Saturday, 20 March 1976
Chris Nicholl scores all four goals in the two all draw at Filbert Street in an incredible game that leaves Villa, now 17th in the table, still without an away win in eighteen games on their return to the top flight.
Assist(s) | Not recorded
14’ Goal, 0-1, (Leicester City), Chris Nicholl o.g.
40’ Goal, 1-1, Chris Nicholl
HT Leicester City 1-1 Aston Villa
54’ Goal, 1-2, (Leicester City), Chris Nicholl o.g.
86’ Goal, 2-2, Chris Nicholl
FT Leicester City 2-2 Aston Villa
ON THIS DAY
Ron Saunders' Villa make it nine wins, thirteen draws and thirteen defeats in thirty five League games following their return to the top flight as Chris Nicholl scores all four goals in a 2-2 draw.
European Cup / Champions League: ❌
League Champions: ❌
FA Cup Winners: ❌
League Cup Winners: 🏆
Last Trophy: 1963-64
Previous 5 vs. Leicester: | 🟥 | 🟥 | 🟥 | 🟥 | 🟨 |
Season | 1975-76 |
Matchday | #41 |
League Match | #35 |
Manager Game | #96 |
Saturday, 20 March 1976
Manager | Ron Saunders |
Referee | Ivan Smith, Accrington |
FT Result | Drew |
FT Score | 2-2 |
Last 5 Games | DDDLD |
Referee: Ivan Smith | 🏴 | 1970-1976
Chico Hamilton replaces Leighton Phillips.
Starting XI Average Age
| 25.31 |
Oldest Player |
CB Chris Nicholl | 29.46 |
Youngest Player |
CF Andy Gray | 20.32 |
GK John Burridge |
FB John Robson |
CB Chris Nicholl |
CB Ian Ross |
RB John Gidman |
M Dennis Mortimer |
M Chico Hamilton |
W Ray Graydon |
W Frank Carrodus |
F Brian Little |
CF Andy Gray |
Wallington, Woollett, Rofe, Whitworth, Blockley, Kember, Sammels, Worthington, Lee, Alderson, Weller. Manager: Jimmy Bloomfield.
LB Bobby McDonald
Injury | 3 |
CF Keith Leonard |
LB Charlie Aitken |
F John Deehan |
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
"If the worst comes to the worst. I'll do the same next week.”
“When the ball comes into the six yard box you have to go for it.
“Only on very rare occasions would I deliberately leave alone a ball that was that close to goal. I might not always reach it but at least I’ve got to try.
“No goalkeeper would have stopped that [his second own goal]. It was a cracker.
"l was relieved when that one went in [the second equaliser].“
*Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday, 22 March 1976
Chris Nicholl would do it all over again in similar circumstances and not just to see his name in the record books.
Nicholl, scorer of all four goals in Aston Villa’s 2-2 draw at Leicester on Saturday, has to look back 33 years to find the last time the same thing happened in English football.
Twice he put Leicester ahead, twice he equalised the second time just four minutes from the whistle and from the way he spoke afterwards it seems we may not have to wait another 33 years for it to happen again. “If the worst comes to the worst. I’ll do the same next week,” he said. “When the ball comes into the six yard box you have to go for it. Only on very rare occasions would I deliberately leave alone a ball that was that close to goal. I might not always reach it but at least I’ve got to try.”
Nicholl thought his third goal was the best “no goalkeeper would have stopped that. It was a cracker” and his fourth the most satisfying - “l was relieved when that one went In” and his achievement must cast doubts on the merits of both sides as attacking forces.
The draw, welcome though it was, means that Villa have managed only one win in their last 12 matches and the eight points collected from those 24 at stake is more like relegation form than anything else.
There is little wrong with their approach. Their willingness to move forward at Filbert Street was a refreshing reminder of what football is all about but when the goals did not come they teetered on the brink of capitulation for long periods and without the constant harassing of Nicholl and lan Ross could easily have surrendered.
They did, in fact, relinquish the midfield almost without a struggle which meant that Andy Gray saw little of the ball while Brian Little and Frank Carrodus, after a bright opening, quickly faded.
A game that promised much rarely delivered and because of Nicholl it turned into an almost unreal exercise.