Game | #3358 |

Season | 1974-75 |

Matchday | #34 |

Manager Game | #34 |

Wednesday, 15 January 1975

League Cup | Semi Final 1st Leg | Away | Chester City | Sealand Road | 19,000 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Drew |

FT Score | 2-2 |

Last 5 Games | WLWWD |

Scorers | Bobby McDonald | 15' | Ray Graydon | 50' |

Line Up |

GK Jim Cumbes |

D Ian Ross |

FB John Robson |

D Chris Nicholl |

LB Charlie Aitken |

LB Bobby McDonald | GOAL | 15' |

M Frank Pimblett |

M Chico Hamilton |

W Ray Graydon | GOAL | 50' |

F Brian Little |

F Keith Leonard |

Unused Substitute |

M Jimmy Brown |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.36 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 32.73 |

Youngest Player | M Frank Pimblett | 17.86 |

Match Report

*Birmingham Daily Post*

*Thursday 16 January 1975*

Chester fight back to force a draw, but ...

Villa have that Wembley look


Chester 2, Aston Villa 2

Fourth Division Chester twice forced their way back at Sealand Road last night - but Villa are now odds-on favourites to reach their fourth League Cup final.

It wasn’t much of a night for giant-killing. Although Chester tried their best as a strength sapping pitch they were matched in effort by Villa and more than outplayed.


The home side scored two untidy equalisers through Tommy Owen, in the 44th minute, and substitute Gary Moore 11 minutes from time - but they were lucky not to conceded more than two to Villa.


Villa’s first was scored by 19 year old Bobby McDonald on his League Cup debut from a free kick by Ray Graydon after 15 minutes and then Graydon scored his 30th goal of the season after 30 minutes.


McDonald’s foal was the first time Chester had been behind in this competition this season, and as a Chester supporter morosely remarked, Villa had achieved something in a quarter of a hour that Leeds and Newcastle could not do between them.

The pattern followed Villa’s earlier rounds on Fourth Division grounds at Crewe at Hartlepool. 


They were pulled back then but they took their opponents to Villa Park confident that at home they would win. Now Chester go there in the second leg of this semi final next Wednesday and only their most one eyed supporter give them much hope.

Sandwich between Graydon’s telling contributions was the first goal which revitalised the Chester supporters, the equaliser which re-stoked the atmosphere the pitch had attained at the start.




To say it was a scruffy goal is an understatement, but it came on the stroke of half-time and gave the home side a psychological advantage to take to the dressing room.

It started with Derek Draper taking John James’ pass into the goal area, holding off Ian Ross, and starting what in a rugby match would have been second phase possession with a maul. 

Ross tackled him, Chris Nicholl tried to clear and Jim Cumbes piled into the ruck. It was not that Owen arrived and the ball seemed to bounce off him and roll slowly over the line.

The Villa defence had wobbled once or twice before this. A shot from Nigel Edwards had hit James and Cumbes had to make a brilliant reaction save after his co-defenders had been slow to pick up Ian Seddon 20 year’s out.


Chester, motivated by the capacity crowd, used simple tactics - rushing forward at every opportunity, diving into the penalty area in numbers and always at top speed, often too fast.

But for all the Fourth Division side’s energy, Villa were the better team. They equalled Chester for running and their football was more subtle. Their moves were put together with greater care and skill.

From the ninth minute when McDonald slipped past three men and shot at Grenville Millington it was clear that Villa could win. Next, Millington made a fine save from Chico Hamilton but McDonald’s bending header two minutes later left him without hope.

Villa nearly went further ahead in the 42nd minute when Graydon finished a flowing move with a viciously struck from 30 yards. 

Millington could only parry the ball and it looped over his body to drop just wide of the post.

Graydon was more fortunate with his next shot which brought his goal following a fine pass from Brian Little and Villa settled, looking more easy in defence.



At the other end Edwards cleared off the line when Keith Leonard forced his way passed Trevor Storton and Millington in the 59th minute.

Two minutes later Chester’s manager, Ken Roberts, made his substitution, bringing on Moore for the limping James and ten minutes after that Moore scored.

He met Draper’s cross as the near post after Ross had slipped and although Cumbes did well to half save the shot another goal rolled into the net.