Posh v Westwood Works 2nd Qualifying Rd 19 Oct 1946
Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 3 v Westwood Works 0
Referee: E.W. Martens.
Though Peterborough beat Westwood Works in the second qualifying round, the honours go to the losers.
The Works came onto the field with the evident intention of making the United fight every inch of the way for victory. They obviously did not regard the result as a foregone conclusion. the exhilarating bustle of their defence , rigorous yet scrupulously fair, put Peterborough right off their game.
Unlucky for the Works, strong approach from the forwards was not capped by intelligent use of the chances. There was too much fumbling and unjudged passing at the crucial moment, with the result that the United goal was only once placed in serious danger.
There was in the standard of football not the difference that one would expect between average representatives of the Midland League and the Peterborough League Division 1.
Peterborough definitely had an off day. The backs had not their usual keen grip on the opposing wings, and often the kicked weakly and ineffectively. Ernest Beardshaw policed the centre of the field with vigilance and was never beaten; but the flanking support was almost non-existent. Adam Mitchell and Tom Smith systematically passed well beyond the forwards, right to the feet of the Westwood backs.
Arnold Bramham stood down from the forward line to make room for Tommy Rudkin , who was having his first run since he pulled a thigh muscle at Boston on September 7th. His performance was watched with critical interest, and there is no hiding the fact that it disappointed. He did not go into a tackle with his old fire, and except for a shot late on in the game that rattled the bar, his shooting lacked his customary venom.
Rudkin was however handicapped by poor service of the ball. Alan Scobie was more fortunate in this respect., but he spoiled himself by attempting to beat too many men.
Fred Warnes tried hard to get going, but a centre forward who has to do his own fetching and carrying is not likely to get far.
Rickards scored his first goal of the season for the United in the ninth minute. He originated the move which sent Scobie away, and flashed a shot in to the roof of the net when John Padgett flicked the centre on to him. Padgett slipped a low ball through the middle to Warnes, who simultaneously snapped it up and evaded Woodhouse’s tackle. Mellows ran out to narrow the angle but the centre forward coolly dribbled round him and piloted the ball into the net.
A sound display by Mellows was the highlight of the second half , and it is to his credit that he was beaten only once more. This was a quarter of an hour from the end, when the unorthodox placing of a corner kick sent the Westwood defence into a tangle. Rudkin squared the ball back to Mitchell and it was passed on to Rickards and Scobie, who scored with a low cross-drive.
One other incident of this half must be mentioned, emphasising as it does the danger of overdoing the back-passing business. A half back with a clear field forward, passed to a back, who decided to give it to Len Silcocks. Miller the Westwood centre forward had other ideas, and Silcocks beat him by a bare inch or two to the ball.
It is interesting to note that the Westwood had five in the R.A.F.; Watts, just back from the Army in Italy, played outside left for the United before the war. Fletcher, ex- Marine Commando, has been with Spalding Utd, and Larman was in the Navy. Centre-half Plant also back from the Navy, played in several midweek matches for Brentford Reserves last season. Mellows directed to the mines as a ‘Bevin Boy’ kept goal for Denaby last season.
The Posh: Len Silcocks, Bernie Bryan, Cyril Parrott, Tom Smith, Ernest Beardshaw, Adam Mitchell, Alan Scobie, Tommy Rickards, Fred Warnes, John Padgett and Tommy Rudkin.
Westwood Works: Mellows, Collman,Woodhouse, Magnus, Plant, Quester, Larman, Fletcher, Miller, Bean and Watts.
Goal scorers: The Posh – Tommy Rickards 9 mins, Fred Warnes 18 mins and Alan Scobie 75 mins.