Game | #3346 |

Season | 1974-75 |

Matchday | #22 |

League Match-week | #17 |

Manager Game | #22 |

Saturday, 16 November 1974

Football League | Division Two | Away | Manchester United | Old Trafford | 55,625 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Lost |

FT Score | 1-2 |

Last 5 Games | WLLDL |

Scorers | Chico Hamilton | 12' |

Line Up |

GK Jim Cumbes |

D Ian Ross |

FB John Robson |

D Chris Nicholl |

LB Charlie Aitken |

M Jimmy Brown |

M Chico Hamilton | GOAL | 12' |

M Leighton Phillips |

W Frank Carrodus |

W Ray Graydon |

F Brian Little |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.14 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 32.57 |

Youngest Player | F Brian Little | 20.99 |  

Match Report

*Birmingham Daily Post*

*Monday 18 November 1974*

Despairing Villa lose initiative


Man. Utd....2  

Aston Villa....1

Two tragic moments brought despair, to unlucky Aston Villa after they had out-played the Second Division pace setters for most of this crucial game.

Villa, packed with skill and know-how in mid-field, had controlled the first half with their swiftly moving well organised football. They grabbed a deserved lead as early as the 12th minute when Chico Hamilton was on hand to swivel and glance home the ball after Charlie Aitken had nodded Leighton Phillips’s cross into his path.

Villa dominated the rest of the half. although Jimmy Cumbes was lucky to stop by Stuart Pearson before United’s ace marksman limped off the field in the 31st minute to be substituted by Brian Greenhoff.

Chris Nicholl, marking a memorable return to the Manchester area where he began his career, and Ian Ross never gave a lacklustre United attack a look in. 


Every time Hamilton or Frank Carrodus decided to run with the ball, United’s shuddering defence creaked and groaned, Alex Stepney and Arnie Sidebottom put up a worse defence than Capt. Mainwaring’s Dad’s Army.


However, Villa failed to add the first of those two heart to that lead - and then came breaks. Phillips with room and time in United’s penalty area to pick his sport, had only the nervous Stepney to beat but he slammed his left foot drive against a post.


It should have been a clinger, the goal to send United crashing to their first defeat at Old Trafford of the season. Because, even with their deep and magnificent resources surely they could not have lifted themselves to pull back two goals.

Villa, understandably, did not look too despondent about Phillips’ miss. Had they not out-smarted United, wrecked their defence, contained their goal happy attack? Yes, they had. And the mystery was what brought about the second half transformation with which United raised themselves and shattered Villa.

From the moment that tumultuous second half began, United roared on by their biggest crowd of the season - over 55,000 - pounded away at the Villa defence. Always at the heart of this was little Lou Macari who covered every inch of the ground as he spurred his colleagues onwards.

Within the first ten minutes following half time, Macari twice missed from good positions, the best being when he stormed past motionless defenders to head a centre wide.

Then came Villa’s second moment of misery, one which led to some after the match controversy, United’s Alex Forsyth, an eager and ready attacker, exposed Villa with a high curling centre that neither Nicholl or Cumbes could reach. John Robson tried to chest the ball down and away from an oncoming United forward but to his amazement referee Mr, Collin Seel pointed to the penalty spot. 

Daly his United’s equaliser with this seventh penalty conversion of the season and went on to score the winner later.


Afterwards Villa manager Ron Saunders said about the incident :”I thought the ball just hit him on the shoulder and it was never a penalty/“