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Premier League

Relegation battle far from won admits Aston Villa defender Matt Lowton

Lowton effectively fired Villa to a vital win at Stoke on Saturday

Defender Matt Lowton may have sent spirits at Aston Villa soaring but he knows their relegation battle is far from won.

Lowton effectively fired Villa to a vital win at Stoke on Saturday when he hit a stunning 30-yard volley into the net with just three minutes remaining.

The score had been 1-1 at the time and the relief and jubilation for a side that had begun the day in the Barclays Premier League bottom three was evident.

Christian Benteke went on to make the score 3-1 in injury time and ensure a fourth win in seven games for Paul Lambert's men.

Lowton said: "The three points are fantastic but there is still a long way to go. There are a lot points still to play for.

"We can't leave it here, we have got to take it into the next few games.

"But the momentum is massive and confidence is sky high.

"You can see that coming out of the manager in the changing room.

"All the players are buzzing and we can't wait for the next game now."

Despite Villa's struggles this term, Lowton has enjoyed an impressive campaign since his £3million arrival from Sheffield United last summer.

The 23-year-old right-back has been an ever-present, playing every minute of every league game.

Aside from his goal at the Britannia Stadium, he was a constant threat in attack and was instrumental in Gabriel Agbonlahor's opener.

He said: "The idea when I came was just to get in the team as quickly as I could but when I got picked first game I set my stall out to get picked every game and keep the shirt as long as I can.

"To have played every minute up to now is fantastic but the main thing is the team stay in this division."

Lowton scored a similarly spectacular goal in the win at Swansea last September but he had no doubt his latest effort eclipsed that.

He said: "It was nice. The one against Swansea earlier in the season was fantastic as well, obviously, but it has always been in the back of my mind that the keeper did me a favour diving out of the way.

"It is nice that he went for it and it actually beat him this time.

"I was concentrating on my first touch but as soon as it sat up like it did it needed hitting really, and luckily it flew into the back of the net."