Kettering Town v Posh 3rd Qualifying Rd 10 Oct 1945

Venue: Rockingham Road, Kettering

Attendance: 2,855

Score: Kettering Town 2 v Peterborough Utd 1

Referee: Unknown

Peterborough Utd only have themselves to blame that they lost 2-1 in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup competition.

Kettering’s game throughout was that dashing, do or die type which has acquired the name of ‘cup tie football’. Peterborough tried to play real football according to the book, and it didn’t come off. In the second half particularly when the United were kicking down the notorious hill, they bitterly disappointed their 600or more supporters, who had gone in nine buses and some 50 cars.

The halves and backs would persist in delicate taps instead of a hefty booting down the field, to give the forwards a chance to race through the tired defence.

This was the only way. The forwards would never have worked the ball through if they had played until now. Rodgers, the Royal Artillery left winger, was the only man who ever looked like scoring, and he had the most shocking luck. His service partner McClelland, was full of Scot’s williness that, unfortunately, got him nowhere against a team which went man or the ball impartially.

It is best to draw a veil over the rest of the forward, except to say that they knew no better than to overwork Polhill after he had been injured, and leave Rodgers out in the cold.

The half backs did a lot of work, and did it well, though Hobbs was shaken out of his cool game. Bryan was the better of steady backs; his partner Parrott, was limping from the first minute or two, but stuck manfully to his job. Hilliard was greatly improved in goal, in spite of being badly fouled early in the first half.

Kettering were well served by Ward, the seventh goalkeeper they have tried this season: right half Starsmore, still playing at 44; A. Smith, inside right and the left winger  Newberry.

Kettering were ahead inside five minutes, Elson scoring after a fast right flank move. Three minutes later Polhill placed a free kick over to the left, and Rodgers returned the ball at speed . Laxton helped it on to Fairchild who guided it into a gap in the packed goal.

Another six minutes and Kettering were leading again. Warner unnecessarily handed during a scrimmage round the goal, and A. Smith scored from the penalty spot.

That was the end of the scoring, though the United goal had a several narrow escapes before half time, principally from A. Smith and Elson.

The nearest Peterborough went was when Laxton headed against the bar, and the ball rebounded into the arms of the goalkeeper, standing five yards out of goal.

The second half was scrappy, and lacking incident. Rodgers had bad luck, the ball hitting a post on one occasion, and twice flashing inches wide with the goalkeeper helpless.

Ward distinguished himself in holding off Peterborough’s last desperate onslaught. He flung himself down to reach a drive from Rodgers, pulled down a dangerous lob from McClelland and held Wood’s fierce free kick with two minutes to go.

The takings were £140 of which £47 1s 9d (£47.09 in today’s money) was Peterborough’s share.

Kettering were drawn at home to Gresley Rovers or Colville Town AM in the 4th (and final) qualifying round.


The Posh: William Hilliard, Bernie Bryan, Cyril Parrott, Warner, Tom Hobbs, Jack Polhill, Nobby (Cliff) Woods, Fred Fairchild, Ken Laxton, McClelland and Rodgers.

Kettering Town: Ward, Tite, T. Smith, Starsmore, Linnell, Wragg, Edwards, A. Smith, Elson, Brown, Newberry.

Goal scorers: The Posh – Fred Fairchild 8 mins. Kettering Town – Elson 5 mins and A. Smith 14 mins.