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Hutton secures Villa victory

Alan Hutton scored the winner for Aston Villa as they beat Walsall in their penultimate pre-season game in front of a crowd of 6,559 at Banks's Stadium.

Hutton has not played a competitive game for Villa for two years but has forced his way back into manager Paul Lambert's thinking ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

The Scottish right-back struck in the 28th minute when he found the net from close range from Gabby Agbonlahor's knock-back.

Agbonlahor had earlier glanced a header just wide, while Fabian Delph was just off target with a drilled left-foot shot from 18 yards after the interval.

Leandro Bacuna, Gary Gardner and Jack Grealish all went close in the closing stages but Villa had to be content with Hutton's strike as they notched their fourth pre-season victory.

Villa, who open their league campaign against Stoke on August 16, were without Joe Cole and Darren Bent due to injuries, while Dutch defender Ron Vlaar watched from the sidelines after rejoining the squad at the weekend.