1895 FA Cup Final Score: Aston Villa 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
Match Venue: Crystal Palace, London
Date: Saturday 20th April 1895
Referee: John Lewis
Aston Villa Scorer: John Devey
Aston Villa Team: Tom Wilkes, Howard Spencer, Jimmy Welford, Jack Reynolds, James Cowan, George Russell, Charlie Athersmith, Bob Chatt, John Devey, Dennis Hodgetts, Stephen Smith.
West Bromwich Albion Team: Joe Reader, Billy Williams, Jack Horton, Jack Taggart, Tom Higgins, Tom Perry, Billy Bassett, Roddy McLeod, Billy Richards, Tom Hutchinson, Jack Banks.
1895 FA Cup Final Match Report
Villa and Albion had played the last Final at the Oval, and these same two famous clubs were now contesting the first to be held at the Crystal Palace. They had faced each other twice in FA Cup Final, in 1887 and 1892 – and, with honors even, this was to be the decider.
Most of the 42,000 people missed the goal that won the match for Aston Villa. It came, dramatically, after only thirty seconds, though there was some doubt about who scored it.
John Devey, the Villa center-forward, swung the ball out to his inside-left, Dennis Hodgetts. Hodgetts’ long cross-pass found Charlie Athersmith on the right, and he centered for Bob Chatt to shoot on the half-volley. The ball looked destined for the net but was diverted, either by goalkeeper Joe Reader or by a defender on the line, to John Devey, who scored.
Most people in the ground had been prepared to credit Bob Chatt with the goal, but John Devey is now thought to have got the final, perhaps involuntary touch. The goal has been known ever since as Villa’s ‘Crystal Palace thunderbolt.’ John Devey is considered one of the greatest captains of Aston Villa. During Devey’s eight years as Aston Villa’s captain, they won five League titles between 1894 and 1900 and two FA Cups.
Aston Villa Push Forward For More Goals
Aston Villa were the favorites, and, for once, the favorites not only won but deserved to win. Some excellent goalkeeping by Joe ‘Kicker’ Reader and courageous defense, especially right-back Billy Williams, prevented the Villa forwards from adding to their score. Albion was unlucky to lose center-half Tom Higgins with a cut head for a while. He later returned to the fray but with his head heavily bandaged.
Roddy McLeod and Billy Bassett, the latter once again playing brilliantly on the right-wing, were still trying desperately to the end to save the day for West Bromwich Albion. It was Bassett’s last pursuit for another FA Cup trophy and probably his finest, though he often was crowded off the ball by the prominent Villa defenders. He appeared in three FA Cup Finals and earned two winners’ medals.
When the whistle blew to end the final, George Ramsey’ had won his second FA Cup trophy as Villa manager. He led Aston Villa to become known for its short, quick passing style. During his tenure at Aston Villa, he won six English league titles and six FA Cups, establishing the club as one of England’s most successful clubs. Many consider him to be the world’s first paid football manager throughout the history of modern soccer.
1895 FA Cup Round By Round
ASTON VILLA v Derby County 2-1; Newcastle United v Burnley 2-1; Barnsley St Peter’s v Liverpool 1-2; Southampton St Mary’s v Nottingham Forest 1-4; Sunderland v Fail-field 11-1; Luton T v Preston North End 0-2; Bolton Wanderers v Woolwich Arsenal 1-0; Bury v Leicester Fosse 4-1; Sheffield United v Millwall A 3-1; Small Heath v WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1-2; Darwen v Wolves 0-0, 0-2; Newton Heath v Stoke 2-3; Sheffield Wednesday v Notts County 5-1; Middlesbrough v Chesterfield 4-0; Southport Central v Everton 0-3; Burton Wanderers v Blackburn R 1-2
ASTON VILLA v Newcastle United 7-1; Liverpool v Nott’m Forest 0-2; Sunderland v PNE 2-0; Bolton Wand v Bury 1-0; Sheff Utd v WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1-1, 1-2; Wolves v Stoke 2-0; Sheff Wed v Middlesbro 6-1; Everton v Blackburn R 1-1, 3-2
ASTON VILLA v Nott’m Forest 6-2; Sunderland v Bolton Wand 2-1; WEST BROMWICH ALBION v Wolves 1-0; Sheff Wed v Everton 2-0
ASTON VILLA v Sunderland 2-1; WEST BROMWICH ALBION v Sheffield Wednesday 2-0