08-Feb-2018 10:24:52 | The Guardian
Bitter rivalry, free-scoring marksmen, stretchers, rage and Peter Enckelman: half a dozen Second City derby stories
Villa dominated the Football League during its Victorian infancy – they racked up five titles by 1900 – so their early command of the Birmingham scene is no great surprise. In November 1887, they met the club that would become bitter city rivals in serious competition for the first time: Small Heath Alliance were dispatched 4-0 in the FA Cup second round. It was payback for the first friendly between the clubs in 1879, which Alliance won 1-0 at their Muntz Street ground. Villa – already a grand, bordering on aristocratic, institution despite being just four years and nine months old – complained bitterly that the pitch was full of holes.
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