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Irish Watch: Aston Villa Fans Were Seriously Impressed With Their U-19 Irish International

Irish Watch: Aston Villa Fans Were Seriously Impressed With Their U-19 Irish International
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Joleon Lescott stoked the ire of Aston Villa fans when he claimed a couple of weeks ago that relegation would be a "weight off the shoulders", and then went about being mocked by the echo of these hollow words in being torn apart by Shane Long in the very next game.

This afternoon, away to Watford, Aston Villa caretaker boss Eric Black realised that Lescott himself may have been the weight borne down upon Villa, so moved him to left-back in favour of Irish U-19 player Kevin Toner, who had made a name for himself a couple of weeks ago for exploding with rage in an under-21 game. It was Toner's full debut for the club, and the Meathman lined up alongside Ciaran Clark at centre-back, and saw his centre-back partner give Villa an early lead:

Watford did equalise, but Villa hit back in the second half through Jordan Ayew before conceding a late brace to Troy Deeney late on. Aly Cissokho was sent off for Villa in a final sickening blow to a miserable season. Villa fans, however, were capable of seeing some positives, most notably in the performances of  Toner and Clark:

Elsewhere, there was very encouraging news for Ireland ahead of the Euros as Jon Walters made his return from injury against Sunderland, replacing Marco Arnautovic to finish the final 30 minutes of the game:

Glenn Whelan played in midfield for Stoke this afternoon, as Marc Wilson and Shay Given remain out through injury. Harry Arter - despite having manager Eddie Howe cast doubts on his fitness yesterday - started for Bournemouth against Everton, with the Toffees fielding James McCarthy and Darron Gibson, although Seamus Coleman missed out through injury.

Finally, James McClean started for West Brom in their anaemic defeat to West Ham, before being subbed off on the hour mark. Overall, a positive round of games for Martin O'Neill ahead of the Euros.

See Also: Opinion: Why It Is Time For Everyone To Leave Michael Owen Alone

See Also: Emotional Scenes At Goodison Park As Everton Pay Tribute To Hillsborough Families

 

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