Friday, 7 February 2014

Sunderland 2 Aston Villa 2 in FA Cup second round 1894 was a brilliant match

10th  February 1894                                                                     English Cup 2nd Round

                        SUNDERLAND   2                                  ASTON VILLA    2                             
                       (Gillespie 6,Wilson)                               (Hodgetts 46, Cowan 82)               

Referee Mr C.S.Hughes of Cheshire                                                      Attendance 15,956

Sunderland:-- Doig, Meehan, Gow, Dunlop, Auld, Wilson, Gillespie, Harvie, Campbell, Millar, Hannah(J).
Aston Villa.:- Dunning, Elliott, Baird, Reynolds, Cowan(J), Groves, Athersmith, Chatt, Devey(J), Hodgetts, Woolley.

This match between present league Champions Sunderland and champions elect Aston Villa had been keenly awaited since they were drawn together in the English Cup. Now after 120 minutes of the hardest football imaginable the teams must replay in Birmingham after a 2-2 draw. Regardless of the result of the replay there is no doubt that the finances of both clubs will receive a boost as a huge gate is certain at the great Perry Barr enclosure. Sunderland's chance of the league championship is gone and they now face a severe test if they are to realise their hopes of winning the English Cup.

A record attendance was expected at the Newcastle Rd ground and new stands had been erected to accommodate 5,000 people. This brought the ground capacity to 20,000 but it was still not enough to accommodate all those who wished to see the game. Trains arrived before noon from Hartlepool and Durham bringing vast numbers of people into the town. Around noon a train arrived from Birmingham with around 1800 Villa partisans who had to leave home at 4-30 in the morning. 

Excursions from Richmond, Willington, Hartlepool and Saltburn etc were well filled and the service trains from South Shields and Newcastle were packed. The gates were opened at 12-30 and by 1pm there was a steady stream of people wending their way to the ground. By 2pm the cheaper stands were packed and the more agile climbed onto the roof of the press box in such numbers that it seemed likely to collapse at any moment. The roof of the dressing rooms was next and in a moment it too was packed. This building is even frailer than the press box and the committee implored the people to come down.

They refused to budge even when confronted by a body of police and soldiers and by 2-50 not a square inch of space remained and the gates were closed in the faces of the several thousands still trying to gain admission. Villa had left Birmingham on Friday and stayed overnight at the Queens Hotel before travelling by brake to the ground. Rain had fallen at intervals during the morning and the wind was blowing half a gale from the NW. Sunderland won the toss and attacked the Road end with the gale at their backs. 

Devey kicked off and immediately sent the ball out to Athersmith but Gow got the ball away. Wilson accidentally caught Reynolds in the face and the game was stopped for a few minutes and from the restart Gow sent a huge kick soaring over the Villa goalline. Devey, Hodgetts and Chatt had Villa on the move again but Wilson cleverly checked them and passed to Millar whose long pass gave Campbell a run but the wind took the ball out of play before he got catch it. A couple of throw ins from Dunlop enabled Sunderland to gradually work their way up but Baird and Elliott soon repelled them.

Gow got possession on the halfway line and sent in a terrific shot that flashed into the net just under the bar as the ground erupted in cheering for what appeared a capital goal. Devey protested to the referee that he had been impeded by Millar and the official disallowed the goal. Gillespie was fouled by Groves but Meehan placed the free kick just over the bar. Wilson checked Devey in Villas next raid but the ball went to Woolley who got close to goal before being stopped by Meehan. Hodgetts got the ball over to Chatt but with a great chance he shot a long way wide.

Sunderland had a turn and Baird conceded a corner. Hannah took it but the visitors cleared into touch. Gillespie got in a shot from the throw that was deflected for a corner by Elliott. Gillespie took it and when Baird headed the ball out Wilson chipped it up to Gillespie whose header flashed past Dunning to put Sunderland ahead in the 6th minute. Villa tried to respond straight from the kick off but against the strong wind they made little progress. A long kick by Devey was missed by Gow on the halfway line and Chatt dashed away towards the home goal with Wilson in hot pursuit.

Wilson managed to get in a last ditch tackle and when the ball ran loose Gow retrieved his mistake with a big kick. Devey sent the ball into touch to stop Campbell and soon after Groves gave away a free kick. Meehan sent the ball across goal where Campbell just failed to get a touch before the ball went out. Groves put the ball out to halt Harvie and from the throw Meehan tried to find Millar with a pass. It was just out of his reach but Gillespie came dashing in to send a great shot just a few inches wide.

Sunderland raided again and Harvie had a good chance but dawdled and Elliott nipped in to put the ball out for a corner. Villa cleared but with the wind in their favour Sunderland kept the ball continually in the visitors half with Meehan and Gow standing inside the Villa half just over the halfway line. A free kick to Sunderland brought a corner from which Dunlop drove powerfully behind. Athersmith got away for Villa and another mistake by Gow allowed him to get close to the home goal. 

Wilson and Auld quickly closed in on him and Auld managed to kick the ball to safety. A sharp raid by Sunderland saw Campbell get in a shot that looked like a winner but the ball crashed against the underside of the crossbar and came back into play.  Immediately afterwards Baird fouled Hannah right in front of goal but Dunning saved well from the free kick. Sunderland maintained the pressure and the Villa defence were having a severe putting up. Campbell shot over the bar and then Millar drove wide from Wilsons pass.

Baird did well to block three successive shots from Gow and then a long kick out by Chatt gave Villa some respite. Back came Sunderland and Harvie wasted a great chance by putting the ball high over the bar. Villa were struggling to get their goal kicks very far against the wind and Campbell got possession again but his weak shot was easily gathered by Dunning. Hannah headed in a cross from Dunlop that Baird did well to clear and then Reynolds kicked into touch to stop Millar. Campbell spun round to crack in a beauty from Wilsons throw but the shot flashed into the side netting. 

Harvie then had a good chance but his shot was poor and he was jeered for his pains. Gow and Meehan sent long shots wide and when Dunning miscued from the goal kick Cowan only just beat Campbell to the ball. Woolley made a quick break for Villa but Wilson robbed him and the ball was soon back in front of the Villa goal. Harvie missed an opportunity after Campbell had hit the bar and when the ball came out Auld swung it across but the wind carried it out of play. Woolley and Hodgetts moved forward for Villa and got the ball to Devey. 

Gow failed to stop him but Meehan was on his toes and kicked into touch. The throw in enabled Woolley, Hodgett and Devey to launch a dangerous attack but Devey handled right in front of goal and the attack fizzled out with a free kick to Sunderland. The free kick found Wilson on the halfway line and he moved forward a few yards before sending in a terrific shot that dropped just in front of Dunning. The bounce was higher than the custodian was expecting and he was left bewildered as it flew high over his shoulder and into the net for Sunderland's 2nd goal.

Villa retaliated but Wilson returned the ball deep into the visitor’s half. Sunderland won a free kick for handball by Devey and when Meehan swung the ball in the Villa defence were sorely tested for a few minutes. Campbell forced a corner off Cowan and when the kick came over Gillespie shot over the bar. Reynolds tackled Wilson as he was lining up a shot and then Hannah put Campbell in but his grand shot went just a bit too high. Athersmith got into the Sunderland goalmouth and when challenged by Gow he sent the ball out to Woolley on the other wing.

Woolley forced Villas 1st corner but Devey blazed over the bar from Hodgetts well placed kick. Campbell broke away and sent in a shot that Dunning saved well under strong challenge from Hannah. Keeping up the pressure Sunderland forced another corner and Campbell drove a shot over the bar. Sunderland deserved more goals and almost got one when Wilson fired in a marvellous shot that only just missed the mark. The Villa defence were given no rest as corner followed corner and it was remarkable that only 2 goals had been scored. 

Just before the break Gillespie banged in a clinking shot that Dunning saved splendidly and then Elliott turned another shot by Gillespie for a corner. Before the kick could be taken the whistle blew for halftime. On the restart Villa came with a rush and within a minute Chatt had whipped the ball across to Hodgetts who sent a beautiful header into the net. Sunderland responded but against the gale they were easily repelled and Athersmith, Devey and Hodgetts raced away only to allow the ball to run out of play.

Devey sent a shot wide after receiving the ball from a throw as Villa tried all they knew to make the most of their wind advantage. A lot of dangerous play from the Villa forwards gave Reynolds a chance but he blazed wildly over the bar as Sunderland struggled to hold their opponents at bay. A great shot from Groves went just wide and then Campbell and Millar tried to change the venue but found Elliott too sharp for them. Hannah passed out to Gillespie who was racing away when he was badly fouled by Groves.

Dunlop took the free kick but put his shot too high. Villa returned to the attack but another free kick gave Sunderland relief. Baird returned Meehans free kick and Reynolds crossed the ball to Devey who headed a good opportunity wide. Sunderland gradually worked their way into the Villa half where Gillespie and Harvie had good shots blocked by Woolley. Gillespie had another try to get away but when he crossed to Campbell Groves was too quick for him and got the ball away to Hodgetts who quickly lost the ball.

Nice passing between Hannah, Campbell and Gillespie looked promising for Sunderland but at a critical moment Hannah ran offside and was penalised as soon as he got the ball. The home side pressed again and Wilson, Campbell and Millar all put in shots that failed to find the target as good defensive play by the visitors managed to repel the home forwards. Sunderland had the better of the exchanges for a few minutes and then Villa came again with Athersmith and Wilson tussling hard for the ball which ultimately ran out of play.

Just afterwards Woolley fired in a great shot that Doig had great difficulty in clawing away from underneath the crossbar and Gow stepped in to complete the clearance. When the ball was kicked back into the home goalmouth Wilson managed to clear his lines. Elliott checked a run by Campbell and Groves got the ball to Reynolds who shot very wide. Villa swarmed round the home goal and put in shot after shot but the wind was playing havoc with their accuracy and Doig was not seriously troubled. 

A free kick gave Sunderland a moments respite but the ball was soon back in Sunderland territory where Auld in trying to clear skied the ball. The wind whipped it to Reynolds who wasted the chance with a poor shot. Chatt fouled Millar to give Sunderland breathing space but Harvie immediately lost the ball to Elliott who passed to Groves. He sent the ball to Reynolds but once again the Villa man wasted the opportunity. Campbell set off on a fine solo run but Baird and Elliott bustled him off the ball. Hannah got possession but again Elliott saved the visitors.

A free kick against Cowan took Sunderland into Villa territory and another free kick took them closer to the Villa goal. Campbell got possession just outside the penalty area where yet another foul gave the home side a free kick. Gillespie took it and Campbell headed the ball on to Hannah whose header went past the post. Sunderland were playing with a lot of spirit and looked much the fitter team with Villa showing signs of tiredness. Hannah sent a good shot just over the bar and then Millar passed to Campbell who dropped the ball right into the goalmouth where Elliott just beat Gillespie to it.

Villa tried another rush and Gow kicked high into touch to keep them out. The throw in found Baird whose shot went just over the bar. Campbell tried to break for the home side but Elliott but was robbed by Elliott who dropped the ball nicely into the home goalmouth. A terrific scrimmage ensued with the home goal in danger of falling at any second. Eventually it came when Cowan shot the ball through a crowd of players and into the net to put Villa on level terms with 8 minutes left for play.

In the closing minutes both sides tried hard to for a winning goal but the defences prevailed though with the wind Villa were pressing when the final whistle went. Thirty minutes of extra time began immediately and once again Sunderland won the toss and took advantage of the wind which by now had dropped somewhat. There was little of interest in the opening stages with the ball being confined mainly to the middle of the field. Campbell was still full of energy however and banged in a shot that Dunning saved comfortably.

The clearance brought only temporary respite for Villa and when Millar drove in a fierce shot cheers went up in the growing darkness as spectators thought that the ball had gone in but it was wide. Gow then had a characteristic long shot saved by Dunning as Sunderland continued to attack. Villa however were not to be caught napping and packed their goal. Athersmith got possession and made a sudden break that almost caught Sunderland out. He whipped in a flying centre to Woolley who was quickly tackled by Gow and the ball went out for a corner.

The 2nd period of extra time saw Sunderland still attacking and winning a free kick which led to a fierce scrimmage right in front of the Villa posts. Woolley eventually broke away and took play into the Sunderland half and got the ball to Devey. Gow was on his case however and Sunderland resumed attacking to bring Dunning rushing from his line to kick away. Moments later Chatt set off on a grand run and when Gow failed to cut out his centre Woolley beat Doig with a fine shot that slid inches past the post. Villa tried again and Woolley got in another shot that also missed the target.

The ball was quickly transferred to the other end where Gillespie’s centre was cut out by Elliott. Wilson got the ball back in and Campbell and Millar combined to force Dunning to save once more. Athersmith looked like getting away until Meehan checked him magnificently and sent the ball up to his forwards. A brief stoppage occurred after Hodgetts was hurt but as the end drew near Sunderland were still hammering away at a superb Villa defence with seemingly boundless energy.

Right on time Villa forced a corner but the final whistle went as Woolley sent in his shot. Doig had left his goal to head for the dressing rooms and the ball actually went into the net. It was of course ruled out and the teams must replay in Birmingham in a weeks time. The receipts were said to be £930 but this seems to be a remarkably small sum. The admission prices to all stands were doubled and the great majority paid more than a shilling to get in. Even so at a shilling a time a crowd of 20,000 would pay £1,000.

There has been a lot of discussion about this and it was later announced that the official attendance was 15,956 and the receipts were £928-18s-11d.           (Newc Dly Ldr) 

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