Fulham were left searching for their first win of the new season with Aston Villa showing, once more, why they have won the Barclays Premier Reserve League South title for two consecutive seasons.

Fulham started brightly against the champions with the jet heels of Michael Uwezu setting the early rhythm and suggesting it could well be the Whites' night on what was their first home game of the 2009-10 season.

And it was from one such burst of pace that fashioned the first real chance of the game when he sped away from Ciaran Clark and cut the ball inside for Alex Smith. In turn the left-midfielder found the on-running Joe Anderson with a clever first time pass, however, the Fulham skipper saw his shot skew wide.

At the other end the Whites had Pascal Zuberbuhler to thank as he denied Andreas Weimann with an excellent close range stop, before claiming Nathan Delfouneso's curling follow up with relative ease.

The experienced shot-stopper even made amends for a risky clearance moments later, denying Weimann again, for what looked a certain goal.

As the half wore on, it was Villa who gradually took control with Fulham's initial dominance seemingly slipping and with passes going astray, the visitors pushed forward with Dominik Hofbauer and Barry Bannan both forcing chances.

Delfouneso went close with a swerving strike on the break, and just when it looked like the Whites would end the half on level terms, the talented Villa striker drove into the box and forced a foul from Luca Moscatiello. Bannan stepped up, planted the ball with authority and beat Zuberbuhler with a confident strike from the spot.

Villa doubled their lead within a minute of the second half, with Weimann taking advantage of a sloppy back pass and firing a low strike past an already committed Zuberbuhler and the desperate lunge of Adam Watts.

Substitute James Collins should have made it three moments later but fortunately he could only find the arms of an alert Zuberbuhler. And the Swiss shot-stopper would be in for a busy half with chances falling to Bannan, Collins, Isaiah Osbourne and Marc Albrighton.

On the back foot centre-back Watts did impress with his assurance and reading of the game, while Uwezu kept running to the very end. Seol Ki-Hyeon showed flashes of skill, with South African international Kagisho Dikgacoi attempting one ambitious effort from some 45 yards.

Aston Villa remained compact and when Weimann added a late third showed why, having claimed the last two reserve league titles, they will again be the team to beat, with this impressive victory keeping their 100 per cent record intact with a fourth straight win.

Billy McKinlay's charges have a chance to bounce back in seven days time with Stoke City making the trip to Motspur Park on Tuesday October 6th, kick-off 7pm.

Fulham Reserves: Zuberbühler; Marsh-Brown, Anderson, Marquez-Sanchez, Watts; Seol, Moscatiello, Dikgacoi, Smith; E. Johnson (Hoesen 65), Uwezu. (Subs): Pritchard, Jones, Trotta.

Aston Villa Reserves: Marshall; Lichaj (McGurk 90), Roome, Baker, Clark; Hofbauer, Albrighton, Osbourne, Bannan; Weimann (Forrester 90), Delfouneso (Collins 55). (Subs): Bevan, Roberts.



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