Albion were left humiliated as they were blown away by play-off rivals Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
James Shan's side were 3-0 down after just 19 minutes as Albion's defensive fragilities again came back to haunt them.
Jake Livermore's error two minutes in allowed Josh Brownhill to give the hosts an early lead. Former Villa man Andi Weimann scored a second before defender Jack Hunt scored unmarked at the back post to nod in a third.
Shan changed around Albion's shape after the break and Dwight Gayle pulled a goal back almost immediately. An unlikely comeback looked to be on the cards when Jay Rodriguez smashed home from close range.
But Albion gave themselves far too much to do after a shambolic opening 25 minutes to get anything out of the game.
"We gave ourselves far too much work to do," Shan admitted.
"After 19 minutes, you find yourselves 3-0 down and at the side of the pitch you're thinking 'what else can go wrong?'
"We said at half-time that we needed a reaction and this group of players has an unbelievable ability to take on board information and execute to the best of their ability. They did that really well in the second half.
"Looking at the stats, we had one less shot than them and one less shot on target, so it's fine margins - not to dismiss the nature of how we conceded the three goals.
"That wasn't acceptable and, against any team at any level, you give yourselves a massive task."