Game | #3370 |

Season | 1974-75 |

Matchday | #46 |

League Match-week | #33 |

Manager Game | #46 |

Saturday, 15 March 1975

Football League | Division Two | Home | Southampton | Villa Park | 31,967 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Won |
FT Score | 3-0 |

Last 5 Games | WWDWW |

Scorers | Keith Leonard | 1 | Ray Graydon | 1 | Own Goal | 1 |

Line Up |

GK Jim Cumbes |

D Chris Nicholl |

D Ian Ross |

FB John Robson |

LB Charlie Aitken |

LB Bobby McDonald |

M Chico Hamilton |

W Ray Graydon | GOAL |

W Frank Carrodus |

F Keith Leonard | GOAL |

F Brian Little |

Unused Substitute |

M Leighton Phillips |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.23 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 32.89 |

Youngest Player | LB Bobby McDonald | 19.93 |


On this day 15 March 1975

Villa had now lost just once in the last 15 games

Match Report

*Birmingham Daily Post*

*Monday 17 March 1975*

Villa look just champion

By RANDALL NO'RTHAM

Aston Villa 3, Southampton 0

There is a feeling at Villa Park that Villa can win promotion as champions. Their demolition of Southampton, one of the teams relegated from the First Division last season, has made them realise Manchester United's lead is not invulnerable. Villa's manager Ron Saunders sidestepped the question about the championship but his Southampton counterpart Laurie McMenemy said: "Of course Villa will go up. It's just a question of who goes up with them."

 

Second in the table, Villa have 42 points, five less than United. But they have a game in hand and are undoubtedly the team in form. They have won seven and drawn two of their nine League games this year, scoring 19 goals and conceding seven. Four of those games have been away and all have been won. For over an hour on Saturday it seemed as if Villa were going to drop another home point (and gain promotion by winning away and drawing at home, a new variation) but the attacking gale never abated and it was all too much for Southampton. 


Ugly tackles

 

In the first half Southampton attempted to soften up Villa with a series of ugly, heavy tackles, ignored for the most part by the referee Harold Hackney, from Barnsley. But when they tried to play football they were far more successful. Peter Osgood, as always a mixture of devil and angel both for his own team mates and the opposition, began linking with Mick Channon and in the middle of the first half Villa were suddenly and embarrassingly exposed. But Jim Cumbes made a brave save to stop Gerry O'Brien and an acrobatic one to foil Channon and then Bobby Stokes completely missed his kick after Osgood and Channon had opened the Villa defence. It was brief retaliation. though.

 

After half time Villa marked Osgood and Channon tighter and Chico Hamilton discovered the left wing. His first cross produced a "goal" for Brian Little which was disallowed for a handball and his second a goal for Keith Leonard about which there was no doubt. It was Leonard's first League goal for five months and although his value to the side has steadily increased in that time it is still disconcerting for a centre forward to go so long without scoring. You could sense his relief when his firm header beat lan Turner, who had previously looked invincible. If that goal was good the second was dazzling. Bobby McDonald started it with a delicate chip from the left hand corner to Leonard who had moved to the junction of the six-yard area and byeline.

 

Control

 

Buoyant after his goal, Leonard shaped to turn inside, deftly went the other way and, with remarkable control for a man his size, whipped the ball into the goalmouth where Ray Graydon was waiting to score his inevitable, and 27th goal. The third came from a Charlie Aitken free kick volleyed into Southampton's net by their own full back Nick Holmes, who was booked with seconds to go for fetching down Graydon. Frank Carrodus, whose value becomes increasingly apparent as other players get more tired, looked as if he could have gone on running all afternoon and it was this superior fitness in all the Villa players that helped them win the way they did. 'Southampton arguably, had more skill but they were not welded together so strongly as Villa and they did not have the same hungry will to succeed. If Villa can go on playing with the same gusty enthusiasm they may well be champions.