Game | #3354 |

Season | 1974-75 |

Matchday | #30 |

League Match-week | #23 |

Manager Game | #30 |

Thursday, 26 December 1974

Football League | Division Two | Home | Bristol Rovers | Villa Park | 21,557 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Won |

FT Score | 1-0 |

Last 5 Games | WLWLW |

Scorers | Ray Graydon | 60' |

Line Up |

GK Jim Cumbes |

D Ian Ross |

FB John Robson |

D Chris Nicholl |

LB Charlie Aitken |

M Leighton Phillips |

M Chico Hamilton |

W Frank Carrodus | SUB OFF | 13' |

W Ray Graydon | GOAL | 60' |

F Brian Little |

F Bobby Campbell | FINAL |

Substitute |
M Jimmy Brown for W Frank Carrodus | 13' |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.99 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 32.68 |

Youngest Player | F Bobby Campbell | 18.30 |  

On this day 26 December 1974

Forward Bobby Campbell made his 12th and final appearance for Villa aged just 18 before moving on to Huddersfield Town in April 1975

Match Report

*Birmingham Daily Post*

*Monday 23 December 1974*

Gift goal brings a little cheer


Aston Villa 1, Bristol Rovers 0


It took a gift goal on the hour from Ray Graydon, playing against his old club, to bring Villa faltering further along on the fringe of the Second Division promotion zone. But a Villa Park holiday entertainments travesty provided little to show that Ron Saunders's men are worthy of a place in the First Division. Indeed, the goal apart, the biggest cheers were reserved for a bugler in the crowd who sounded an impromptu cavalry charge. The Last Poet would have been much more fitting, particularly after one of the worst first halves I have seen all season.


Both sides seemed to be suffering a Christmas Day hangover or perhaps Villa were still upset about Saturday's defeat at The Hawthorns. So, it was Graydon to the rescue. Not only scoring the goal but by setting an example in the second half which saw Villa show a little more pace and determination to earn their two points. All the more remarkable, then, that he had spent a sombre Christmas in bed, suffering from a heavy cold. And, if Villa's overall form was not shabby enough, they suffered the added nuisance of losing Frank Carrodus because of an injury to his knee ligaments after only seven minutes.


The game might have been different if Villa had been awarded the penalty Graydon claimed as Phil Bater sent him flying after only two minutes. But referee, Jim Rice waved play on and, as the half progressed, it became obvious that had Villa been awarded a penalty they might have missed it. It was one of those games when even Jim Cumbes seemed to have left his kicking boots at home and the temper of the disappointing 21,556 crowd was not improved by some touchline punts from "scrum-half" Chico Hamilton or some badly misplaced passes from Jimmy Brown, who replaced Carrodus.


The slippery turf hampered forwards more than defenders and it was symbolic that, when Villa did launch a few moves of any worth, Chris Nicholl, with a header, was first to trouble Rovers. His attempt sailed wide but Bobby Campbell, Villa's least ineffective striker, forced Jim Eadie to a good reflex save on the goalline after some rare hesitancy in the Bristol defence. The biggest ovation was given to the anonymous bugler, though no doubt It was the half-time words of manager Saunders which stirred Villa to a more lively start to the second half and ultimately Graydon's 18th goal of the season.


Campbell had earlier wasted a fine cross from John Robson but Graydon found it all too easy when Rovers's defence allowed a terrible back pass from their captain, Stuart Taylor, to skid across beyond goalkeeper Eadie. Villa might have had another after 76 minutes but Brown's flick after Robson's cross was much too oblique and Villa could have regretted their forward failings when Dave Staniforth struck Cumbes's bar with a volley four minutes from time. Fortunately, the ball bounced into the crowd and Villa were safe with two most unsatisfactory points.