Kettering Town v Posh 2nd Qualifying Rd 16 Oct 1937

Venue: Rockingham Road, Kettering

Attendance: 4,053

Score: Kettering Town 2 v Peterborough Utd 2

Referee: H. T. Metcalfe

Contrary to expectations – at Kettering, at any rate – the Posh came out of the rough and tumble that was graced with the name of a football match with a ticket for a replay.

The United cannot be said to have earned the right to fight again. ‘Fight’ is used figuratively and not in the literal sense of this game. They were two goals down at half time and they would have no case for complaint if the margin had been five. Peterborough’s defence, to use the current Americanism, ‘could not take it’.

The interval did the world of good. It cooled the frayed tempers of both sides and gave the United sufficient punch to make a draw of it within ten minutes of the restart. The Kettering defence was on the run and if Peterborough had forced home their advantage the issue might have been clinched there and then.

Kettering risked everything to gain the lead. Brawn took the place of brain in the attack and defence , and the repeated sledge hammer blows produced tangible result in six minutes. Harold Smith mis-kicked to concede a corner and Jones placed the ball beautifully for Garvey to head past Kendall.

The Posh made a prompt response, but had to be content with long ranging shooting, and Tarrant cleared from Sam Rowbotahm, Thomas Savage and George Bowater.

The Posh forwards showed flashes of individual cleverness, but their poor idea of positioning and distribution brought many a good move to nought.

Kettering lost no time, passing first time and moving in line towards the goal at every opportunity.

Bad feeling became apparent after an incident in which Rowbotham was injured and Hawley had his name taken by the referee. Sterner action should have been taken to check the succession of fouls and even fisticuffs which developed.

Peterborough came within an ace of drawing level when Savage took up Bowater’s back pass and fired in a low shot, but Tarrant leaped across the goal to take the ball cleanly at the foot of a post.

After one of the best passing moves of the match Carr hit the outside of a post with a fierce drive from six yards range.

Kettering were two up after 35 minutes . McDonagh was pulled up for a foul just outside the penalty area. Jones took the free kick and, although Kendall appeared to have the shot covered, McDonagh  diverted it with his head into the net.

Harold Smith made one of his few mistakes when he miskicked to let Hawlet through, but with Kendall beaten the ball rebounded from the joint of the bar and post.

Five minutes from half time Savage took the centre forward position, Bowater moving to inside left and Boulton to the wing. The United immediately forced their first corner and Tarrant had to punch the ball away three times before the danger was averted.

Just on half time Kendall saved finely from Clark following Jones corner kick, but lost the ball and another flag kick was forced. This time the ball was headed against the bar with Kendall at the other end of the goal.

In the second half there was a further change in the United front lin, Roberts and Atkin changing places on the right.

Kettering were the first away and when Jones took up faulty clearance by Clarke, Kendall did well to pull down his high shot.

In the seventh minute after the restart a great drive from Atkin was too hot for Tarrant to hold, and Bowater scored with a shot which struck the far post, cannoned back along the line and entered the net just inside the upright.

Atkin started the move which led to the second goal three minutes later. He drew the defence and slipped the ball through to Boulton, who let drive without steadying himself. Tarrant got his hands to the ball but could only push it against a post, whence it rebounded into the goal.

A couple of free kicks for handling infringements troubled Kendall. J. Smith conceded the first just outside the area and the goalkeeper cleverly turned Jones’ shot over.

Savage gave away the next near the halfway line, and Kendall was lucky to pull Clark’s shot from under the bar. From Garvey’s pass Carr unexpectedly lobbed the ball in, and again Kendall was only just able to to scamble it away.

“Playing for a draw”, many said. If that was so it was a dangerous practice, for one never knew what Kettering would do against our deplorable defence.

Seven minutes from the end the Kettering inside men had a chance to score the winner. Garvey’s centre came across with Carr and Hawley unmarked. The former missed the ball completely and the latter skimmed with the bar with a header from five yards range.

With half-backs of an inferior calibre to Sam Rowbotham, Harold Smith and Charles McDonagh, the Posh would have been a sorry plight.

Harold Smith completely bottled Carr, Kettering’s free scoring centre-forward leaving the wings as disconnected units. His colleagues in the half back line had a gruelling time, for with the backs in poor form they had to watch two men.

James Smith had one saving grace. He kicked cleanly and with excellent range, but his tackling was slow and uncertain and his power of recovery nil.

George Clark was plainly out of his class, but he tried valiantly to cover his shortcomings with any amount of dash.

Cyril Boulton, reintroduced to the side with Reg Foxall out of the team with an injured thigh, and Harry Roberts were the least successful of the forwards and the line showed a great improvement when they changed places with the wingers.

Tommy Atkin was at his best when he took the inside position, and Thomas Savage was always in search of a likely opening.

Kettering had the better side as a whole, and man for man, with the half backs excepted. The rear lines of defence were very sound and George Clark was outstanding  at right-half.

Receipts for the game £104 15s 6d (£104.77), with tax and other expenses £12 4s 2d (£12.21) deducted there was £46 5s 8d (£46.28) for each club.


The Posh: Jack Kendall, George Clarke, James Smith, Sam Rowbotham, Harold Smith, Charles McDonagh, Tommy Atkin, Harry Roberts, Cyril Boulton, Thomas Savage and George Bowater.

Kettering Town: Tarrant, Stokes, Broom, Clark, Linnell, Smith, Jones, Garvey, Carr, Hawley and Hart.

Goal scorers: The PoshGeorge Bowater 52 mins and Cyril Boulton 55 mins. Kettering Town – Garvey 6 mins and Charles McDonagh (own goal) 35 mins.