Game | #3388|

Season | 1975-76 |

Matchday | #9 |

Manager Game | #64 |

Wednesday, 17 September 1975

UEFA Cup | 1st Round 1st Leg | Away | Royal Antwerp | Bosuilstadion | 20,000 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Lost |
FT Score | 1-4 |

Last 5 Games | WLWWL |

Scorers | Ray Graydon | 81' |

Line Up |

GK Jim Cumbes | FINAL |

LB Bobby McDonald |

RB John Gidman |

D Chris Nicholl |

D Ian Ross |

LB Charlie Aitken |

M Leighton Phillips |

M Chico Hamilton | SUB OFF | 81' |

W Frank Carrodus |

W Ray Graydon | GOAL | 81' |

F Sammy Morgan |

Substitute |
W Steve Hunt for M Chico Hamilton | 81' |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.02 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 33.39 |

Youngest Player | LB Bobby McDonald | 20.43 |

Unavailable |

F Brian Little |

CF Keith Leonard |

On this day 17 September 1975

Villa’s first ever European fixture ended in a disappointing defeat

Goalkeeper Jim Cumbes made his final appearance for Villa aged 31 before moving on to Portland Timbers in March 1976. Jim played for Villa between 1971-72 and 1975-76 making 183 appearances and conceding 173 goals at a rate of just 0.95 goals per game. Those figures made Jim the most successful ‘keeper to have ever kept goal for Villa of the 23 players who had made 25 or more appearances as goalkeeper for the club.

Pre Match

*Birmingham Daily Post"

*Tuesday 16 September 1975"

Leonard ruled out by injury


Aston Villa will definitely be without their promising young striker Keith Leonard for the UEFA Cup match against Royal Antwerp in Belgium tomorrow. Leonard, who injured his knee during Saturday's 2-0 win over Arsenal, saw a specialist immediately after the match but the injury has not responded to treatment. Leonard will travel with the 17-strong squad for the experience and manager Ron Saunders said yesterday: "This injury is bad luck both for Keith and the team. He has been playing well and has become an essential part of out plans." Sammy Morgan, Villa's Northern Ireland international, will probably lead the attack. There is still some doubt over the fitness of Brian Little, who has an ankle injury. The England player missed Saturday's match but he, too, will travel to Belgium in the hope that the injury will mend in time to Play. Villa's other injury worry was eased yesterday when Frank Carrodus, who has been troubled by a bruised shin, was able to train. 

Match Report

*Birmingham Daily Post"

*Thursday 18 September 1975"

Kodat hat-trick shatters Villa


Royal Antwerp 4, Aston Villa 1

The 1,500 Aston Villa fans who visited Antwerp by land, sea and air for Aston Villa's proud Euro-soccer launching in the first leg of the first round of the UEFA Cup were wondering at half time whether they could already say a fond farewell to thoughts of further foreign excursions. In an amazing 14-minute spell before the break the Belgian side beat an embarrassed and severely punished Jim Cumbes with four long shots, including a hat•trick in 11 minutes by Austrian Karl Kodat. Villa's only effective reply was an 81st minute goal by Ray Graydon, reducing the enormous task to a minimum of a 3-0 win in the second leg on the rule that away goals count double. In such sickening circumstances it said much for the spirits of the travelling Villa fans that they still gave the impression that the stadium contained a Holte End but they were surely cheering a lost cause. Yet despite their deficit Villa never played as though they would give up, dictating much of the second half and deserving rather more than they achieved. This depressing scoreline was caused partially by an unfortunate night for Cumbes. He would not deny that but it would be unfair and untrue to saddle him with sole responsibility.


Antwerp, beaten 4-0 by Lierse last Sunday, enjoyed the reverse experience as their long-range shooting was blessed with rare and, for Villa, cruel accuracy. The four-goal spell which began in the 28th minute gave a distorted reflection of the actual play which, until then, had been moving encouragingly Villa's way. The right-wing runs of John Gidman and the leaping menace of Sammy Morgan probed out Antwerp's apparent Achilles heel a weakness to high crosses.




These two had demonstrated their potential danger with attacks which caused the Antwerp defence to hurriedly block headers right on the goal-line. Antwerp were scarcely being given a glimpse of Villa's goal, apart from a full stretch save from Cumbes from Paul Lieben. Villa seemed to be building an impressive European debut yet by half time they were groping to recover from that unexpected and crushing four-goal storm. The two defenders to suffer most from Antwerp's stunning awakening were Cumbes and right back Charlie Aitken. There was a clue to the problems Aitken was to face from Lund Flemming when he was cautioned for a foul tackle on the darting blond haired danger man.




Aitken could scarcely cope with Flemming's dashes down the flank while Cumbes seemed unable to get himself in the right place at the right time. A 30-yards free kick which lifted over the defensive line and dipped under the bar, gave Jos Heylighen the opener. Then Austrian Kodat joined the action in devastating fashion. His first, from 20 yards, took a deflection and changed course to such a degree that it left Cumbes stranded.




Number two was created by Flemming, arriving at the feet of Kodat near the edge of the box from a poor Villa clearance. Then just before half-time he sent another long-range low shot skidding over the wet turf with the unhappy Villa goalkeeper literally floundering. Villa bravely persisted in attack in the second half, earning the reward of Graydon's goal with nine minutes to go. Taking a pass from Frank Carrodus along the right he cut in to beat Jean Trappeniers with a low cross-shot.