Game | #3415 |

Season | 1975-76 |

Matchday | #36 |

League Match-week | #30 |

Manager Game | #91 |

Saturday, 21 February 1976

Football League | Division One | Home | Manchester United | Villa Park | 50,094 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Won |
FT Score | 2-1 |

Last 5 Games | DLLLW |

Scorers | Bobby McDonald | 1 | Andy Gray | 1 |

Line Up |

GK John Burridge |

LB Bobby McDonald | GOAL |

D Chris Nicholl |

FB John Robson |

RB John Gidman |

D Ian Ross |

M Leighton Phillips |

W Ray Graydon |

W Frank Carrodus |

F Brian Little  |

CF Andy Gray | GOAL |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.06 | 

Oldest Player | D Chris Nicholl | 29.38 |

Youngest Player | CF Andy Gray | 20.24 |

Unavailable |

CF Keith Leonard |
M Dennis Mortimer |
F John Deehan |

On this day 21 February 1976

Villa won for the first time in 9 games

Match Report


*Monday 23 February 1976*
*Birmingham Daily Post*

Little means a lot to Villa 

An over-eager linesman stopped Brian Little from celebrating his comeback with a goal but Aston Villa's England forward had many other compensations. It was no coincidence that he returned to the team after four months recovering from a cartilage operation on the day Villa won their first match of the year. The 2-1 victory over Manchester United contained many good things but the best was Little. As well as his goal - disallowed for offside unfairly I thought - he forced Alex Stepney into a good save and helped create the winning goal. 

He also began to play, especially in the second half, as he did last season when he won his one England cap. In fact, I thought he played better on Saturday than he did in the first months of this season before he damaged his knee. 

“I enjoyed it more.' he said. “I’d got my old enthusiasm back. I was playing in blinkers and the game was going on a bit fast around me. But that will improve in a couple of games and I did not feel the knee at all.” 

Villa's manager. Ron Saunders. thought Little made all the difference to his team, and there were signs that the partnership with Andy Gray, cut short after only four matches, can grow into a punishing and highly relevant association. They were together at the far post for John Gidman's cross for the winner. Little won it and Gray swept it past Stepney. Gidman had been involved in the first goal as well, his free kick deceiving Stepney and being headed in by Bobby McDonald. 

In between, Lou Macan equalised for United and it was his removal from the field after an hour with a groin strain which made the crucial difference. Without him United were by no means as aggressive in midfield and Villa would have won the game by two more goals but for Stepney. It was a return to early season form for Villa. They matched United for effort  - no mean feat - and their football was more positive and exciting.

Post Match


*Monday 23 February 1976*
*Birmingham Daily Post*

A day of terror for Yew Tree Road


Mrs. Eileen Hanes looks out through her front window, smashed by Manchester United supporters as they rampaged down Yew Tree Road, Aston. after Saturday's match at Villa Park.


Aston Villa will be asked at a public meeting on Wednesday to hire a security firm for home matches to prevent football hooligans "terrorising" residents. After Saturday's match. hundreds of Manchester United supporters rampaged through streets near the ground after their team's 2-1 defeat, shattering the windows in 45 homes and wrecking parked cars.




Coun. Bill Hughes, a Liberal member of the city council who is Inviting club officials and the police to meet residents at a meeting on Wednesday said last night: "This was the coup de grace. - Saturday's episode really was disgraceful. I was absolutely staggered by the amount of damage done. We are taking legal advice and I feel that the club should have an insurance policy to cover the damage done to residents' home by the people attending their matches.

`Like madmen'


"We also want to see the club hiring a security firm, preferably with dogs, to end this violence." Residents in Yew Tree Road, where the terraced houses front the pavement, had to bear the brunt of the vandalism after the 50,000 crowd poured out of Villa Park. Mr. William Alcorn, aged 66, said yesterday: "The United supporters were shouting and screaming like madmen. There were so many of them the police could do nothing. They were picking up everything they could see and throwing it at the windows."


Mr. Skip Batchelor who has his own glazier's business, was busy yesterday replacing the windows in six of his neighbours' homes. "I'm rather upset when I get my business this way. Occasionally a window gets broken but I have never seen anything like this." he said. The Aston Villa Secretary. Mr. Alan Bennett, said yesterday: "We had 140 stewards on duty and our police bill will run into four figures for the match.




'There w•as no trouble inside the ground but once they get outside the ground we cannot control them. Obviously we deplore what has happened but what can we do.'


Twenty - six supporters charged with disorderly conduct will appear in court in Birmingham this week.