Game | #3341 |

Season | 1974-75 |

Matchday | #17 |

League Match-week | #13 |

Manager Game | #17 |

Saturday, 19 October 1974

Football League | Division Two | Away | Sunderland | Roker Park | 33,232 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Drew |

FT Score | 0-0 |

Last 5 Games | WDWWD |

Line Up |

GK Jim Cumbes |

CD Neil Rioch |

LB Charlie Aitken |

D Ian Ross |

D Chris Nicholl |

FB John Robson |

W Ray Graydon |

M Chico Hamilton |

F Sammy Morgan |

M Leighton Phillips |

W Frank Carrodus |

Unused Substitute |

F Brian Little |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.42 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 32.49 |

Youngest Player | RB John Gidman | 20.79 |  

Match Report

*Birmingham Daily Post*

*Monday 21 October 1974*

Villa make their point 


Sunderland 0, Aston Villa 0 

No-one on either side could dispute that it was a good point for Villa. And if Sunderland went to Villa Park and produced a similar hard-working performance and gained a similar reward there would be praise for them too.


This is the classic route to promotion - a point away two at home. It does not, as Ron Saunders admitted, make for entertainment. But that is up to the home side, he added. His attitude is shared by many other managers, but if it persists there will be only two promotion places to fight for In the Second Division because Manchester United are trying, and often succeeding. to win away. 


It is a problem which Saunders, Bob Stokoe, Don Howe and John Bond must mull over - Tommy Docherty'a typical boldness has given him the upper hand and United are four points clear. While Sunderland and Villa were engaged in their dog fight at Roker Park. United were winning at Blackpool and though Blackpool are only In mid-table two points on Saturday could have put them as high as sixth place. 


Still it was a good performance by Villa. Faced with Sunderland's second highest crowd of the season and a referee who seemed to have double standards they battled throughout, with Chris Nicholl and Jim Cumbes outstanding. Nicholl compared favourably with Sunderland's Dave Watson. the England centre-half. He beat Vic Halom continually in the air and the centre forward, once a team mate of Nicholl's at Luton, had to resort to dubious tactics to win even a small share of the ball. In fact. Saunders insisted afterwards that Nichol! could be the best centre half in the Second Division and as that Division contains both the England and Scotland centre-halves, this is high praise, even allowing for natural bias. 


Stokoe would not separate Nicholl or Cumbes, arguing that without the Villa goalkeeper's contribution his team would have won, although Nicholl and his fellow defenders stopped them being as creative as usual. In the first half Cumbes made two brilliant saves from Billy Hughes. the second a reflex close range atop which almost defied belief. In the second Cumbes had fewer direct shots to save, but distinguished himself with his catching of high crosses. There was little threat from Villa's forwards although Leighton Phillips and Sammy Morgan both went close - two points would have been too flattering.