Southampton's B team returned to winning ways in Premier League 2 with a deserved 2-1 victory on the road against Aston Villa.

Jay Robinson opened the scoring late in the first half with his first PL2 goal, reacting to finish a rebounded shot that just went over the line.

The 16-year-old doubled the lead early in the second half, finishing another rebounded effort.

Seb Revan scored a late penalty to pull a goal back for Villa but Saints held on for an important win.

In their return to league action, Saints made five changes from their Premier League Cup outing against Blackburn Rovers a week earlier, as they returned to a younger line-up at Bodymoor Heath.

Lewis Payne returned to right-back with the Under-18s pairing of Jem Hewlett and Will Armitage starting in the centre of defence.

In fact, only two players were over 18 in the Saints team, with Kamari Doyle taking the captain’s armband in an attacking quartet that included Tyler Dibling, Sam Amo-Ameyaw, and Jay Robinson.

After an even-paced opening, it was the hosts who found the first opportunities in the early stages.

Villa forced a corner and played it short to deliver a deeper cross that reached Sil Swinkels, who directed his far post header across goal and narrowly wide.

A speculative cross from Kerr Smith caused momentary concern for Ollie Wright, with the ball almost dropping in at the far post, but any clear-cut chances were yet to appear for either side.

It took until the 25th minute for Saints’ first effort on goal, which came from a sweeping team move.

Cam Bragg released Payne on the right and the defender drove upfield before cutting the ball back to Doyle, whose low shot was straight into the goalkeeper’s hands from inside the area.

Saints were starting to get into the game and Amo-Ameyaw was next to try his luck after a spell of possession, but the winger fired wide from the edge of the area.

Both sides then had a chance to regroup with a bizarre break as one of the goal’s netting required urgent repair, and it was Saints who were fastest out of the blocks once play resumed.

Doyle was released behind the Villa defence and found Alex Stepien-Iwumene but the midfielder could only fire over from the edge of the box.

Payne was next to charge forwards and this time teed up Amo-Ameyaw, who cut inside and had his shot saved, before Doyle then had an effort from distance that was deflected wide less than a minute later.

It was another driving run from Payne that led to a deserved opening goal as the full-back had his initial shot parried into the path of Robinson, whose alert reactions steered the ball over the line for the 16-year-old’s first PL2 goal.

There was almost an instant response as the half entered 10 minutes of stoppage time as Aaron O’Reilly’s headed over from close range, but it was Saints who led at the break.

Buoyed by their dominant end to the first half, Saints were instantly on the front foot after the restart; Doyle was denied one-on-one as Dibling saw his follow up cleared by a recovering defender.

Continuing to cause havoc on the right, Payne drove forward once more and fired a shot just wide from the edge of the area.

It didn’t take long to double the lead, however, as Robinson raced through and finished into the bottom corner at the second time of asking.

Amo-Ameyaw almost put the game beyond doubt before the hour mark, but his shot across goal from inside the area was saved well.

Villa found a brief period of chances, but Omari Kellyman and Charlie Lutz were unable to keep their shots down as they both blazed efforts over.

Up the other end, there were opportunities to extend the lead as Doyle continued to be a dangerous outlet - Saints’ captain fired a shot wide across goal before delivering a low cross that was bundled past the post by Will Merry.

Seemingly out of nowhere though, the hosts pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute; Chisom Afoka was fouled in the box and Revan, the Villa captain, converted the penalty despite Wright’s best efforts.

The hosts had their tails up in the closing stages and gave Saints a late scare as Afoka headed wide, but the defence held firm to record an important three points on the road.