Conor Hourihane rifles home stunning equaliser for Aston Villa 5 months ago

Conor Hourihane rifles home stunning equaliser for Aston Villa

Republic of Ireland midfielder Conor Hourihane rifled in a stunning equaliser to give Aston Villa an advantage in their first round play-off tie with West Brom.

Dwight Gayle gave West Brom an early lead before Hourihane fired the Villains back into the contest with a stunning strike after some tidy work from former Ireland underage international Jack Grealish.

Grealish drove into the Baggies box before cutting the ball back to Hourihane who smashed the ball past Sam Johnstone and into the back of the net.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith said before the game that his side are focused on promotion and that he favoured West Brom heading into the tie.

"That was the challenge when I came in here," Smith told the club's website. "Unfortunately we didn't get near the top two, but managed to get into the Play-Offs.

"That's the route we have to go down now. They're two difficult games. I know there's a lot of people out there saying we're favourites, but Albion have been above us all season.

"They're the ones who came down from the Premier League and have those players in their squad."