Game | #3410 |

Season | 1975-76 |

Matchday | #31 |

League Match-week | #25 |

Manager Game | #86 |

Saturday, 10 January 1976

Football League | Division One | Away | Arsenal | Highbury | 24,501 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Drew |
FT Score | 0-0 |

Last 5 Games | WLDLD |

Line Up |

GK John Burridge |

LB Charlie Aitken |

FB John Robson |

RB John Gidman |

D Chris Nicholl |

D Ian Ross |

M Dennis Mortimer |

M Leighton Phillips |

M Chico Hamilton |

W Frank Carrodus |

CF Andy Gray |

Unused Substitute |

F Alan Peters |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.27 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 33.74 |

Youngest Player | F John Deehan | 18.46 |

On this day 10 January 1976

Forward Alan Peters made his one and only appearance in the Villa squad aged 17 before moving on to Hereford United

Unavailable |

CF Keith Leonard |
F Brian Little |

Match Report


*Monday 12 January 1976*
*Birmingham Daily Post*

Resolute Villa not an attractive draw 

Arsenal 0, Aston Villa 0 

Aston Villa won few friends at Arsenal as they resolutely and deliberately went about the business of collecting the point they wanted at Highbury. If they had attempted a similar display at Villa Park they would most probably have received the same howling abuse as Arsenal supporters gave their team. The game, ordinary and featureless though it was, scarcely deserved the epitaph pronounced by one Arsenal fan, however, who shouted at the players as they walked off: "Bring hack hanging." For there were several redeeming factors with perhaps the most important being that Villa's defence played with a rugged determination that made them well worth their point. 

The defence could certainly hold their heads high, particularly as they had to carry key defender Chris Nicholl for three quarters of the time with an almost crippling knee injury. Nicholl, who injured his left knee in a 24th minute collision with Sammy Nelson, somehow managed to complete the game even though he could hardly kick the ball or jump to head it. He said afterwards: "I really did not know how I was going to continue. I was in dreadful pain every time I moved, but the rest of the lads covered me splendidly." 

In this respect nobody played better than goalkeeper John Burridge, who made three brilliant first half saves from Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton and Brian Kidd.. Skipper lan Ross also had a tremendous game covering for the hobbling Nicholl while John Robson sensibly marked Arsenal's midfield star Alan Ball, out of the contest. These tactics were more than enough to deny a dismal looking Arsenal any freedom of movement on a blustery afternoon which always made ball control difficult. Little was seen of Villa’s attack, although the hard-working Andy Gray almost pinched both points for them in the last ten minutes with a blocked shot and a diving header which just brushed off his forehead.  

Needs time 

New £175,000 midfield signing, Dennis Mortimer made one or two neat runs along with Frank Carrodus, but the former Coventry man clearly needs more time to settle into the team. It was obviously not the kind of performance to delight the fans. But there was one Villa admirer in Bob Wilson the BBC match analyser and former Arsenal goalkeeper. "In a year or two they're going to be a very good side," he told me afterwards. 

Post Match


*Thursday 15 January 1976*
*Birmingham Daily Post*

Villa pay for Coleman's fare 

Aston Villa have paid out £300 for the Australian Schoolboys' captain Kevin Coleman to come to England for a trial. Coleman. a 16-year-old midfield player, was recommended to Villa by Dave McLaren, the manager of Coleman's club, Hakoah, who is the brother of Villa's chief coach Roy McLaren. If Coleman impresses Villa will sign him on apprentice professional forms. Before he left Sydney yesterday he said "Its a wonderful opportunity and it will be up to myself to make good." Ron Saunders, Villa's manager, commented' "This could become a continuous link. If the boy is good enough we could have other Australian lads over here." Villa's advertisement last week for a Youth Development Officer to replace Neville Briggs, who resigned the week before, has had more than 100 replies and the club are likely to produce a short list within the next ten days.