Bolton Wanderers


Aston Villa

Scorer(s) | Jack Devey

Assists(s) | Not recorded

Game #191

Division One

Pike's Lane

Attendance: 4,500

Saturday, 18 November 1893



Game #191

Season | 1893-94 |
Matchday | #16 |
League Match | #16 |
Manager Game | #166 |
Saturday, 18 November 1893


Manager | George Ramsay led Management Committee |
FT Score | 1-0 |
FT Result | Won |
Last 5 Games | WWLWW |


Starting XI Average Age
| 25.34 |

Oldest Player |
F Albert Brown | 31.88 |

Youngest Player |
W Steve Smith | 19.86 |


Len Benwell comes in for his goalkeeping debut in place of regular custodian Bill Dunning, Fred Burton (first appearance of the season) comes in for the match winner in the previous game, Jack Reynolds and Albert Brown (first game of the season) replaces Bill Randle.


Not recorded


Not recorded


"Last night, it was unanimously resolved that Dunning and Reynolds, having failed to keep the rules laid down for training, be suspended."



Screenshot 2021-07-13 at 00.17.05.png


GK Len Benwell |
D John Baird |
CB Jimmy Cowan |
FB Jimmy Welford |
M Fred Burton |
M Willie Groves |
W Steve Smith |
F Albert Brown |
F Jack Devey |
F Dennis Hodgetts |
F Charlie Hare |


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]
1’ Debut, Len Benwell
Goal, 1-0, Jack Devey
HT Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Aston Villa
FT Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Aston Villa


Goalkeeper Bill Dunning and midfielder Jack Reynolds were banned by the management committee for “fail[ing] to keep the rules laid down for training.”

Goalkeeper Len Benwell made his sole appearance for Villa aged 23 after joining from Worcester side Berwick Rangers.


Jack Devey, scored the only goal of the game, Saturday, 18 November 1893


*The Birmingham Daily Post*
Friday 17 November 1893

At a special meeting of the committee of the Aston Villa Football Club, last night, it was unanimously resolved that Dunning and Reynolds, having failed to keep the rules laid down for training, be suspended till the next meeting of the committee on November 20 when they will be called upon to explain their conduct.

This course will necessitate two additional changes in the Aston Villa team at Bolton to-morrow, the eleven selected to oppose the Wanderers being as follows . Goal, Benwell,; backs, Welford and Baird; half-backs, Groves, Cowan, and F. Burton; forwards, Albert Brown, Hare, J Devey, Hodgetts, and Smith. Athersmith and Woolley are still under the doctor’s care, and will be un-fit to play for another week at least.
*The Sporting Life*
Monday 20 November 1893


BOLTON WANDERERS V. ASTON VILLA. Played on Pikes-lane Ground, Bolton, before only a moderate attendance, and in a storm of wind and snow.

Both sides were strongly represented, though the Villa had Dunning off on account of the committee having suspended him.

The Villa got the wind in their favour in the first half. The homesters played well, and M‘Arthur and Wilson each came within an once of scoring, and once they claimed that Hughes had got through, but the referee, Mr. Fox. ruled against them. Sutcliffe saved brilliantly from Devey, the Villa centre, and Smith, and at the other end Welford played finely.

The Villa men went down in force again, and Groves giving his forwards a fine chance, Devey scored a fine goal, so that the Villa led at half-time one to nil.

In the second portion play was of a much more even nature, and the Boltonians when close in missed chance after chance, while the Villa lacked precision in shooting against the wind. Result Aston Villa. 1; Bolton Wanderers, 0.
*The Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday 20 November 1893

There has been a great deal of discussion upon the action of the Villa committee in suspending Reynolds and Dunning for their transgression of the rules laid down for training.

There were many who condemned the committee for adopting such a stringent course in the face of the trying fixture of Saturday and had the Villa lost the committee would probably have been roundly abused for imperilling the position of the club in the League list.

More thoughtful circles, however, fully upheld the committee’s decision whilst deploring its necessity.

Rules are laid down to be observed, and the enforcement of them by adequate penalties ought to be impartially carried out irrespective of results which may be contingent thereon.

If players will not of their own free will undergo the appointed training they must be made to. They are the servants of the clubs who employ them, and not their masters ; but some are apt to think otherwise.

Saturday afternoon will be long remembered by football players, and a few of a similar character would cause no end of confusion, in the fixture lists of clubs.

As it is six League matches- four in the first, and two in the second division- were abandoned on account of the weather, and remain over to some future date for settlement.

In the Midlands, where the storm raged with great fury, three first division matches were un-decided. At West Bromwich, where the Albion were to have met the North End, the weather was so boisterous that the referee ordered the abandonment of the fixture; whilst at Wolverhampton the Wanderers and Everton, after playing for three-quarters of an hour, decided not not to contest the second half.

At Sheffield, the Wednesday and Stoke played until twenty minutes from time, when the referee stopped the play on account of the blinding snowstorm - a rather unfortunate decision for the home team, who would in all probability have won easily.

Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers brought their fixture to an issue at Bolton, the Villa scoring a very useful victory by one goal to nil. This gives them a capital lead on the list, and the only team who appear likely to run them close for the championship are the Blackburn Rovers, who defeated Burnley at Ewood Park by 3 goals to 2.

Along with many other clubs, the Bolton Wanderers could number their spectators by hundreds only, despite the fact that the champions of the League, Aston Villa, made their appearance at Pike’s Lane.

Ordinarily there would have been a big crowd, but the hurricane-like weather put such a consummation out of the question. Right from the kick-off it was seen that the wind had the mastery of the ball.

The Villa very apparently tried to throw some science into their movements, but it was a useless effort. Jack Devey got his men going several times during the opening half, when the Midlanders had the advantage of the wind, and though Dennis Hodgetts backed him up best in his desires for combination there were several factors which mitigated against cohesion; first the wind, then the fact that there were reserve men in the team, and so on.

In the first half the Wanderers had rather the better of the Villa, who had the advantage of the wind.

Benwell, the visitors’ custodian, came through the ordeal with flying colours.

It was near the interval when Referee Fox gave the visitors a goal, despite loud protestations by the Wanderers.

Both sides got some capital shots in during the second half, and Sutcliffe and Benwell alike are to be congratulated on their form.

The home backs had more work taking all the match through, and their actions were more business-like. They passed the ball up the field to a nicety, but the great fault of the Wanderers’ forwards was their old one - bad shooting. Had they taken more opportunities the result would hare been different.

But the Villa deserve praise for their form, in the second half especially, and Burton in particular deserves a word for repeatedly tackling the opposing wing with success.