Positive signs despite reserve loss

Aston Villa reserves 2-1 West Ham United reserves

Julien Faubert took just 39 seconds to score on his return for West Ham United on Monday night as the reserves went down to two late goals.

The France winger was making his first appearance since suffering a serious achilles injury on 17 July. After an intensive rehabilitation programme, he returned to the starting eleven at Walsall's Bescot Stadium - and made an instant impact. As well his goal, he was a lively presence throughout the first 45 minutes but was substituted at half-time.

Villa kept going and earned a deserved equaliser in the 87th minute when substitute Barry Bannan - on for former Hammers striker Marlon Harewood, shot low beyond Richard Wright. Then, as the visitors looked like making it six games unbeaten at this level against the league leaders, Tobias Mikaelsson scored from close range in the dying seconds.

Along with Faubert, Luis Boa Morte got more than an hour of action up front, while at the back Calum Davenport and James Collins were a solid pairing with both coming through the full 90 minutes. James Tomkins played at right-back and, other than feeling the impact of a couple of hefty challenges, showed up well - particularly in support of Faubert in the first half. Further forward, Christian Dailly played a holding midfield role alongside Collison who was his usual industrious self.

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Aston Villa: Stuart Taylor, Erik Lund, Danny Earls, Ciaran Clark, Stephen O'Halloran ,Chris Herd, Moustapha Salifou, Jonathan Hogg, Marlon Harewood , (Barry Bannan 75), Tobias Mikaelsson, Dominik Hofbauer (Nathan Delfouneso 63)
Subs not used: David Bevan (GK), Yago Bellon, Damian Bellon

West Ham United: Richard Wright, James Tomkins (Jordan Spence 90), James Collins, Calum Davenport, Joe Widdowson, Julien Faubert (Zavon Hines 46), Christian Dailly, Jack Collison, Kyel Reid, Luis Boa Morte (Freddie Sears 63), Jack Jeffrey
Subs (from): Marek Stech (GK), Bondz 'Gala, Lorcan Fitzgerald,