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Game #3330

Saturday, 29 March 1975

Attendance: 47,574


Division Two

3rd= (-1)

West Bromwich Albion


Villa Park

Villa beat Albion but drop to third in the table as Sunderland and Manchester United, one point and eight points ahead respectively, have now played two games more than Ron Saunders’ side.

Aston Villa


West Brom

Assists(s) | Ray Graydon | 59' | 64 | 66' |




25’ Goal, 0-1, (West Bromwich Albion), Tony Brown
HT Aston Villa 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
59’ Goal, 1-1, Keith Leonard, Assist by Ray Graydon
64’ Goal, 2-1, Chico Hamilton, Assist by Ray Graydon
66’ Goal, 3-1, Keith Leonard, Assist by Ray Graydon
FT Aston Villa 3-1 West Bromwich Albion


Ron Saunders' Villa return to winning ways and now have just a single defeat in twelve League games as they make it eighteen wins, eight draws and nine defeats in Saunders' first thirty five League games as Villa boss.

Aston Villa

West Bromwich Albion

League Champions: 🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆
League Cup Winners: 🏆
Last Trophy: 1967-68


Previous 5 vs. Albion: | 🟩 | 🟥 | 🟥 | 🟥 | 🟥 |


Season | 1974-75 |
Matchday | #48 |
League Match | #35 |
Manager Game | #48 |
Saturday, 29 March 1975


Manager | Ron Saunders |
Referee | Tom Reynolds, Swansea |
FT Result | Won |
FT Score | 3-1 |
Last 5 Games | DWWLW |


Referee: Tom Reynolds | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 | Swansea, 1968-1979
Previous 5:
Last Match:
Cards: None




West Bromwich Albion



Leighton Phillips replaces Bobby McDonald


Starting XI Average Age
| 26.77 |

Oldest Player |
LB Charlie Aitken | 32.93 |

Youngest Player |
F Brian Little | 21.35 |


Ron Saunders


Aston Villa

GK Jim Cumbes |
CB Chris Nicholl |
CB Ian Ross |
FB John Robson |
LB Charlie Aitken |
M Leighton Phillips |
M Chico Hamilton |
W Ray Graydon |
W Frank Carrodus |
F Keith Leonard |
F Brian Little |

West Bromwich Albion

Osbourne, Nisbett, Thompson, Cantello, Wile, Rushbury, Glover, Brown (g), Edwards, Merrick, Johnston.

Manager: Don Howe.





M Bobby McDonald |







Injury | 2 |
M Pat McMahon, Ankle |
F Sammy Morgan, Stomach muscle |


Not Recorded

Player Abbreviations:

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




Not recorded


2021-22 Matchweek 38.jpg


Quotation Marks.png


“Jimmy [Cumbes] made an error, then made up for it with that saved.

“But we deserved the victory.

“Albion had three shots on target while we created nine reasonable chances.

“It was inevitable we would take some of them and we did.”

Ron Saunders.

*Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday, 31 March 1975

Villa aren't top quality yet—Howe ' l . DAVE HORRIDGE : Aston Villa 3, WBA 1 WEST BROMWICH manager Don Howe paid Aston Villa a backhanded compliment after a defeat that killed off his own promotion hopes. He said : " Villa must have a great chance of going p—and with a couple of players I think they will tay up. With their resources they should be able to get them." While the bulk of the huge crowd were thrilled with Villa's fightback that produced three goals in seven minutes, Howe said: "At half-time I couldn't see us losing. We had got away with two errors in allowing Keith Leonard free headers from corner kicks. " I told my team during the interval to make sure that didn't happen again, yet you saw the result." The dogged Leonard equalised in the fiftyninth minute, scored from an unmarked position in the sixty-sixth, with Chico 'Hamilton heading home in the sixty-fourth. All three goals were made by ton scorer Ray Graydon with cleverly-flighted centres. Brave Blackpool 0, Nott'm F. 0 OUT of a game that Forest manager Brian Clough described as " atrocious," there emerged an exciting 17-yearold, Billy Ranson, Clough said: " This kid was a breath of fresh air and a colourless game I certainly enioyed watching him." The Forest boss pu t the blame for this otherwise drab afternoon firmly on Blackpool. "It was up to them to make a real game of it," he accused. Ask them why they didn't come out and play." Old for Tony Brown had put , Albion ahead with the help of a misjudgment by goalkeeper Jimmy . Cumbes in the twenty- . rh minute. Brown. uld have put Albion up early in the ond half, but for a ve save by Cumbes. illa boss Ron unders said: "Jimmy de an error, then le up for it with that e. But we deserved victory. Albion had three ots on target while we ated nine reasonable chances. It was inevitable we would take some of them and we did." Saunders revealed that his half-time chat wa s necessary to reassure a team that froze after Brown's goal. SECOND DIVISION -- SUPER RONSON Master spy LIGHTS Bond plots BORE DRAW Norwich win Bristol C 0, Norwich 1 NORWICH manager John Bond spent Good Friday spying on promotion rivals Bristol City in their 1-0 win at Southampton and is convinced his mission paved the way to a vital victory at Ashton Gate on Saturday, writes Tom Lyons. "I learned a lot, passed it on to the lads and we exploited Bristol's weaknesses," said Bond. Colin Suggett fired the twenty - seventh- minute match-winner and Kevin Keelan made a brilliant late save from Jimmy Mann.

The confusion over Keith Leonard’s first goal should not detract from the fact that he was the key figure in Aston Villa’s crucial victory over their neighbours.

On television Jimmy Hill claimed to have solved a “mystery” by using the slow motion play back to show, to his satisfaction if not mine, that because Chris Nicholl jumped higher than Leonard he had thus scored the goal. (In which case Dwight Stones would have scored more times than Pele).

Leonard was adamant, however, that it was he who applied the last touch to make it 1-1, and light the fuse for the explosive eight minutes during which Villa scored two more goals and kept themselves in the vanguard of the promotion race.

The centre forward’s ability in the air at set pieces was Villa’s best weapon. Albion were undone because Nicholl continually moved up for corners which meant that John Wile had to mark him and then Albion had no one strong enough in the air to deal with Leonard at the near post.

And although he scored his first goal at the far post, as did Chico Hamilton with another header for the second goal, the decisive score - which killed off any hope Albion had of staging a comeback - came when Leonard stepped a few paces off the near post at a corner and slid the ball through the narrowest of gaps.

Albion had no excuses for Leonard had done it twice in the first half and been unlucky.

It’s not, as Albion’s goalkeeper, John Osborn, pointed out, that he is especially skilful in the air, but that he goes for everything. He has successfully, marshalled his aggression, challenging intractably for every ball and applying pressure all the time.

That’s a fair abridgement of the Villa team, in fact. The essential difference between them and Albion was that while Albion tended to wait for mistakes to happen, Villa tried to force mistakes all the time.

This difference showed in the number of chances which fell to each team. Although Tony Brown scored first, helped by errors from lan Ross and Jim Cumbes, they had only one other opportunity. A moment which was the turning point of the game.

The second half was some two minutes old when Wile’s header gave Brown a yard of space just outside the six yard area. He shot quickly but Cumbes stopped the ball between his legs and kept his side in the match. The rest is summed up in that blitz.

All the crosses for the goals came from the right foot of Ray Graydon, swinging the ball from either wing with unerring accuracy.

And even after they were 3-1 ahead Villa could have scored four more without complaint from Albion, whose promotion aspirations must have shrivelled up when the third goal went in.

Their dilemma was that although they controlled long stretches of the first half, they were too concerned with consolidation to the detriment of the attack.

Willie Johnston was irrelevant, lan Edwards anonymous, never allowed a kick by Nicholl, and Tony Brown came into the game just twice.

In midfield the longer the game went on the more dominant Frank Carrodus, Leighton Phillips and Chico Hamilton became and there was no comparison between the attacks after Villa’s manager Ron Saunders had sorted his out at half-time.

In the second half Graydon and Hamilton started using the width of the field, Brian Little continued to tax David Rushbury’s considerable ability and Leonard ploughed forward causing problems whenever he got the ball.

Now Villa play at Millwall tomorrow, before going nine days without a game because Sheffield Wednesday’s ground is needed for one of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-finals.

Such a long break between games is not the ideal preparation for a promotion run-in, but if Villa can summon the same elemental energy in their remaining fixtures as they did on Saturday they should have no trouble.