Game #168


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FA Cup 1st Round


Attendance: 6,000

Saturday, 21 January 1893

Villa suffered their earliest ever exit from the FA Cup. Having gone two down after just two minutes they fought back to lead 3-2 thanks to a Jimmy Cowan goal only for the effervescent Darwen to hit them and take the tie.



Aston Villa

Scorer(s) | Charlie Athersmith | Jimmy Cowan | Jack Devey | James Brown |

Assists(s) | Not recorded


Game #168

Season | 1892-93 |
Matchday | #24 |
Manager Game | #142 |
Saturday, 21 January 1893


Manager | George Ramsay led Management Committee |
FT Score | 4-5 |
FT Result | Lost |
Last 5 Games | DWWLL |





🟨 | Booking
🟥 | Sending off
💥+ | Incidents e.g. penalty awarded

💥- | Incidents e.g. penalty conceded, goal disallowed

💥 | Incidents e.g. refused clear pen

🆘 | Notably poor refereeing performance    


Starting XI Average Age
| 26.17 |

Oldest Player |
F Albert Brown | 31.06 |

Youngest Player |
W Charlie Athersmith | 20.72 |


Villa make three changes from the side hammered by Sunderland in the previous game with Jimmy Cowan, Albert Brown and Arthur Stokes coming in for Harry Devey, Walter Evans and William Devey.


Not recorded


Not recorded


George Ramsay led Management Committee



GK Bill Dunning |
CB Jimmy Cowan |
D Gershom Cox |
FB Arthur Stokes |
M James Brown |
M Peter Dowds |
W Charlie Athersmith |
F Dennis Hodgetts |
F Albert Brown |
F Jack Devey |
CF Jimmy Logan |


No Substitutions permitted in period


No Substitutions permitted in period


ex: Also played for the Villa

g: Scored

s/o: Sent off

s-: Sub off; s+: Sub on


Villa suffered their earliest ever exit from the FA Cup, going 2 down in 2 minutes they fought back to lead 4-3 only for the effervescent Darwen to hit them and take the tie.

Full back Arthur Stokes made his final appearance for Villa before retiring from football.

Midfielder James Brown made his final appearance aged 24 for Villa before moving on to Leicester Fosse.

Jimmy Cowan, put Villa 3-2 ahead, Saturday, 21 January 1893

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[Exact timings not recorded]
1’ Goal, 0-1, (Darwen)
2’ Goal, 0-2, (Darwen)
Goal, 0-3, (Darwen)
Goal, 1-3, Charlie Athersmith
HT Darwen 3-1 Aston Villa
Goal, 2-3, Jimmy Cowan
Goal, 3-3, Jack Devey, Assist by Charlie Athersmith
Goal, 4-3, James Brown
Goal, 4-4, (Darwen)
Goal, 4-5, (Darwen)
FT Darwen 5-4 Aston Villa



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*The Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday, 23 January 1893



Played at Darwen. The ground had been carefully prepared, and was in capital condition, although the turf was a trifle soft to the middle of the field. The Darwen captain beat Cowan in the spin of the coin, and Logan set the ball in motion against the wind. Soon pressing the home side won a corner, and from this they put the ball through within the first half minute, thus providing a most sensational start for the game.

The ball came to Entwistle, who cleverly got it out of the reach of Dunning. In less then a minute after the first point had been scored Sutherland headed through from a pass by Wade, thus scoring the second goal for the Lancastrians.

After Kenyon had saved a good shot from Logan, the home forwards came to the attack again and a corner fell to them, but the Villa backs got this away. Hodgetts missed a grand chance of scoring, and then Darwen attacked again, but Dowds on this occasion saved splendidly Cox put an end to a clever run by Sutherland and Entwistle, and then a centre by Hodgetts resulted in the ball going across the Darwen lines.

The Villa, however, never seemed to fully recover from their disastrous start, and on the whole the home side had much the better of the exchanges. On one occasion Dunning, in running out to save, lost the ball, and only by a wretched shot did Sutherland miss scoring a third point for his side.

On another occasion Wade, when in a capital position for scoring, infringed the role relative to offside, and the ball was ordered back.

After the Villa had pressed a short time Wade got a splendid centre, and nothing but an exceedingly clever save by Dunning kept the Villa goal intact. The Darwen men were always on the ball, and had not the Villa defence been good the Darwen score must have been augmented.

Still the Villa frequently got into their opponents' goal, but Leach and Orr stuck sturdily to their work. Wade and Campbell repeatedly beat Dowds, but at this point a foul against one of the Darwen forwards gave the visitors some much-needed relief.

Campbell, however, returned to the attack, but his centre went behind the goal line. A free kick enabled the home side to once more trouble the Villa defenders but Cox cleared finely, and the game now became more open. But still the home forwards continued to have a great deal the better of the play, and after Dunning had saved a shot from McKennie, Campbell got a pretty pass to Entwistle, and that player scored a really fine goal, the ball going through the corner of the goal, and giving the Villa custodian absolutely no chance.

For a time the game was now played near the middle of the field. Half-time was drawing near, and the Villa strove very hard to place a goal to their credit, but the defence of the home team was really excellent. In fact, Kenyon and the backs were never in distress, How- ever, after a fine run by John Devey, Athersmith scored a, beautiful goal for his side, and then the interval came, with the score Darwen 3 goals, Villa 1 goal.

The Villa now had the wind in their favour, and their supporters were rather hopeful that they would make a better fight; but no sooner was the ball set in motion than Wade and Campbell made a splendid run, and, from an accurate centre by the former, a fierce scrimmage took place in the mouth of ties Villa goal. The ball was got away to the other end, where Albert Brown put in a fine centre, but the ball was sent over the line.

Then Wade raced away to the opposite end, and, centring in grand style, a fierce struggle ensued in front of the Villa goal, but Dunning got the ball away. From another centre by Wade, Dunning affected a really fine save, and the slightest stroke of luck would have given the Northerners a fourth goal.

The Villa were now coming on aggressively, and, from a good run by the visiting forwards, the ball came to Cowan, who, with a clever shot, put the ball past Kenyon, and scored the second goal for the Villa.

The game now became intensely exciting, more particularly as the Villa gave signs of lasting longer than their rivals. The excitement reached a culminating point when Devey forced his way through the Darwen backs, and got the ball nicely to Athersmith. The latter centred well, and Devey met the ball so well that he had no difficulty in placing the scores on an equality.

The cheers which greeted this had scarcely subsided when J. Brown shot a fourth goal and placed the Villa one in front.

The excitement now beggared description, more especially when Dunning saved in an almost impossible position. The Villa were now going grandly, and their passing was such as to give their foes the greatest possible anxiety. Aided by a free kick, the visitors came to the attack in grand style, and the game went on at a tremendous pace, but the Villa defence was now very sure. However, a free kick right in the mouth of the goal fell to Darwen, and from this they drew level, amid a perfect babel of applause ; while when Entwistle broke clear away and scored a really magnificent goal for his side, the enthusiasm was unbounded.

This gave Darwen the lead again, and desperately hard they tried to retain it. A fine run and shot by Entwistle caused the Villa a deal of anxiety. Clever forward play by the Villa led to the ball being sent flying across the mouth of the Darwen goal, but nothing cane of this attack, and half a minute later the Darwen men were swarming round the Villa goal.

Little short of a miraculous save by Dunning prevented yet another goal to Darwen, but then Athersmith raced off and was successful in gaining a corner. This was well placed and equally well got away, and then Darwen had the hardest of hard lines in not getting another goal. A corner to the Villa followed, and Devey came very near scoring but once more the home forwards went off at express speed, and McKennie had a splendid chance, which he just failed to avail himself of. The Darwen forwards, however, were busily engaged in bombarding the Villa goal when time was called, with the score-Darwen, 5 goals; Villa, 4.

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