Game | #3420 |

Season | 1975-76 |

Matchday | #41 |

League Match-week | #35 |

Manager Game | #96 |

Saturday, 20 March 1976

Football League | Division One | Away | Leicester City | Filbert Street | 24,663 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Drew |
FT Score | 2-2 |
Last 5 Games | DDDLD |

Scorers | Chris Nicholl | 1 |  86' |

Line Up |

GK John Burridge |

D Chris Nicholl | GOAL | GOAL | 86' |

FB John Robson |

RB John Gidman |

D Ian Ross |

M Dennis Mortimer |

M Chico Hamilton |

W Ray Graydon |

W Frank Carrodus |

F Brian Little  |

CF Andy Gray |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.31 | 

Oldest Player | D Chris Nicholl | 29.46 |

Youngest Player | CF Andy Gray | 20.32 |

Unavailable |

CF Keith Leonard |

F John Deehan |


On this day 20 March 1976

Villa defender Chris Nicholl scores all four goals in the game, 2 for each side, including 2 own goals.



Pre Match


*Friday 19 March 1976*
*Birmingham Daily Post*


Villa seem certain to bring back Hamilton 

Chico Hamilton. dropped five games ago. seems certain to return against Leicester tomorrow as Aston Villa continue to seek their first away victory of the season, writes RANDALL NORTHAM. I believe Villa manager Ron Saunders will return to a two wingers system in an attempt to repair the damage done by last Saturday's 5-2 defeat by Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

“That was one of the worst matches I've ever been associated with," Saunders said yesterday. "Everybody praised it but it was terrible defensively. We gave them their five goals."

 Saunders is unlikely to make defensive changes because he lacks experienced defenders. The only possibility la a return for veteran full back Charlie Aitken. 

The lack of experience was highlighted yesterday by the reserve side that beat Everton 2-0 at Villa Park. The oldest players in the Villa side were Jake Findlay and Bobby McDonald and the average age was only 18. McDonald and Steve Hunt scored Villa's goals. The game gave England Youth striker John Deehan a chance to come back after injury but although he came through the game he will not play against Leicester. 

Match Report


*Monday 22 March 1976*
*Birmingham Daily Post*


Nicholl four deny Villa 

Leicester City 2, Aston Villa 2

Chris Nicholl would do it all over again in similar circumstances and not just to see his name in the record books. 

Nicholl, scorer of all four goals in Aston Villa's 2-2 draw at Leicester on Saturday, has to look back 33 years to find the last time the same thing happened in English football.

Twice he put Leicester ahead, twice he equalised the second time just four minutes from the whistle and from the way he spoke afterwards it seems we may not have to wait another 33 years for it to happen again. "If the worst comes to the worst. I'll do the same next week," he said. "When the ball comes into the six yard box you have to go for it. Only on very rare occasions would I deliberately leave alone a ball that was that close to goal. I might not always reach it but at least I’ve got to try." 

Nicholl thought his third goal was the best "no goalkeeper would have stopped that. It was a cracker" and his fourth the most satisfying—"l was relieved when that one went In" and his achievement must cast doubts on the merits of both sides as attacking forces. 

The draw, welcome though it was, means that Villa have managed only one win in their last 12 matches and the eight points collected from those 24 at stake is more like relegation form than anything else. There is little wrong with their approach. Their willingness to move forward at Filbert Street was a refreshing reminder of what football is all about but when the goals did not come they teetered on the brink of capitulation for long periods and without the constant harassing of Nicholl and lan Ross could easily have surrendered. 

They did, in fact, relinquish the midfield almost without a struggle which meant that Andy Gray saw little of the ball while Brian Little and Frank Carrodus, after a bright opening, quickly faded. A game that promised much rarely delivered and because of Nicholl it turned into an almost unreal exercise.