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Nakamba makes successful comeback

by Staff reporter
04 Apr 2022 at 07:11hrs | Views
Zimbabwe international Marvelous Nakamba made a successful comeback in an Aston Villa shirt on Friday night as he ran out for the English Premiership football club's under 23s in a defeat to Stoke City in the Premier League 2 at Villa Park.

The midfielder hasn't been seen since Villa's defeat at Liverpool before Christmas because of an injury setback. That was a particularly frustrating blow at the time, because Nakamba had hit the ground running under then new boss Steven Gerrard in a holding role. It's been a slow road to recovery, after surgery and a period of rehabilitation and, as with many senior players coming back from a lay-off, Nakamba was pencilled in to return for the Under-23s. Nakamba left the pitch with the score at 2-1 before Villa conceded twice more as they came away empty-handed.

Villa found themselves two goals behind early on, before the returning Indy Vassilev – who has been out on loan in MLS with Inter Miami – pulled one back. Villa though would succumb late on and Stoke pulled further clear with a couple more late goals.

Nakamba started the game, along with the likes of Brad Young, Mungo Bridge and Tommi O'Reilly, and he made way for young Kerr Smith on the hour mark. Ahead of the Villa first team's trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers this afternoon, Nakamba took to Twitter to message: "Good to be back! All the best today lads @AVFCOfficial."

Speaking more generally about the fitness levels of his first-team squad, boss Gerrard said on Friday: "We've got the majority of the group healthy at the moment. We've got one or two who travelled and were in transit for a long time over the last 24 hours.

"There's really only Nakamba now who we are trying to get up to speed. We're hoping he will be in and around the Tottenham game. He's had two weeks training now so if we can get Naka up to speed we're ready to go and attack the next eight games after tomorrow. It's very much about focusing on now and trying to put ourselves in a really positive position for pre-season." Meanwhile, Jordan Zemura's Bournemouth came from a goal down to beat Bristol City 3-2 and keep on track for promotion from the English Championship on Saturday. The Robins took an early lead when Robert Atkinson headed his first-ever goal for the club from a Matty James corner but Bournemouth dominated the first half. They finally found a way through a disciplined Bristol City defence when Dominic Solanke tapped in Zemura's cross from close range shortly before the break.

A rare Lewis Cook goal put Bournemouth in front shortly after the restart before Siriki Dembele's excellent individual goal wrapped up the three points late on.

Andreas Weimann pulled a goal back in stoppage time to set up a nervous finish, but Bournemouth held on. The second-placed Cherries are six points clear of third-placed Huddersfield with three games in hand as they aim to end a two-season absence from the English Premier League, while City remain in 18th place. The disciplined visitors did well to limit Bournemouth as they hunted for an equaliser — Solanke, Nat Phillips and Zemura all had good chances before their best effort saw Philip Billing's shot across the face goal just evade Ryan Christie. Having had 80% of the first-half possession and with 12 shots to City's one, Bournemouth finally found a way past their opponents as Solanke scored for the fourth successive game and his 25th of the season. .

Source - BirminghamLive
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