Villa stay in fourth hunt as Hull slip towards drop


GABRIEL Agbonlahor netted his 16th goal of the season as Aston Villa kept up the chase for fourth place with a convincing win over struggling Hull.

Fellow England hopeful James Milner completed the win from the penalty spot to lift Villa ahead of Liverpool and back into sixth place.

The Midlands club are only three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham but have played one game more. Hull, meanwhile, remain three points adrift of safety in the relegation zone with just three games left to preserve their top-flight status.

Agbonlahor pounced on woeful defending to put the visitors ahead at the KC Stadium in the 13th minute. Ibrahima Sonko and then Paul McShane failed to clear before the ball ricocheted to the striker, who composed himself before arrowing a shot into the top corner.

Kevin Kilbane ought to have levelled 10 minutes later after Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink’s shot was saved, but Brad Friedel and then James Collins kept out both follow-up efforts. Friedel later saved from Steven Mouyokolo and Vennegoor of Hesselink suffered a serious head injury before George Boateng fouled Milner in the area, and Villa’s player of the season netted from the spot.