Christmas Cracker 1982 - Blues 3 Villa 0
Feature by Brian Cartlidge
Updated Tuesday, 8th September 2009
There is nothing more that Blues fans enjoy than a victory over arch rivals Aston Villa and this one on 27th December 1982 must rank as one of the finest.
The festive triumph on 27th December 1982.
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.
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.
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