Saturday, 23 November 1974
Villa win for the first time in four League games to climb back to joint fourth in the table and close the gap on leaders Manchester United to eight points but the welcome victory comes against bottom club Portsmouth with little sign of the dynamic panache of earlier in the season.
Assists(s) | Jimmy Brown | 3' | Ray Graydon | 22' |
3’ Goal, 1-0, Chico Hamilton, Assist by Jimmy Brown
22’ Goal, 2-0, Brian Little, Assist by Ray Graydon
HT Aston Villa 2-0 Portsmouth
FT Aston Villa 2-0 Portsmouth
ON THIS DAY
Ron Saunders' Villa win for the first time in five to make it eight wins, five draws and five defeats in his first eighteen League games as Villa boss.
European Cup / Champions League: ❌
League Champions: 🏆🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆
League Cup Winners: ❌
Last Trophy: 1949-50
Previous 5 vs. Portsmouth: | 🟥 | 🟩 | 🟩 | 🟥 | 🟩 |
Season | 1974-75 |
Matchday | #23 |
League Match | #18 |
Manager Game | #23 |
Saturday, 23 November 1974
Manager | Ron Saunders |
Referee | Eric Garner, Liverpool |
FT Result | Won |
FT Score | 2-0 |
Last 5 Games | LLDLW |
Referee: Eric Garner | 🏴 | 1972-1977
Ron Saunders names an unchanged line up.
Starting XI Average Age
| 26.16 |
Oldest Player |
LB Charlie Aitken | 32.59 |
Youngest Player |
F Brian Little | 21.01 |
GK Jim Cumbes |
FB John Robson |
CB Chris Nicholl |
CB Ian Ross |
LB Charlie Aitken |
M Chico Hamilton |
M Jimmy Brown |
M Leighton Phillips |
W Ray Graydon |
W Frank Carrodus |
F Brian Little |
Best, Roberts, Hand, Foggo, Went, Stephenson, Marinello, Reynolds (Stewart), Davies, Wilson, Mellows.
Manager: Ian St. John.
F Alun Evans |
Injury | 3 |
M Pat McMahon, Ankle |
RB John Gidman, Eye |
F Sammy Morgan, Stomach muscle |
GK : Goalkeeper
LB, RB, FB : Left Back, Right Back, Full Back
CB, D : Centre Back, Defender
M, W : Midfielder. Winger
F, CF : Forward, Centre Forward
🟢 : Debut 🔴 : Final Game
⚽ | Goal
🔥 | Assist
🔁 | Substitution
🟨 | Booking
🟥 | Sending off
🆘 | Poor refereeing performance
“We had four or five chances like that late in the second half.
“If we had put them away you would have called it magic.”
*Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday, 25 November 1974
Villa, facing the prospect of four matches in a fortnight starting tonight against Hartlepool, will be grateful that Portsmouth went under without much of a fight on Saturday.
Perhaps the visitors were overcome by the air of gloom which enveloped the match, even stifling the enthusiasm of the [15,132] crowd - Villa Park’s lowest of the season.
Two goals in the first 22 minutes were enough to bring In two points and, even allowing for Portsmouth’s improvement in the second half, the outcome was never in doubt.
Leighton Phillips was Villa’s most impressive player in the first half, but overall it was Chico Hamilton who was the most consistent throughout the 90 minutes, and both men were deeply involved in the first goal.
Phillips sent Hamilton down the left, he forced a corner, and when Portsmouth failed to clear It properly, Jimmy Brown’s chip to the far post was headed in by Hamilton.
That was after only three minutes and Phillips was at the heart of the move which brought the second, forcing his way through so that the ball rebounded off the shins of a defender to Ray Graydon.
His centre trapped David Rest in no man’s land and Brian Little headed in.
Little could have had two more goals in the closing stages, a point manager Ron Saunders emphasised afterwards when asked why Villa had eased up in the second halt.
“We had four or five chances like that late in the second half,” he said. “If we had put them away you would have called it magic.”
Villa’s defence had little pressure to trouble them, and Chris Nicholl had the chance to come near to a goal once when he ventured upfield for a corner.
Peter Marinello, a perpetual danger in the club’s games last season„ was quietly ineffective while Ron Davies spent more time wandering back into midfield and out to the wings than up front looking for goals.
Jimmy Cumbes had only two real saves to make, the first from a header by Richard Reynolds after 23 minutes, and then a scrambling save from Marinello eight minutes before half-time.
The Portsmouth defence, on the other hand, must be among the most clumsy to have appeared at Villa Park this season.
Alan Stephenson and Paul Went both started in a fashion which made one fear for Little’s survival, and Sammy Morgan, had he been fit enough to play, might have given them a harder ride.
Even so, Little stuck bravely to his job as central striker, giving Villa the ideal send-off to a busy couple of weeks.
Alun Evans stands by to help Aston Villa into the quarter finals of the League Cup tonight and so increase his chances of a move.
The former Liverpool striker has not played in the first team this season but was substitute on Saturday and either he or Alan Little will replace Cup tied Leighton Phillips against Hartlepool in the fourth round League Cup replay at Villa Park.
Evans, who cost Villa £70,000 In June 1972, is one of several players for whom Villa would welcome offers but he could lose his chance of a place in the shop window if tonight’s pitch is heavy.
For in that case manager Ron Saunders would probably pick Alan Little, the younger brother of Brian, who scored one of the goals which beat Portsmouth.
Phillips apart, the rest of the team is likely to be the same. Top scorer Ray Graydon who hurt a knee on Saturday trained yesterday and should be fit.