Aston Villa



Scorer(s) | James Brown, Dennis Hodgetts, Billy Dickson, Jack Devey, Charlie Athersmith

Assists(s) | Not recorded

Game #117

Football League

Wellington Road, Perry Barr

Attendance: 6,000

Monday, 28 September 1891



Game #117

Season | 1891-92 |
Matchday | #4 |
League Match | #4 |
Manager Game | #91 |
Monday, 28 September 1891


Manager | George Ramsay led Management Committee |
FT Score | 5-3 |
FT Result | Won |
Last 5 Games | WWWWW |


Starting XI Average Age
| 24.09 |

Oldest Player |
D Gershom Cox | 28.60 |

Youngest Player |
W Charlie Athersmith | 19.40 |


Villa named an unchanged line up for the fourth successive game having won the three opening games of the season.


Not recorded


Not recorded


"Having the advantage of the wind and sun the Villa eleven completely overplayed the visitors, and scored four goals as against one made by Sunderland."



Screenshot 2021-07-13 at 00.17.05.png


GK Jimmy Warner |
D Gershom Cox |
CB Jimmy Cowan |
FB Walter Evans |
M James Brown |
M George Campbell |
W Charlie Athersmith |
F Percy Hislop |
F Jack Devey |
F Dennis Hodgetts |
CF Billy Dickson |


ex: Also played for the Villa

g: Scored

s/o: Sent off

s-: Sub off; s+: Sub on


No Substitutions permitted in period


No Substitutions permitted in period


[Exact timings not recorded]
5’ Goal, 1-0, James Brown
10’ Goal, 2-0, Dennis Hodgetts, Assist by Jack Devey
23’ Goal, 3-0, Billy Dickson
Goal, 4-0, Jack Devey
Goal, 4-1, (Sunderland)
HT Aston Villa 4-1 Sunderland
Goal, 5-1, Charlie Athersmith
Goal, 5-2, (Sunderland)
FT Aston Villa 5-1 Sunderland


Villa had now won the first four games of their League campaign - their best ever start.


Jack Devey, "who never played so well before.", Monday, 28 September 1891


*The Birmingham Daily Post*
Tuesday 29 September 1891



Aston Villa played their fourth match in the League contest against Sunderland at Perry Barr.

The famous North of England team are exceedingly popular with Birmingham people. and as the weather favoured the match there was a large attendance, fully 8.000 persons being present when the game commenced.

The Sunderland club was fully represented, and the Villa eleven was identical with that which has performed so brilliantly this season, and once more justified its selection by gaining another victory.

The game, however, was not easily won, as although Villa gained a lead of 3goals in the first half the visitors ware never disheartened, and played strongly until the finish. It was in the first half that the Villa players were seen at their best. The forwards dribbled and passed with beautiful precision, and their play frequently reminded one of the North End in their best days. Having the advantage of the wind and sun the Villa eleven completely overplayed the visitors, and scored four goals as against one made by Sunderland.

If anyone deserves praise more than another it is Devey, who never played so well before.

The Sunderland forwards frequently did some pretty work; but they found the Villa half - backs too powerful for them, and they rarely became dangerous.

In the second half, however, it was different. Sunderland had now the advantages possessed previously by the Villa, and played with greater determination than before. Their forwards were frequently applauded for their splendid football, and there is no doubt that they deserved all the applause. They could only break through the defence twice, however, and the Villa scored again so that a close and interesting game was won by 5 goals to 3.

By their victory the Villa once more take first position in the League list.

The Villa captain was very fortunate in winning the toss, inasmuch as he was able to place his team with their backs to the wind and the sun.

Campbell started the game, and the Villa forwards commenced in a most aggressive fashion. The first five minutes' play was entirely confined to the Sunderland's half of the field, and at the finish J. Brown scored first' goal, amidst tremendous cheering.

The -shot was a magnificent one, and the goalkeeper had not the slightest possible chance to stop the ball.

From the mid-field kick the home team once more pressed, and Brown tried to repeat his performance, but Doig twisted the ball round the post.

Hodgetts took the corner kick badly, the ball passing over the bar.

For the first time the Sunderland forwards now became really dangerous, but Cowan diverted the attack at the expense of a corner-kick, which Sunderland were not able to turn to any advantage.

A second run by the Sunderland forwards was brought up by the fine half- back play of the Villa, and then the home. team made another assault.

The forwards passed superbly, and Devey in particular dribbled magnificently. Passing three of his opponents, he gave the ball to Athersmith, who centred it. Back it came to Devey, and he shot. The ball, however, only passed across the front of goal, but Hodgetts just got up in time, and scored the second goal about ten minutes from the start.

Helped, no doubts by the wind, the home team played irresistibly, and Doig had a great many shots to stop. One sent in by Athersmith was a really fine screw-kick, and all but took the goal- keeper by surprise. The pressure was maintained, and at length, as everyone foresaw, the Villa scored again, Dickson directing in a shot which Doig handled but dropped. This occurred twenty-three minutes from the commencement, and during the next few minutes the Sunderland forwards visited the Villa's end.

Campbell secured an opening, and was going at a great pace towards goal when he was tripped up by Evans. The referee allowed a free kick, but the ball was kicked out 'of danger, and once more the tide of battle rolled towards the Sunderland goal.

The dribbling of Devey was perfect, and his shooting was equally good. To a fine piece of play by him the fourth goal was due. He had taken the ball down and passed it to the right wing. It was returned to him, and came awkwardly to his right foot. He never hesitated, however, but turned promptly. screwed the ball in with his left, and cheers announced that the Villa had again scored.

A moment later Devey tried again, but this time Doig stopped the shot.

At length Scott and Hannah relieved the pressure, and took the ball into the left-hand corner of the field. Scott shot, but Warner punched the ball away. It came out, however, to Campbell, and he easily beat Warner with a high shot. The crowd fully appreciated the grand play which bad led up to the score.

The interval was drawing near, but before the referee blew his whistle the Villa made an effort to add another goal to their already large score, and were only prevented from doing so by the hardest of luck.

Dickson shot the ball in, and it twisted off Doig's hand, so that it seemed as though nothing could save the goal. Just as the spectators were about to cheer, however. the ball struck the post and came back into play again. It was kicked away and the chance was lost.

Nothing further was done before half-time, when the score was: Aston Villa 4, Sunderland 1.

The Sunderland players, commenced in a very vigorous fashion, and Cox, missing a kick, let Campbell in, but his shot went just too high.

A second attack caused the Villa supporters some anxious moments; but Cowan cleverly removed the ball out of danger, and then Hislop and Devey made a fine run.

The former appeared likely to score, but was knocked off the ball just at the last moment, and Sunderland again travelled towards the Villa goal.

The ball was sent outside, and from Warner's kick Devey, Hislop, and Hodgetts made a pretty combined run. Hodgetts's shot was, however. put outside by Doig, and Sunderland again visited the bottom end.

Their efforts met with no success, and once again the same trio of forwards ran up the field. Doig stopped a shot from Hodgetts, but the ball came to Hislop, who screwed it across the goal- mouth, and Athersmith put on the fifth goal. This last success was undoubtedly due to really fine combined play, and the Villa have never been seen to greater advantage, alike in the front -and the back divisions.

Although so far behind, the visitors never lost heart, and played in a dogged and determined fashion, which showed the Villa that they could not afford to relax their efforts in the slightest degree.

From a throw-in the ball came to Hannah and Scott, but both missed an easy chance, and another such did not come and is, in fact, rarely seen in any game.

Although they missed this opportunity, however, the Sunderland forwards did not let another which happened a few minutes later slip by in a similar fashion, for Campbell seized upon it and skilfully scored a second goal for the visitors.

Not content with this success, they attacked again, and made the pressure so severe that the spectators did not relish it, and raised encouraging cries of "Play up' Villa."

To these the Villa forwards responded, and soon Doig had cause for anxiety but he preserved his charge from further downfall, and then the Sunderland string of forwards made another pretty run, but were checked just in time by Cowan.

After some equal and interesting play, Cowan fouled the ball near goal, and from the free kick awarded by the referee Wilson obtained a third for the visitors.

From this point up to the finish the game was most exciting but nothing further was scored, and the Villa won the match by 5 goals to 3.