Aston Villa battled back from a goal behind to beat west Midlands rivals West Brom 2-1 in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final on Saturday.

Dwight Gayle punished Glenn Whelan's clumsy slip to put Albion into an early lead, but in the final 15 minutes a strike from substitute Conor Hourihane and a quickfire Tammy Abraham second from the spot turned the game on its head before Gayle saw red for a second caution.

West Brom finished four points better off than their opponents at the end of the regular season and they started the stronger at Villa Park, taking the lead in the 16th minute through Gayle's strike.

The on-loan striker made the most of some sloppy play from Whelan, charging through on goal and blasting past Jed Steer - who had earlier produced a fine save to keep out Jay Rodriguez's curler.

Villa struggled for attacking ideas in the first half but they looked a lot brighter in the second, coming close through a couple of Abraham attempts.

And the complexion of the tie completely changed in the space of four minutes as Hourihane sent a swerving shot past Sam Johnstone from outside the box and Abraham converted a spot-kick after Kieran Gibbs fouled Jack Grealish.

West Brom had a penalty shout of their own turned down as Mason Holgate took a tumble and, to make matters worse, lost Gayle for the remainder of the match and the second leg to leave Villa in control ahead of Tuesday's return at The Hawthorns.

West Brom striker Dwight Gayle has been banned for two games after accepting a Football Association (FA) charge of diving.

Gayle went to ground in the penalty area after a challenge from Alexander Milosevic in the closing stages of Tuesday's home game against Nottingham Forest.

Referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot and Gayle's strike partner Jay Rodriguez stepped up to convert the penalty and earn West Brom a 2-2 draw.

The Baggies will be without Gayle for their next two Championship games, away to Aston Villa and QPR, after he accepted the FA's punishment.

"Dwight Gayle will serve a two-match suspension with immediate effect after accepting a charge for 'Successful Deception of a Match Official'," the FA said in a statement.

"It followed the awarding of a penalty in the 89th minute of West Brom's game against Nottingham Forest in the Championship on February 12."

West Brom are fourth in the table despite Darren Moore's side having only won two of their past seven league games.

"The club supports Dwight's view that he was attempting to avoid anticipated challenges in the 89th-minute incident which led to a penalty award for Albion," said a West Brom statement.

"Although disappointed with the outcome, Albion have regrettably concluded any appeal would be fruitless."

Gayle, who is on loan at the Baggies from Premier League side Newcastle United, has scored 16 league goals this term.

Dwight Gayle scored the only goal as West Brom won 1-0 at Stoke City to move into fourth place in the Championship.

Darren Moore's side had only won one of their past five league games but scrapped to a battling victory at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

A set-piece routine in the 25th minute put West Brom in front, Gayle heading in at the back post after Ahmed Hegazi turned debutant Stefan Johansen's free-kick back across goal.

Peter Etebo hit an ambitious 30-yard free-kick over and saw a volley deflect wide either side of half-time as Stoke, who recorded a single effort on target, sought a comeback.

Tom Ince went close to scoring a superb goal in the 65th minute, but after a dazzling solo run he drilled just wide, and he then wasted a late free-kick by firing over.

West Brom held on to secure a sixth win in their past seven away league games to boost their promotion hopes, while Stoke sit 17th after a fifth defeat in six games in all competitions.

Anwar El Ghazi scored twice from long range but a controversial Jay Rodriguez goal in injury time earned West Brom a 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa in a Championship thriller on Friday.

Dwight Gayle scored a brace as West Brom increased the pressure on Gary Rowett with a 2-1 home win over Stoke City on Saturday. 

Newcastle United have announced the signing of Salomon Rondon on a season-long loan, with Dwight Gayle joining West Brom as part of the deal.

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