Game | #3366 |

Season | 1974-75 |

Matchday | #42 |

League Match-week | #30 |

Manager Game | #42 |

Saturday, 22 February 1975

Football League | Division Two | Home | Manchester United | Villa Park | 39,156 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Won |

FT Score | 2-0 |

Last 5 Games | WDLWW |

Scorers | Ray Graydon | 4' | Charlie Aitken | 24' |

Line Up |

GK Jim Cumbes |

D Chris Nicholl |

D Ian Ross |

FB John Robson |

LB Charlie Aitken | GOAL | 24' |

LB Bobby McDonald |

M Leighton Phillips |

W Ray Graydon | GOAL | 4' | SUB OFF | 60' |

W Frank Carrodus |

F Keith Leonard |

F Brian Little |

Substitute |
FB Keith Masefield
DEBUT | for W Ray Graydon | 60' |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.27 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 32.84 |

Youngest Player | LB Bobby McDonald | 19.88 |

On this day 22 February 1975

Full back Keith Masefield made his Villa debut aged 17 as a substitute having joined from Warwickshire & District Schools on 1 October 1974.

Match Report

*Birmingham Daily Post*

*Monday 24 February 1975*

Saunders can keep smiling

By RANDALL NORTHAM

Aston Villa 2, Manchester United 0 

t was like a comedian evening school in the packed interview-room. with Ron Saunders jokingly telling Tommy Docherty to keep quiet. adding. " This is my room.”

“I thought so." Docherty replied " There's no drink in it " When the laughter subsided Docherty continued ”Well I've got to win something today even if it's only an argument " 

 

Indeed. the only other thing that United won all afternoon was the scarf twirling session between the supporters. Otherwise it was virtually no contest. Saunders may have lost the post match confrontation but in terms of preparing and motivating his team - the important aspects - he came out far ahead. The remarkable thing about the game was that it was not until the second half that Villa's players could be accused of thinking of next week's League Cup Final . 

 

In the first half Villa hit United with a fast and breathless rush and if it lacked a little in design, it made up for It in excitement The Villa roar was loud and proud. United were handicapped by the absence of their top two centre halves and the third choice Arnold Sidebottom was reduced, like the rest of his defence, to an anxious inadequacy by the strength and persistence of Keith Leonard. 

 

The Villa centre forward. who grows In confidence and authority with every game, set up Ray Graydon’s fourth minute goal - his first touch - and then Graydon's corner gave Charlie Aitken a headed goal twenty minutes later.  With Brian Little also sharp and dangerous Villa could have scored more than twice - Alex Stepney made one brilliant save from Leonard - but United lived on luck. 

 

Villa’s attacking urgency was helped by a solid defence, and a mobile stifling midfield. Frank Carrodus lived up to his manager's theory that he has five lungs, Leighton Phillip‘ went close twice while Bobbie McDonald once again looked impressive. The 19-year.old Scot, Docherty's last schoolboy find when he was Villa's manager is rapidly becoming a talisman for the team and crowd. Villa's present form began with his inclusion in an FA Cup third round tie at Oldham. eleven matches ago and Villa have since won eight and drawn two. 

 

The return of Chris Nlcholl after suspension suggested that Villa’s defence would not allow a two goal lead to slip away for a third successive match. while lan Ross. the captain. was tidy and influential beside him. 

 

Graydon off 

When Graydon went off after an hour with a slight groin injury he was replaced by Keith Masefseld, a 17-year old full-back, making his first League appearance. It weakened the attack but It did not affect Villa’s control. 

Villa's decision to ease off in the second half was understandable, but if they ran reproduce their first half form at Wembley it will be the best final for years. As far as the Second Division is concerned Villa will be promoted if they can sustain their present mood but United will have to quickly end their slump if they want to be champions. They are probably too far out in front not to go up but bigger leads than theirs have vanished.