Aston Villa v Newcastle 1905 Cup Final – Alternative Match Report

Aston Villa v Newcastle 1905 Cup Final – Alternative Match Report

15th April at Crystal Palace, London. Attendance: 101,117
Referee:  P.R.Harrower (London)


VILLA reached their fifth FA Cup Final with a string of fine victories before overcoming Everton in a replayed semi-final at Nottingham. Newcastle, confident after wins over Plymouth Argyle, Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton and Sheffield Wednesday, were the bookies’ favourites’ to win their first Final at The Crystal Palace. But little did they know that this meeting with Villa was to prove the first of four unsuccessful finals at The Palace during one of the greatest periods in the Geordies’ history.

Villa’s route to the Final, versus:
04-02-1905 Home       Leicester 5-1
18-02-1905 Home       Bury      3-2
04-03-1905 Home       Fulham    5-0
25-03-1905 Semi-final Everton   1-1
Replay:  29-03-1905  2-1


There were some brilliant footballers on show in this epic Final, including Howard Spencer, Alec Leake, Billy Garraty, Harry Hampton and Joe Bache of Villa, and ‘Bonnie Bob’ McCrombie, Peter McWilliam, Jock Rutherford and Colin Veitch of Newcastle. An enormous crowd, topping 101,000, packed into the ground at Sydenham – 30,000 of them from Birmingham, 20,000 from the North-East – and they saw a cracking contest, which began splendidly for Villa, Hampton scoring inside three minutes following a run and cross from Bache on the left.

Skilfully blending long and short passes, Villa’s forwards had Newcastle reeling and should have added to their score, Brawn missing a ‘sitter’ from six yards. It was stirring stuff from Villa, as Newcastle were made to chase and cover like they had never done before. Hampton, Garraty and Bache all went close within the space of 10 minutes, and only a brave save from Newcastle ‘keeper Lawrence prevented a snap-shot from the ever-alert Hampton finding the net. In contrast Newcastle kept the ball much too close and Villa’s eager half-backs were in like tigers, winning virtually every 50-50 situation.

At half-time Villa were still ahead, but for the first 15 minutes of the second half it was all Newcastle, George saving goal-bound efforts from Howie and Gosnell in double-quick time. Villa fell back on defence and if Newcastle’s finishing had been better the scores would have been level. As it was, Villa picked up their game once more, and on 74 minutes, a jinking run from Albert Hall ended with the winger firing in a block-busting drive. Lawrence deflected the ball to the onrushing Hampton, who made it 2-0. Villa were now in complete command, and as the Final was drawing to its close both Bache and Hampton should have scored again. After receiving the Cup and his third winners’s medal, Villa captain Howard Spencer paid tribute to Newcastle’s gallant fight, as well as referring to three of his own players, Garraty, Miles and Hampton, who had performed majestically.

On their return to New Street Station, Birmingham, the Villa players were greeted by a tremendous crowd. Three coaches, decorated appropriately in claret and blue, carried the victorious players back to the Holte Hotel, Trinity Road, along a route lined with thousands of cheering citizens, many of whom were waving bunches of violets, Villa’s lucky-mascot flower.


VILLA:  George; Spencer, Miles, Pearson, Leake, Windmill, Brawn, Garraty, Hampton, Bache, Hall.
Scorers  Hampton (2).

NEWCASTLE UNITED:  Lawrence; McCrombie, Carr, Gardner, Aitken, McWilliam, Rutherford, Howie, Appleyard, Veitch, Gosnell.