Aston Villa defender Matthew Lowton has told the club’s official website that forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke deserve the bulk of the credit for their 2-1 Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion.
Agbonlahor opened the scoring in the 22nd-minute at Villa Park after racing onto Benteke’s headed flick-on, before Saido Berahino equalised for the visitors just after the hour to set up a tense finish.
Benteke had the last word, however, firing home from the spot after Baggies keeper Ben Foster brought down Lowton himself in the box in the final seconds of the match.
The pair have both struggled in the final third this season, netting just seven top-flight goals between them to contribute to Villa’s recent poor run of form, with the club in 17th-place in the table with 10 league games remaining.
Lowton claims that there’s no doubting their respective qualities, though, and believes their strike-partnership will help lead Villa out of a relegation scrap over the final stretch of the campaign.
“Gabby's done it in a lot of derby games for a long period of time - it just falls into place for him,” he said. “I didn't hear the whistle when the referee awarded the penalty.
"I saw him pointing to the spot and it was music to our ears. It gave the fans a massive lift and the big man kept his cool when he needed to and it's a massive three points for us.
"It hasn't all been going his way this season but I thought he was fantastic. He got the flick-on for Gabby's goal, worked his socks off and in the end got his chance - it was a great penalty.”
Lowton, meanwhile, is enjoying a resurgence at left-back with both Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho out injured, having been limited to just five appearances this season under the since-departed Paul Lambert.
The full-back has now started consecutive games, however, earning solid reviews in the process, and admits he’s relieved to be back in the first-team picture under new boss Tim Sherwood.
"It's just great to be back in the team and having that winning feeling after the game,” he added. "Being involved in that is the best feeling in the world as a footballer and it's nice to be back in the team."