Game #2486

1956-57

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Position:

Final

FA Cup Final

Manchester United

Wembley Stadium

Attendance: 99,225

Saturday, 4 May 1957

Aston Villa

2-1

Manchester United

Scorer(s) | Peter McParland | 68' | 73' |

Assist(s) | Johnny Dixon | 68' |

AT A GLANCE

Game #2486

Season | 1956-57 |
Matchday | #51 |
Manager Game | #184 |
Saturday, 4 May 1957

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager | Eric Houghton |
Referee | Frank Coultas, Hull |
Captain | Johnny Dixon |
HT Score | 0-0 |
FT Result | Won |
FT Score | 2-1 |
Last 5 Games | WWLLW |

MATCH OFFICIALS

Frank Coultas

MATCH INCIDENTS

Frank Coultas

Villa

Manchester United

🟨 | 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    

TEAM STATS

Not recorded

TEAM NEWS

Stan Crowther and Peter McParland replace Trevor Birch and Derek Pace.

UNAVAILABLE

Not recorded

MATCH STATS

Not recorded

MANAGER

Eric Houghton

STAFF

STARTING LINE UP

GK Nigel Sims |
FB Peter Aldis |
FB Stan Lynn |
CB Jimmy Dugdale |
M Stan Crowther |
M Pat Saward |
W Les Smith |
F Billy Myerscough |
F Peter McParland |
F Jackie Sewell |
F Johnny Dixon |

SUBSTITUTES

No Substitutions permitted in period

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

No Substitutions permitted in period

THE OPPOSITION

Wood, Foulkes, Byrne, Whelan, Edwards, Colman, Charlton, Blanchflower, Berry, Taylor (g), Pegg.

Manager: Matt Busby.

ex: Also played for the Villa

g: Scored

s/o: Sent off

s-: Sub off; s+: Sub on

ON THIS DAY

Eric Houghton’s Villa lined up for their record ninth FA Cup Final packed with illustrious players yet it was Manchester United who were feted as the likely winners.

Indeed despite Villa fielding the likes of goalkeeper Nigel Sims, an outstanding centre half in Jimmy Dugdale, former England captain Jackie Sewell, Captain and Villa dynamo Johnny Dixon and the effervescent Peter McParland, they had come off the back of a league season having achieved a 10th place finish.

To date the stewardship of Eric Houghton at the Villa helm had been below par with 13th, 6th, 20th and 10th place finishes and early exits from the FA Cup each season.

Houghton’s high point as manager however was to come this late Spring Saturday afternoon.

Peter McParland’s outstanding contribution with goals in the 68th and 73rd minute gave Villa a 2-0 lead into the closing stages of the game but a late goal on 83’ from United set up a nervy finish.

Villa held on however for a famous victory - lifting the FA Cup for a record seventh time in front of typically exuberant Villa crowd.

Regrettably however the final has been overshadowed by two oft mentioned incidents, one during the match, one the following year. Both the injury to United goalkeeper Ray Wood and the Munich disaster of 1958 have overshadowed Villa’s success for some.

Wood injured himself in the 6th minute of the game as Peter McParland challenged him for the ball.

Referee Frank Coultas explained:

“It was not a malicious foul. McParland did not try to harm Wood. He was just a bit too robust, as they call it, just a bit too enthusiastic in playing the traditional British game of getting stuck in.”

Wood suffered a fractured cheekbone and was replaced in goal by the accomplished Jackie Blanchflower - brother of Villa’s former player Danny.

In the immediate aftermath of the injury United and Villa seemed to forget about playing football and instead took turns to kick lumps out of one another, as what had promised to be an entertaining game had now veered into an altogether different sort of contest.

Thankfully however play returned to its expected pattern by 20’ and Villa showed the near 100,000 crowd that they were a true footballing side equal to their opposition on the day.

In an ebb and flow game United were initially on top before Villa were in the ascendancy to half time and a similar pattern took shape from kick off in the second half with United dominating early play. Villa however would come back strongly and it wasn’t a surprise when they opened the scoring.

In the 68th minute Peter McParland grabbed his and Villa’s first goal, heading in Captain Johnny Dixon’s fine cross which gave stand in keeper Blanchflower no chance at all.

Within five minutes, Villa had doubled their lead after Billy Myerscough had rattled the United crossbar. Billy’s shot, with the ‘keeper beaten saw the ball came back into play and there was the opportunistic Peter McParland, perfectly positioned to smash in number two.

In a rather confused fashion, United’s injured ‘keeper Wood returned to action in the outfield following the second goal and with eight minutes to go United pulled a goal back.

Wood then replaced Blanchflower in goal creating an almost surreal end to the game as a player injured (to much fanfare during and after the game) returned to the field after 70 minutes away in one position only to take his regular spot for the closing stages.

Villa however played on oblivious to the increasingly surreal spectacle to clinch their seventh cup win and cement their position as the most successful FA Cup team in history.

Peter McParland, scored a brace to win the FA Cup for Villa, Saturday, 4 May 1957.

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MATCH TIMELINE

HT Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester United
68’ Goal, 1-0, Peter McParland, Assist by Johnny Dixon
73’ Goal, 2-0, Peter McParland
83’ Goal, 2-1, (Manchester United), Taylor
FT Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United

MANAGER WATCH

POSITION

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MATCH PROGRAMME

MATCH PROGRAMME

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QUOTES

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*Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday, 7 May 1957

ASTON VILLA’S SEVENTH FA CUP FINAL TRIUMPH

HOW ASTON VILLA BEAT THE RECORD FOR CUP FINAL SUCCESSES

Players Produce Their Best Form This Season

By Our Association Football Correspondent CYRIL CHAPMAN

Aston Villa 2 Manchester United 1.

After one of the most controversial Cup Finals for several years, Aston Villa beat Manchester United by two goals to one at Wembley on Saturday, so frustrating United’s hope of securing both Cup and League in one season and at the same time establishing a record by winning the Cup for the seventh time in the history of the competition.

The controversy centred round the fact that in the sixth minute of the game the Manchester goalkeeper Wood, was injured in a collision with McParland, the Villa outside left, and was off for most of the first half and at outside right for a good deal of the second.

In his approach to the goalkeeper which brought on the collision, did McParland overstep the margin between commendable persistence and a flagrant breach of the licence allowed a forward in pursuing a goalkeeper? And how far did the injury to the United goalkeeper affect the result? Thee are the questions everyone is asking.

I would answer the first by attributing only one fault to the winger - overeagerness. He was right to challenge the goalkeeper, inside as it turned out to carry this challenge slightly too far, but unlucky that a strange collision of heads should have brought a serious injury earn normally body bruising is the only result of a clash of this nature.

Answering the second question, I am convinced that Villa would have won even had United not been hampered in so drastic a fashion. And I say this knowing full well that it is inviting the accusation that the game was watched through blue and maroon striped spectacles, particularly as United went under by only one goal.

This conviction is based on close observation of United in the minutes before Wood was hurt, when they had not launched one attack against a Villa defence expected to be hard pressed from the word go; on the often careless and erratic nature of much of the United passing even when the game was flowing more in their favour; and on my belief that a Villa team at times playing some of its best football of the season would have been able to match anything a full strength United of his calibre could produce.

*Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday, 7 May 1957

ASTON VILLA’S SEVENTH FA CUP FINAL TRIUMPH

HOW ASTON VILLA BEAT THE RECORD FOR CUP FINAL SUCCESSES

Players Produce Their Best Form This Season

By Our Association Football Correspondent CYRIL CHAPMAN

Aston Villa 2 Manchester United 1.

After one of the most controversial Cup Finals for several years, Aston Villa beat Manchester United by two goals to one at Wembley on Saturday, so frustrating United’s hope of securing both Cup and League in one season and at the same time establishing a record by winning the Cup for the seventh time in the history of the competition.

The controversy centred round the fact that in the sixth minute of the game the Manchester goalkeeper Wood, was injured in a collision with McParland, the Villa outside left, and was off for most of the first half and at outside right for a good deal of the second.

In his approach to the goalkeeper which brought on the collision, did McParland overstep the margin between commendable persistence and a flagrant breach of the licence allowed a forward in pursuing a goalkeeper? And how far did the injury to the United goalkeeper affect the result? Thee are the questions everyone is asking.

I would answer the first by attributing only one fault to the winger - overeagerness. He was right to challenge the goalkeeper, inside as it turned out to carry this challenge slightly too far, but unlucky that a strange collision of heads should have brought a serious injury earn normally body bruising is the only result of a clash of this nature.

Answering the second question, I am convinced that Villa would have won even had United not been hampered in so drastic a fashion. And I say this knowing full well that it is inviting the accusation that the game was watched through blue and maroon striped spectacles, particularly as United went under by only one goal.

This conviction is based on close observation of United in the minutes before Wood was hurt, when they had not launched one attack against a Villa defence expected to be hard pressed from the word go; on the often careless and erratic nature of much of the United passing even when the game was flowing more in their favour; and on my belief that a Villa team at times playing some of its best football of the season would have been able to match anything a full strength United of his calibre could produce.