Trophy Joy And Victory Over Villa

By Brian Cartlidge
Last updated : 23 October 2008

What made this all the more satisfying was that arch rivals Aston Villa were the victims.

All the goals were scored in the first leg at St Andrew's, with Blues holding on to take the trophy at Villa Park.

It has to be said that Villa weren't exactly world beaters themselves. Their form had dipped dramatically in the second half of the season, losing eleven games in a row, and they were lucky themselves not to drop into Division Two.

But despite this Villa were clear favourites to lift the trophy for a second time, having beaten Blues 4-0 only a few weeks earlier.

Blues stunned Villa with a sparkling performance to gain a well deserved first-leg lead. Blues made all the early running with Villa keeper Sims making fine saves from Jimmy Harris and Ken Leek, and then a Harris effort which was deflected onto the crossbar.

On 14 minutes Blues struck a cracking goal. Malcolm Beard and Terry Hennessy set up Harris who sprayed a perfect pass to Bertie Auld on the left wing. When the ball was centred Leek came steaming in and slammed his effort past the helpless Sims.

Jimmy Bloomfield then took a knock which hindered Blues for a while and during this period Villa undeservedly levelled through Bobby Thomson, who was to later sign for Blues.

Many thought that Blues, considering their wretched season, would now crumble. They were wrong! Just seven minutes after the break Auld set up Leek who whipped a low drive into the corner of the net.

Blues were now well in charge again and goal number three came on 66 minutes when Bloomfield ghosted between two static Villa defenders to meet Harris's right-wing cross.

And, there could have been more goals with Leek (twice) and AuId both coming close.

As it was the 3-1 scoreline was ample enough as Blues went on to lift the trophy four days later with a 0-0 draw in the second leg at Villa Park - the final in these days being played over two-legs.

Line up: Schofield, Lynn, Green, Hennessy, Smith, Beard, Hellawell, Bloomfield, Harris, Leek, Auld.

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