Ray Graydon (80)
League Cup final,
March 1, 1975
Wembley, Referee: Gordon Hill, Att: 95,946
Against a poor Norwich side, Villa cruised to glory without needing to get out of second gear. The Midlanders dominated from start to finish, yet it was a single goal that decided it. Ten minutes from time Ray Graydon finally broke the deadlock to give Ron Saunders' side the win.
Villa’s man of the moment showed his predatory instincts by reacting first after seeing Norwich keeper Kevin Keelan save his penalty. Luckily for him, he was quick to the rebound and Keelan couldn’t keep him out for a second time.
Saunders had only taken charge of Villa at the start of the 1974-75 season and he wasted no time in making his mark. As well as a successful league campaign, this Wembley win earned the club their first major trophy for 14 years. To cap a great day for Saunders, the final victory came against the club he used to manage.
The Canaries boss gambled by playing injujry risks Mel Machin and John Miller from the start - a move that backfired when Machin aggravated a thigh strain and limped off just seconds into the match. Norwich never recovered from that early setback and Bond later came in for some fierce criticism following the lacklustre display from his side.
Did You Know...?
This was the first domestic Cup final at Wembley between two clubs outside the top-flight.
It was a case of third time lucky for Ron Saunders in the League Cup, having twice been a beaten finalist as a manager in the previous two seasons. In 1973, his Norwich side lost to Spurs and a year later, now in charge of Manchester City, he saw his team beaten by Wolves.
Goalscoring hero Ray Graydon got his hands on another League Cup medal with Villa in 1977, when the Midlands side beat Everton 3-0 at the third time of asking.
What Happened Next
After their League Cup triumph, Villa were soon celebrating again as Saunders guided the club back into the First Division. The Midlands side were Second Division runners-up behind Manchester United
Norwich soon recovered from their final defeat and also went on to celebrate promotion, finishing third behind Villa.
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