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Monday, April 8, 2013
Lowton: Stunner has not saved Villa

David Instone

Modest Matt Lowton is refusing to acknowledge his Goal of the Season contender in Saturday's win at Stoke as the moment that confirmed Aston Villa would win their survival battle.

• Blog: Villa refuse to do it the easy way

The 23-year-old full-back topped his spectacular strike against Swansea earlier in the season with a quite stunning late volley as Villa took a step towards safety by dragging their latest victims into the relegation mire.

But he isn't ready to pat himself on the back and suggest that his dipping 30-yarder has sealed Villa's salvation in the top flight.

"We've pulled Stoke to within one point of us and overtaken a few," he said. "The timing was crucial.

"The three points are fantastic but there's a long way to go. We can't leave it here. We've got to take it into the next games.

"It was massively important. Stoke were in and around us. They're not on the best run, so it was important for us to keep the momentum from the last couple of weeks and keep on winning.

"We had just conceded to make it 1-1. The momentum was with them and the crowd were up again. But the timing of it has just shot them back down and we've gone on to get the third and the three points."

Lowton was playing in League One for Sheffield United last season and has followed the disappointment of play-off final defeat against Huddersfield 11 months ago by appearing in every minute so far of his debut Premier League season.

He remains a yellow card away from suspension but says there can be no holding back in the quest to get his club over the finishing line.

"I don't think you can let that cross your mind," he added. "I've got to stick to the way I play. If I start thinking I can't get booked and I pull out of a challenge and the opposition score, I've let the whole team down.

"For me to get booked and take a two-match suspension instead of letting the other team score & it's hard, but I can't think about it.

"When I came here, the idea was just to get in the team as quick as I could. I was happy when I got picked first game. I set my stall out to play well and to keep my shirt as long as I could. To have played every minute up to now is fantastic. But the main thing is that the team stays in this division.

"I was thinking to myself that we need to hold on and win the game after I scored. It was nice to get a winning goal when the points are so crucial but the main thing is the three points and the team take the confidence into the next game.

"We've got huge momentum now. We've dragged teams in. The confidence is sky-high at the minute. The manager is buzzing in the changing room after games and the players are buzzing. We just can't wait for the next game."

Lowton netted ten times for Sheffield United but describes this as '100%' the best goal of his career.

He was touched at being congratulated afterwards by several of Stoke players, including goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who interrupted the Villa hero's media interviews to say 'Great goal!'

"Charlie Adam came up to me and said: 'Did it come off your shin?' He said: 'Good goal.' Jonathan Walters did, too. It's nice when you get recognised.

"The goal earlier in the season against Swansea was obviously fantastic as well. But it was always in the back of my mind that the keeper's done me a favour then by diving out of the way.

"I was concentrating on my first touch with this one (with his chest) and as soon as it settled like it did, it needed hitting. Luckily, it flew in.

"We do passing drills and things like that to practise our technique but I don't really practise the volleys. When it's like that, it's nice.

"I caught it sweet but with it being so far out, I didn't know the keeper's position or anything. As I've hit it, the guy in front of me has blocked my vision, so I've lost the ball. I just saw the net bulge and heard the crowd go wild.

"My celebration was horrific! I don't score many, so it's definitely one thing I don't practise. Maybe I should.

"I'd have snapped your hand off, definitely, if you had told me last year I would be scoring a Goal of the Season contender for Villa."




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