Christmas Cracker 1982 - Blues 3 Villa 0

Last updated : 09 September 2009 By Brian Cartlidge
The festive triumph on 27th December 1982.

Kevin Dillon
At the time Blues fans were having to suffer the taunts of Villa fans whose side were the champions of Europe, and so there was plenty of extra spice added to this game.

Former Villa man Noel Blake starred in the heart of the Blues defence whose manager was Ron Saunders, the man who had walked out of Villa Park only ten months earlier after leading Blues' deadliest rivals to the league title.

In front of Blues biggest crowd for five years, 43,864, the St. Andrews faithful were treated to a day to remember.

Villa started the better, but with Blake and Broadhurst playing brilliantly at the heart of the Blues defence Villa's twin threat of Gary Shaw and Peter Withe were subdued.

On 23 minutes Ian Handysides struck a low drive against the foot of the post.

Noel Blake
The rebound fell to Noel Blake and the ex-Villa man silenced the Villa fans taunts of "reject" in the best possible way by slamming the ball into the back of the net.

After the goal Villa tried to up the tempo, but Blues were more than a match with the brilliant Kevin Dillon behind all of their best football.

The game was a typical derby encounter with neither side having time on the ball, so the match had the feeling it could go either way.

But on 70 minutes Blues struck with a vital second goal.

Handysides drove a goal bound effort which Villa keeper Jimmy Rimmer could only parry out.

The ball fell kindly back into the path of Handysides and he sent the Blues fans wild by burying the rebound in to the net with Rimmer stranded.

Villa were now a well and truly beaten side.

The Blues fans roared their hero's on and their side duly obliged, pushing forward looking for another goal.

Sure enough a third goal came when full-back David Langan sent over a right wing cross which Handysides sent goalwards.

Tony Coton
Villa defender Mark Jones' clearance could only hit Blues striker Mick Ferguson and the ball bobbled past Rimmer and over the line.

The game was well and truly over now.

After the game Ron Saunders was seen with a rare smile on his face as he pointed out that his gutsy Blues side had stopped Villa from even creating one clear cut chance all game.

For Noel Blake the thumping victory was a day he will never forget.

He describes the game as one of the most memorable of his career: "I was a Blues fan as a kid " he explained.

"Scoring against Villa was a marvelous feeling."

Line Up: Coton, Langan, Van den Hauwe, Stevenson, Blake, Broadhurst, Dillon, Harford, Ferguson, Curbishley, Handysides.

For a detailed head-to-head between the two sides, click here