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Author Topic: In the beginning  (Read 700 times)

martin@

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In the beginning
« on: December 07, 2019, 09:31:52 PM »
By1881Villahadhighhopesofbreaking the stranglehold the Old Boys network had over the FA Cup. Bonfire Night saw us at home to Nottingham Forest in round one. That night fireworks would have been a bit of a damp squib because it teemed with rain all day. Forest players coped better with the conditions and with a hint of the still-Wild West Earp centered for Gunn to open the scoring. Brown equalised for Villa before Forest had an appeal upheld against a goal by Vaughton. Long before the days of action replays it was possible to appeal a decision and get the referee to change his mind. With wind, rain and slope in their favour in the second half, Villa went on the rampage and put the ball between the posts six times but only three of them counted. 4-1 and the 2,000 satisfied spectators went home to dry out. Nothing symmetrical about the draw so Villa had a bye into the third round, as did Dreadnought, Sheffield Wednesday, Royal Engineers and Old Etonians. In the previous season the semi-finals consisted of only three teams and Old Etonians had a bye into the final. It is still called the ‘Challenge’ Cup and the original idea was that all the teams should compete for the right to challenge the holders On New Year’s Eve the other half of Nottingham, County, came to see if they could succeed where Forest had failed. They nearly did so. It took a fierce shot from Davies to negate the County opener. Then a throw-in from Davis led to an interchange with Whateley who gave Villa the lead and had 5,000 fans cheering. These same fans were silenced when Bansor equalised. Full time 2-2. Extra time was then a matter of mutual agreement. Mindful of the inconvenience and expense of a replay they mutually agreed to play on but needn’t have bothered. The following Saturday, 7th January 1882, Villa turned up in Nottingham and a hostile crowd of 8,000. Jessop in the County goal saved from Pank and Whateley as Villa had by far the better of the early exchanges. Shots are one thing, goals another. Chapman scored for County. As attack after attack was repelled it seemed likely it was not going to be Villa’s day when Brown raised the spectre of

 

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