Game #6



4th Round

press to zoom

press to zoom

FA Cup 4th Round

Stafford Road

Wellington Road, Perry Barr

Attendance: 5,000

Saturday, 19 February 1881

Villa are knocked out of the FA Cup on merit for the first time by Wolverhampton's premier club Stafford Road Railway Works Football Club.

Aston Villa


Stafford Road

Scorer(s) | Archie Hunter | Eli Davis |

Assist(s) | Not recorded


Game #6

Season | 1880-81 |
Matchday | #4 |
Manager Game | #6 |
Saturday, 19 February 1881


Manager | Management Committee |
FT Score | 2-3 |
FT Result | Lost |
Last 5 Games | WWWWL |


[Exact birth dates not recorded]

Starting XI Average Age
| 23.79 |

Oldest Player |
M Sammy Law | 31.15 |

Youngest Player |
George Copley | 20.06 |


Bill Watts comes in for goalscoring hero of the previous round Andy Hunter (illness).


Not recorded


Not recorded




GK George Copley |
D Tommy Pank |
D Harry Simmonds |
HB Ted Lee |
U Bill Watts |
M Sammy Law |
M Eli Davis |
F Howard Vaughton |
F Archie Hunter |
F William Crossland |
F Arthur Brown |


No Substitutions permitted in period


No Substitutions permitted in period


Ray, Dorrance, Selman, Turton, Nicholls, Crump (g), Ward, Gowland (g) (g), James, Shone, Whitehead.

ex: Also played for the Villa

g: Scored

s/o: Sent off

s-: Sub off; s+: Sub on

Scorer of Villa's equaliser Archie Hunter

press to zoom

press to zoom


Goal, 0-1, (Stafford Road), Gowland
Goal, 1-1, Archie Hunter
HT Aston Villa 1-1 Stafford Road
Goal, 2-1, Eli Davis
Goal, 2-2, (Stafford Road), Crump
Goal, 2-3, (Stafford Road), Gowland
FT Aston Villa 2-3 Stafford Road


Utility player Bill Watts made his final appearance for Villa in the FA Cup as the club are knocked out on merit for the first time by Wolverhampton's premier club Stafford Road Railway Works Football Club.


"At Perry Barr, After a series of seventeen unbroken first team successes, the Aston Villa have at last met with defeat"


Villa Boy.png


*Birmingham Daily Mail*
Monday, 21 February 1881


At Perry Barr, after a series of seventeen unbroken first team successes, the Aston Villa have at last met with defeat, and that when least expected, as Stafford Road succeeded in knocking them out of above competition by 3 goals to 2.

This result will be received with great surprise everywhere, as they were highly fancied by the critics to win right out.

The weather was cheerless, but between two and three thousand assembled to witness the play.

Stafford Road kicked off at 3.30, and for some time the play was of give and take character.

The Villa, headed by their captain, and splendidly backed up by Law, however, gradually assumed the advantage, but the fine goal keeping of Ray and the splendid defence made by Dorrance and his fellow backs nullified all their efforts to score.

Ward and the rest of the visitors’ forwards gave Simmonds and Law plenty of work, and after a series of “throws” a sharp scrimmage occurred in front of the Villa posts, of which Gowland obtained the first ‘goal for Stafford Road.

Upon re-starting the Villa tried hard to score, but after repeated failures, owing to the good defence of the visitors. Crossland made a good run, and passing to Hunter at the right moment the latter made a good shot and a general rush of the Villa equalised matters.

The rest of the play up to half time was slightly in favour of the Villa, but nothing further was scored.

Soon after the change of ends Davis made a splendid run, and Ray was compelled to use his hands, but Davis sent the ball back and goal resulted.

The Villa were now playing down hill, and appeared very confident, but, nothing daunted, the Stafford Road stuck to their work, and five minutes after, a free kick landed the ball near the Villa goal, and after being bandied about from one to another, Crump smartly kicked second goal.

The Villa now put forth their best efforts, but the fine play of Ray, Dorrance, and the half backs kept them at bay, and although Law and Lee played well, they could not prevent frequent incursions into their territory by the visitors’ forwards, and Sims “mulling” the ball, Gowland got clear away and safely placed the leather between the Villa uprights for the third time.

This unexpected success somewhat discomforted the Villains, while the Wolverhampton men played up with increased energy, and although from a shot by Brown the Villa claimed a goal, which was not allowed the referee, they not only kept their own fortress intact, but several times menaced their opponents’ goal, and “time” arriving without any further score, the visitors thus won as above stated.

The Villa were playing under disadvantages certainly, Andy Hunter did not play, being unwell, while Archie Hunter had not recovered from an injury received the previous Saturday, and therefore did not render his usual service.

The visitors’ team included A T Ward, of Newport, but they had three good players absent in Mair, J. Whitehead and Ashley.

The Villa did not play in their usual form, but Vaughton, Law, Davis, and Lee played finely, and stood out greatly from the rest.

All the Stafford Road players were in good form, and played throughout the game in a most determined manner, Ray and Dorrance being especially conspicuous.

Sides : Aston Villa : Goal, G. Copley ; back, H. Simmonds ; half-backs, S. Law, T. Pank, E.B. Lee; forwards, Archie Hunter (captain), Watts, Brown, Crossland, Davis, and Vaughton.

Stafford Road: Goal, E. Ray; back, Colin Dorrance ; half-backs, G. Selman, Turton, A. Nicholls; forwards, C. Crump (captain), A. T. Ward, R. Gowland, James Shone, and T. Whitehead,

Umpires, Messrs. Hughes and Haynes; referee, Mr. W. Dodsworth.


A note on match report reproduction:

Unsigned newspaper text goes out of copyright 70 calendar years after the year of publication. Unsigned newspaper text is that which doesn’t have a direct and specific attribution to the author.


Signed newspaper text goes out of copyright 70 calendar years after the death of the author(s). Signed newspaper text is any article where there is a direct and specific attribution to the author(s) whether above, below or within the subject text.


As a result as of 2022 only match reports of an unsigned nature prior to the 1952-53 season can be reproduced on AVFC History without infringing copyright rules.


In all other instances, where reproduction is not permissible, wherever available, a link is provided to the original article. 


From the 1998-99 season this is generally the original website page, however between 1952-53 and 1998-99 this will likely be to a historical newspaper reproduction site. 


Any of these links may be paid for however AVFC History has no commercial interest in this and any link is provided solely for completeness for those who wish to access further information.