Jed Steer was the hero for Aston Villa as they booked their place in the Championship play-off final with a penalty shoot-out victory over West Bromwich Albion.
Albion had forced the tie to penalties after Craig Dawson’s first-half header cancelled out Villa’s one-goal advanatage, but Steer was on hand to keep out two of the hosts’ penalties.
The former Norwich City stopper saved penalties from Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi to give Villa an early 2-0 lead in the shoot-out that was enough to eventually see them through.
Villa captain Jack Grealish responded to Steer’s heroics at the Hawthorns by singling him out for praise in his latest Twitter post:
Shoutout to this guy for last night! Finally got his chance this season & grabbed it with both hands! One of the hardest working pros I’ve ever seen & now getting the recognition & credit he deserves! One last push now boys! ????????❤️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/gU4sa3gC1J
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish1) May 15, 2019
Grealish’s description of Steer as ‘one of the hardest working pros I’ve ever met’ comes after the goalkeeper forced his way into Dean Smith’s side this season following an injury to Lovre Kalinic.
Steer had been expecting to spend the season on loan at Charlton Athletic, but he was recalled to Villa Park in December and quickly established himself in Dean Smith’s side with a string of impressive performances.
The 26-year-old will now be eager to feature for Villa in the Premier League, especially given that he failed to feature in the top-flight for Norwich between 2011 and 2013.
Steer’s resurgence at Villa Park has been great to see in the second half of the season.
He has been out on a series of loan spells, and he has done extremely well to make his mark in Dean Smith’s side with last night’s heroics capping it off.
He will now be targeting a place in Villa’s side next season whether they get promoted or not, which means he could make the transition from League One with Charlton to the Premier League in the space of a year.