joe Bennett denies the surging Lukaku; he's looked really lively since he came on. Four minutes to be added on, WBA look to have more in the tank at this point.
88 mins: Oh! But here is Lukaku. Sadly, he shoots straight at Guzan. There's a chance of a follow-up, but Gera has handled the ball.
87 mins: After fine play from Lowton down the right, N'Zogbia cuts it back and Bent has found some space on the edge of the box. Chance! But he drills it over.
84 mins: After a flat period - that goal came a bti out of the blue really - it's all Villa. Now a dangerous ball in from Bannan and that's just out of the reach of GabbyA.
82 mins: Agbonlahor breaks and this is very dangerous. Great tackle from McAuley denies him, but the WBA defender hurts himself in the process. The play is now down the other end as the ref waves things on. Thrilling stuff! Vlaar slips, Lukaku nips in and he shoots. It's deflected just wide. Phew. All happening in these last few minutes.
81 mins: Villa grab the ball, they want to get started again. Should Lambert have started Bent?
80 mins: GOAL! A corner comes in from the left, Ron Vlaar tries to hook it in, the ball bobbles around the six yard box and who's on hand to stab it in? Darren Bent. ASTON VILLA 1 WEST BROM 1
78 mins: Bannan and Holamn are plugging away for Villa and Baggies cannot get it clear. Eventually it breaks for N'Zogbia but he screws his shot wide. That's Villa's 12th shot. Just two on target, and those two the long rangers in the first half.
76 mins: Lukaku gives it away cheaply and Villa can build with Bent. Now Lowton plays it forward but some quick thinking from Ben Foster saves a corner.
75 mins: Villa trying their hardest but look like their energy levels have dipped after giving it their all following the goal.
72 mins: Lukaku's into the game right away, holding it up well and winning the corner. That's cleared, but WBA are looking the stronger side now. Villa have not threatened for a few minutes.
70 mins: Shane Long comes off and is replaced by Romelu Lukaku.
69 mins: Yacob brings down N'Zogbia and is lucky not to go in the book. Freekick comes in, Ron Vlaar heads it over. And now Villa make their third sub, Barry Bannan on for Fabian Delph. He comes into the centre of the park.
67 mins: WBA deal with a Villa attack and look to hit back through Dorrans. Another Villa sub: Bent replaces the underwhelming Benteke.
65 mins: Little spell from WBA here, and Popov fires over. Charles N'Zogbia replaces Marc Alrbrighton.
63 mins: Nice touch from Morrison and here is Tamas on the overlap. He LASHES a cross in, and that nearly surprises Guzan. He has to clear hastily.
62 mins: Albrighton has a chance to stick a ball in from the right but that's straight at Foster.
60 mins: Have Baggies weathered the storm? They had to cover up on the ropes right after the goal but no Villa threat for a minute or two.
57 mins: Some good punditry from Gurreh Neville about the techincal business of playing an offside trap when you are a fullback, how you should allow yourself a yard of leeway in case your centre half steps up. He says this is the hardest, and last, skill you learn as a right back. Matthew Lowton at fault for the onside/goal but maybe the more established Vlaar ought to have born that inexperience in mind.
55 mins: It's been all Villa since the goal, but finally WBA have a bit of ball as Morrison comes forward. Karim El Ahmadi fouls him.
54 mins: Foul on the edge of the WBA box as Yacob shoulder barges Holman off the ball. Great atmosphere now.
52 mins: Fair play to Villa, they are surging forward after going one-nil down. A corner is cleared.
51 mins: Ooh, and Villa very nearly have one back right away. Ball is played into their area and Benteke is just about to pull the trigger when Tamas produces a wonderful saving tackle.
50 mins: GOAL! But WBA have one this time! Morrison breaks down the right, and this time they've sprung the offside trap. Vlaar nearly intercepts the low cross but in the end just scuffs it into the path of Shane Long, who can hardly miss with the tap in. ASTON VILLA 0 WBA 1 Lowton the right back is the guilty party, not holding the offside line.
49 mins: A cross comes in from the right, Mulumbu swings the ball in and Long heads it home! But it is ruled offside, correctly.
48 mins: Holman's putting in a shift, it takes some canny defending from Mulumbu to deny him down the left.
47 mins: Shane Long wins a corner through dogged persistence but Zoltan Gera and Olsson get in each other's way and a decent header opportunity goes a-begging.
46 mins: Bit of grabbing and low level argy-bargy between Popov and Holman in the Baggies area is ruled in fabout of the WBA man.
17.00 The players are all back out; Gabriel Tamas out early to warm up. He has been pressed into service as a right back.
16.55 Looking at that penalty shout again, I reckon WBA should probably have had one there when Albrighton put his hand up and in the way of Popov's cross.
HALF TIME ASTON VILLA 0 WEST BROM 0 Not a game you'll be telling your grandchildren about, but not without its merits and there have been commendable efforts from both teams in a closely fought, narrow midfield battle. Villa have enjoyed success with the bursting runs of Holman and the running of Agbonlahor into the channels, but Benteke has wasted the few chances the team have had. WBA are solid, organised and not offering a huge amount of threat. Long could have put them up early on with a free header; they also had a penalty shout.
45 mins: Baggies are going to see out the half with ten men and assess Jones at the break. No, I tell a lie. They are bringing Jones off; Gabriel Tamas on. Freekick for Baggies but it is cleared without concern and that is half time.
44 mins: Gera and Mulumbu link up well but the move breaks down. And now a mistake from McAuley! He dithers by the touchline and Benteke muscles him off the ball. He's got a good opportunity here. But instead of powering towards goal, he cuts inside, fiddles around a bit and screws a shot over. That's the work of a striker who is short on confidence. Looks like WBA might have another injury worry as Billy Jones goes down off the ball.
41 mins: Mulumbu reads it well to snuff out another Villa attack. The home side having the best of this but lacking a little composure in the key areas. Baggies doing a solild defensive job, mind you.
40 mins: Aussie Brett Holman is having a good game. He makes a run from 80 yards, twists and turns as he comes into the area and lets fly with a shot. It's deflected off Billy Jones and Ben Foster saves well.
38 mins: Shame, Chris Brunt has done his hamstring. He knows right away that his day is over, and Graham Dorrans comes on to replace him. Ow. Meanwhile, Villa are taking a corner and Ciaran Clark heads over.
36 mins: Shane Long in a dangerous position, but the ref decides that he had shoved his marker when the ball came over the top.
35 mins: Villa build from the back. Hit long now to Gabby. He knocks it back to Holma who has another dibble from long range. Not as good as his last one, that's well wide.
34 mins: Errr... not a lot happening. No real edge to the game.
32 mins: It's tight in midfield, overcrowded you might say. Villa have had 60% of the ball so far but West Brom are a tough nut to crack.
29 mins: Brunt tries a long shot but it's way over the bar.
27 mins: Really nice stuff from Vlaar and Agbonlahor. The ball is slipped to Benteke in the inside-left position - this is a decent chance. Awful shot! Miles over. No composure at all there from the Belgian.
26 mins: Brunt does well to win the ball in the Villa half and chips it through, but WBA have no runners and it dribbles harmlessly through to the keeper.
25 mins: Good command of the area from Foster as he dominates from the corner kick. Danger averted.
24 mins: Out of nowhere, it opens up for Brett Holman. The ball drops invitingly for him on the half volley and he lashes a really strong shot than Ben Foster is happy to tip over.
23 mins: Quite a useful period of possession for West Brom, but it comes to an end when Popov drills a long ball wildly out.
22 mins: The first booking of the game as Delph slides in with his studs up on Brunt. He's sort of eyeballing the WBA man as he lunges in. Yellow. Could conceivably have been a red.
20 mins: Somewhat quiet little period.
19 mins: Applause for Stan Petrov rings around the ground. WBA fans join in.
18 mins: Zoltan Gera tries a long-ranger but doesn't get hold of it.
15 mins: Good stuff from Villa as they flip in another useful cross thanks to Albrighton but the WBA side are not panicked and it seems that each man knows his place and they soon clear without alarm, Olsson again proving reliable.
13 mins: Excellent work from Gabby A as he holds it up before whipping in a dangerous cross. Good clearing header by Olsson with Benteke lurking.
10 mins: There's some space down the Villa right as their midfielders tuck in, and a break down the right leads to a penalty handball shout that is not given when Popov's cross hits Albrighton's arm.
8 mins: Benteke making a nuisance of himself, and he wins a corner after putting McAuley under pressure. McAuley then nudges Vlaar in the back as the corner comes over but the ref doesn't see it and the Baggies clear.
6 mins: Run and snap shot from Shane Long but he cannot get over the ball and that's Row Z stuff.
5 mins: Good energetic start from Villa but here's chance for WBA! Brunt's ball in from the left, James Morrison heads it back across and here's Shane Long with an easy header. But he tries to glance it too delicately into the net and it dribbles wide. Big chance for a lad who is good in the air.
3 mins: Villa going for a diamond in midfield, Delph, El Ahmadi and Albrighton tucked in with Holman to support Gabby A and Benteke. First moment of excitement as Agbonlahor bursts into the channel down the right before delivering a good ball in for Benteke. Well cleared by McAuley, vital interception under pressure. The 2,800 WBA tickets went like hot cakes apparently.
1 mins: Good chasing from Chris Brunt down the WBA right puts the Villa defence under pressure.
16.00 The Baggies will kick off. Saw a great lie about them on Wikipedia this week. Their song 'boing boing' is a tribute to Rotterdam Gabber track 'Poing'. Ri-iiiiight. We're off!
15.55 Looks like there's plenty seats there. "Villa fans are a special bunch," says Kev. I like Kev, seems like a really nice dude. I would have had him more for England too, meself.
15.45 Yorke says that Paul Lambert is a dead ringer for Martin O'Neill, he dresses like him, he's like him on the touchline. It's an interesting managerial match-up, for sure: former St Mirren buddies (forgive me) Lambert and Steve Clarke. Two Scots on the touchline, got to fancy some sort of dust-up this afternoon.
15.40 "We've got a good manager, anything's better than last season," says one Villa fan. Heh. Poor old Big Eck.
15.30 So who are our televisual companions for the afternoon? Step forward, Brian The Postman and Super Kevin Phillips. Yorke says: "Things are looking up for Aston Villa." Kevin says: "Me and Dwight know what the passion is like in the Midlands." But this is more interesting. Kev says of Gabby Agbonlahor: "When he signed that deal for a huge amount of money maybe he took his foot off the pedal."
15.25 Villa need a win to avoid their worst-ever start to a Premier League season. If West Brom win, they will be third, maybe even second if they score a few.
15.20 So the big news there is that Bent is not in the Villa team and that Brad Guzan replaces Shay Given in goal. How do Villa fans feel about that team?
And here is the WBA team: "(4-2-3-1): Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov; Mulumbu, Yacob; Gera, Morrison, Brunt; Long."
And Henry adds that the subs are: AVFC: Given Bent N'Zogbia Lichaj Bannan Westwood Weimann. WBA: L Daniels, Tamas, El Ghanassy, Lukaku, Fortune, Dorrans, Rosenberg
15.10 Drama already in the MIdlands this afternoon with Derby County defeating Nottingham Forest. Ref leaves the field to a chorus of boos, having sent off Dexter Blackstock a few seconds after half time. Fiery game.
15.00 Afternoon all, and welcome to our live blog of this Midlands football derby. With Aston Villa having managed just four points from five games this season, and visitors West Brom enjoying a super start to the season with ten points already in their Baggy, many people will have marked this down as an 'away win' on their weekend coupon. But Villa are proving a tough team to predict this season: a good win over Swansea followed by a hammering from Southampton, of all people, and then beating Manchester City in the League Cup this week. So who knows which Villa side will turn up?
While we await the team news and what-not, let's have a gander at
Team News: Aston Villa winger Brett Holman has recovered from a knee injury in time for Sunday's Premier League derby with West Brom at Villa Park after missing the midweek Capital One Cup win at Manchester City.
Midfielder Stephen Ireland is again ruled out with the cracked bone in his wrist suffered at Southampton last weekend although he should be fit after the forthcoming international break.
Full-back Joe Bennett picked up a knock to his leg at the Etihad Stadium and will be assessed by the Villa medical staff before any decision is taken on his fitness.
For Albion, Steven Reid has been ruled out for the fourth successive game due to a hamstring injury.
James Morrison is expected to be fit for the Villa Park clash and Liam Ridgewell has a chance of facing his former club.
But Boaz Myhill could be missing for two weeks after undergoing a minor operation on his thumb.
Match Notes: It must seem a lifetime ago for Paul Lambert when he was given a helping hand by Steve Clarke during his fledgling days as a player at St. Mirren.
But those memories will be cast aside this weekend as the managers prepare for their first derbies at their respective clubs, days after wildly contrasting results in the Capital One Cup.
Lambert emerged from a feud with Roberto Mancini to record a stirring victory over the Premier League champions while Clarke suffered a chastening experience at the hands of Brendan Rodgers' rookies.
Recent history is in Clarke's favour - Villa have not beaten Albion in their last three meetings.
Betting: Home 29-20, Away 7-4, Draw 9-4.
Stat of the game: Villa have scored 126 league goals against WBA at Villa Park.
John Percy’s prediction: Aston Villa 2 West Bromwich Albion 2.