Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion became the first pair of clubs to meet in the FA Cup Final for a third time: the teams had previously met in the 1887 final, won by Villa, and the 1892 final, won by Albion. The final was played for the first time at Crystal Palace, which was to host the finals for the next twenty years. The weather for the final was described as "a beautiful spring day", and consequently the crowd and press were still coming into the ground when the game kicked off. From the kick-off, John Devey, the Villa centre-forward, swung the ball out to his inside-left, Dennis Hodgetts. Hodgetts' long cross-pass found Charlie Athersmith on the right, and his centre fell to Bob Chatt who sent the ball goalwards on a half volley. Albion's keeper Joe Reader was only able to get his fingers to the shot, and turned the ball across the goal mouth and, after a goalmouth scramble involving Devey and Albion defender Jack Horton, the ball was turned in to the net. There are no accurate timings for the goal and different reports time it at between 30 and 39 seconds. At the time, many of the crowd and press missed the goal as they were still taking their seats, and the press reports indicated that Chatt had scored. According to Ward & Griffin in their "Essential History of Aston Villa" however, "after the game, the Villa players confirmed that John Devey had netted after Chatt's shot had been blocked straight into the latter's path and had ricocheted off his knee." Despite this claim, The Football Association still credit the goal to Chatt as having been scored on thirty seconds. The fastest accurately timed goal was Louis Saha's effort for Everton after 25 seconds in the 2009 final.
Despite pressure from the Albion forwards, especially from Billy Bassett, Villa were able to hold on to their lead until half-time. In the second half, Villa began to press forward again with Chatt and Devey forcing excellent saves from Joe Reader. Neither side was able to add to the score and Villa won the cup for the second time.