[Editor’s Note] Every match, Liam - our young writer - selects a ‘man of the match’ - win, lose or draw. Today, Heaton gets the nod. Thanks Liam!
Aston Villa were denied a point in the dying stages of their match at Selhurst Park as Henri Lansbury’s late equaliser was ruled out by the referee Kevin Friend with Jack Grealish receiving an inexplicable yellow card following the official’s poor decision.
Crystal Palace forward Jordan Ayew took the lead in the 73rd minute after the Ghanaian striker cut in from the left and fired low under the diving Tom Heaton however Dean Smith’s side will have left South London infuriated that Kevin Friend’s mistake cost the Villains severely.
After convincing performances against Everton and Crewe Alexandra, Villa started brightly as Wesley’s right footed shot forced Guaita straight into action in the first minute. However the away side started to become complacent and allowed Crystal Palace to create chances with Schlupp and Milivojevic forcing saves from Heaton in the first half as well Milivojevic’s superb curling shot in the second half once again being excellently saved by the England international. There was only one Aston Villa player from yesterday’s fixture that deserved the status of the Man of the Match and that was Summer signing Tom Heaton.
The Chester-born goalkeeper resembled a cat in goal with his agility and aerial prowess consistently keeping his side in the game against the Eagles. For only £8 million Heaton was one of the bargains of the summer transfer window, the Manchester United youth academy graduate’s 16 years of experience in football proved to be a major factor in why Aston Villa wanted to secure his services as well as his confidence, positioning and leadership qualities. Tom Heaton has and will continue to demonstrate that age is only a number and that he is a vital player in Dean Smith’s side.
A disappointing loss to Crystal Palace however we must keep our heads up and show that we are a team here to stay in the Premier League!