Game | #3395 |

Season | 1975-76 |

Matchday | #16 |

League Match-week | #12 |

Manager Game | #71 |

Saturday, 11 October 1975

Football League | Division One | Home | Tottenham Hotspur | Villa Park | 40,048 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Drew |
FT Score | 1-1 |

Last 5 Games | WLDLD |

Scorers | Andy Gray | 1 |

Line Up |

GK John Burridge |

RB John Gidman |

D Chris Nicholl |

D Ian Ross |

LB Charlie Aitken |

M Chico Hamilton |

M Leighton Phillips | BOOKED |

W Ray Graydon |

W Frank Carrodus | BOOKED |

F Brian Little |

CF Andy Gray | GOAL | 

Unused Substitute |

FB John Robson |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.84 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 33.47 |

Youngest Player | CF Andy Gray | 19.88 |

Unavailable |

CF Keith Leonard |

Pre Match

*Birmingham Daily Post"

*Friday 10 October 1975*

Aston Villa. who lost 2-1 to Manchester United in the League Cup on Wednesday, despite playing well enough to win, will have John Burridge back in goal for their home match with Tottenham. He was cup-tied. Villa missed chances at one end and at the other 21-year-old reserve goal keeper Jake Findlay could be blamed for both goals. John Fletcher, a midfield striker with Arbroath has been training with Villa at Bodymoor Heath this week as Villa build up further goodwill with Scottish football. Manager Ron Saunders said: "He has been on a few days holiday visiting his girlfriend in Sutton Coldfield." Villa already have a lot to thank Scottish football for after an explosive home debut by 19 year old striker Andy Gray, a £110,000 signing from Dundee United. 

Played well 

He scored Villa's goal against United and Saunders, who usually avoids praising individuals, said: "I thought he did very well." 

Match Report


*Birmingham Daily Post"

*Monday 13 October 1975*

Point taken as Villa suffer two bookings 

Aston Villa 1, Tottenham 1 

Seven cautions and a sending off sounds exciting if a little dangerous. It was neither. An undistinguished match became an alarming statistic because of the apparent machinations of the referee Kevin McNally, from Hooton, in Cheshire. He said afterwards: "Trouble seems to follow me around." Which was a reference to another sending off earlier in the season, but it seemed to me that he was seeking it out. In the past two weeks I have seen referees decide not to send players off for violent fouls. If they were not strong enough McNally was too fussy, transgressions against his authority seemed a notch more important than offences against laws. 


The bookings started after a goalless first half when things never quite came together. The spark was a goal from Andy Gray, his second In three games for Villa, a fine headed goal after good work by Ray Graydon. Within seconds John Pratt was booked for obstructing John Gidman. A few minutes later a clash between Terry Naylor and Leighton Phillips resulted in both being booked. 


Neither player knew what made Naylor approach Phillips but most people, except for McNally and his linesmen, saw Phillips butt Naylor and the Spurs man retaliate. Both deserved to be sent oft there and then. But it was Naylor who went three minutes later for kicking out at Chico Hamilton. 

Then within 18 minutes four more players' names went into McNally's book. John Duncan for a foul on Frank Carrodus, Alfie Conn for saying something out of turn and Carrodus and Keith Osgood for kicking the ball away - in separate incidents of course. 

After all this activity McNally could hardly have had the strength to note down Pratt's 82nd minute equaliser for Tottenham. Villa had again been guilty of wasting chances and it was typical that with only six minutes to go Graydon should misuse the game's best opportunity. He had shot wildly wide in the 77th minute but now he was 12 yards from goal with a free shot after Brian Little's cross had been pushed out. But the right foot which brought Graydon so many of his goals last season was not quite accurate and the ball was sent furiously over the bar. 


ViIla would be much higher In the First Division if their marksmanship had matched last season's but in 15 games Graydon has score only four times while Little, in 14 has scored only one. If either or both hit form Villa will get the rewards their exciting approach work deserves but I fear that until then Gray's shoulders will need to bear a large burden. 

Stepney made a save from a shot by Ray Graydon look easy but the dangerous action was at the other end when Sammy Mcilroy's corner bounced off Nicholl's shoulder and hit Findlay's left-hand post. John Gidman booted clear. It was clear United had found Villa's measure and in the 71st minute another small man, Steve Coppell, scored with a header, this time from a McIlroy cross. The match seemed over but Villa's revival started with a header from Gray which went narrowly wide and then came the frenetic last few minutes. Villa may have lost a League Cup tie but in Gray they have found a dashing, hard-working, talented centre forward, who was an immediate hit with the crowd.