Game | #3378 |

Season | 1974-75 |

Matchday | #54 |

League Match-week | #41 |

Manager Game | #54 |

Saturday, 26 April 1975

Football League | Division Two | Home | Sunderland | Villa Park | 57,266 |

Game Summary |

Manager | Ron Saunders |

FT Result | Won |

FT Score | 2-0 |

Last 5 Games | WWWWW |

Scorers | Ian Ross | 78' (pen) | Brian Little | 84' |

Line Up |

GK Jim Cumbes |

D Chris Nicholl |

D Ian Ross | GOAL | 78' |

FB John Robson |

LB Bobby McDonald |

LB Charlie Aitken |

M Leighton Phillips |

W Steve Hunt | SUB OFF | 59' |

W Frank Carrodus |

F Keith Leonard |

F Brian Little | GOAL | 84' |

Substitute |
RB John Gidman for W Steve Hunt | 59' |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.62 | 

Oldest Player | LB Charlie Aitken | 33.01 |

Youngest Player | W Steve Hunt | 18.74 |

Match Report

*Birmingham Daily Post*

*Monday 28 April 1975*

Gidman puts sparkle back into jaded Villa and . . . 

Sunderland miss the boat again 


Aston Villa 2, Sunderland 0

The natural sympathy one felt for Bob Stokoe, was tempered by the fact that if Sunderland could not beat Aston Villa on Saturday they did not deserve to be promoted. Because while Sunderland had to win to stand a chance of being promoted, Villa were suffering from the effects of winning promotion on Wednesday night, effects both psychological and physical. There was bound to be a reaction as there was at Derby as well—and it should have favoured Sunderland. I do not doubt that had the Villa players a choice as to who should accompany them and Manchester United into the First Division, it would have been Sunderland. But the North Easterners, in the top two or three for so long, could not overcome the tension; their anxiety was always evident.


No one can blame Villa for slipping from the standards they have set themselves this year - although a colleague who has not seen them since early in the season still thought they had improved beyond measure - and they did not begin to play until John Gidman came on in the 60th minute. He was brought on to give the team width and it was his first appearance in the side since he suffered a serious eye injury on November 5. But immediately Gidman was all pace, enthusiasm and personality. He had something to prove to the crowd, which was 700 short of capacity, and to the manager, Ron Saunders. It is an indication of the way Villa have been playing this year - 30 points out of 34 - that Gidman has been unable to win his place back.




But the way he played in the last 30 minutes as a right winger, a role not far removed from the way he used to play as a full back, means he must surely be a part of the team in the First Division. If not as a full back, then a midfield player. Les Cocker, the assistant to Don Revie, was at the match and he must have been impressed with Gidman's half hour. Cocker, too, must have enjoyed Brian Little's goal, which settled the scoreline. In the 78th minute Moncur brought down the 21-year-old, who was born only a few miles from Sunderland, and lan Ross converted his second penalty in successive games.


Then, in the 84th minute, Little ran onto a pass from Bobby McDonald and from an angle on the left curved a right foot shot around Jim Montgomery. Cocker must have marked that down and Little has to be worth an Under-23 place at least, although he missed two easier chances. The skill of Little and Gidman plus the solid experience of players like Ross, John Robson and the supporters' player of the year, Chirs Nicholl, augurs well for Villa next season. But the main reason I think they will do well in the First Division is the method that Saunders has instilled into the team and the way he has motivated the players. With two exceptions they are the same players who were there last season the difference lies in the way they have been influenced.


Aston Villa: Cumbes: Robson, Aitken, Ross, Nicholl, Phillips, McDonald, Little, Leonard, Hunt, Carrodus. Sub: Gidman (for Hunt, 59 mins). Sunderland: Montgomery: Malone, Guthrie, Moncur, Watson. Bolton, Kerr, Hughes, Belfitt, Robson, Towers. Sub: Longhorn (for Guthrie. 62 mins). 

Attendance: 57.266