Game | #3414 |

Season | 1975-76 |

Matchday | #35 |

League Match-week | #29 |

Manager Game | #90 |

Saturday, 14 February 1976

Football League | Division One | Away | Sheffield United | Bramall Lane | 21,152 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Lost |
FT Score | 1-2 |

Last 5 Games | DDLLL |

Scorers | Ray Graydon | 19' |

Line Up |

GK John Burridge |

LB Bobby McDonald |

D Chris Nicholl |

FB John Robson |

RB John Gidman |

D Ian Ross |

M Leighton Phillips |

M Frank Pimblett | FINAL |

W Ray Graydon | GOAL | 19' |

W Frank Carrodus |

F John Deehan |

Substitute |
M Chico Hamilton for F John Deehan |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 24.58 | 

Oldest Player | D Chris Nicholl | 29.36 |

Youngest Player | F John Deehan | 18.54 |

Unavailable |

CF Keith Leonard |
F Brian Little |
M Dennis Mortimer |

On this day 14 February 1976

Midfielder Frank Pimblett made his last appearance for Villa aged 18 before moving to Stockport County in July 1976. Frank played for Villa between 1974-75 and 1975-76 making 11 appearances.

Pre Match


*Friday 13 February 1976*
*Birmingham Daily Post*

ASTON VILLA centre-half Chris Nicholl will be fit for tomorrow's League match at Sheffield United and Andy Gray's injured shoulder has improved to the point where he has an even chance of playing. 

Match Report


*Monday 16 February 1976*
*Birmingham Daily Post*

Villa sunk by Burridge slip 

Aston Villa's 2-1 defeat by Sheffield United on Saturday was not the happiest of starts to goalkeeper John Burridge's wedding weekend. The £100,000 signing from Blackpool could be faulted for both the Sheffield goals. First he was deceived by Alan Woodward's curling. angled drive seconds before half -time and then was caught in no - man's land when Chris Guthrie headed the winner after 57 minutes.

"He didn't seem to move until Woodward's shot was past him and he or Chris Nicholl should have stopped Guthrie getting in his header." said Villa manager Ron Saunders, who believes that Burridge's marriage will make a world of difference to the goalkeeper since it will mean he can settle in the Midlands. 

But it would be unfair to saddle Burridge with the full responsibility for the defeat. Indeed, Saunders was far more angry about what was happening at the other end of the pitch. "We would have been five or six up at half - time if we had stuck all our chances away," he complained. Yet everything pointed to Villa's first away win of the season after Ray Graydon had put them in front after 19 minutes, then they seemed to treat the very mediocre Sheffield with too much respect.

With only John Deehan and Graydon up front and Leighton Phillips withdrawn into a very defensive role, Villa's line-up was almost 5-3-2 and that kind of cautious approach allowed United the freedom they didn't deserve. But Saunders would not agree that his team were not positive enough. "Phillips was sweeping up in front of the back four and we were pushing the full-backs forward continually. And how can you say we were too negative when we created so many chance's?" he asked. 

It was significant, however, that when Phillips moved into more attacking positions later in the game Villa looked a more dangerous proposition and the excellent Bobby McDonald almost earned them a point several times now that he had the freedom to attack. Sheffield never made it easy with their approach, which was based on fear, desperation and an agonising offside trap which must have caught Villa well over 20 times.