Posh v Rushden Town FA Cup 1st Qualifying Rd 5 Oct 1935
Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 0 v Rushden Town 3
The Posh’s first appearance in the FA Cup was in a 1st Qualifying Round game at London Road on Saturday the 5th October 1935. The game came just 17 months after the club was formed on the 17th May 1934 and was against local Northamptonshire rivals Rushden Town (yes, Peterborough did used to be in Northamptonshire!).
A record crowd for the season yielded gross proceeds of £203 9s 6d (£203.48 in today’s money!) saw Rushden defeat the Posh by three goals to nil.
Rushden had their greatest following of the year – close upon a thousand supporters who travelled by special train, bus and private car.
Rushden fully deserved their success, for in the first half, when they built up a 3-0 lead in 27 minute, the Posh found them unmanageable.
At the start Rushden’s vigorous attacks looked suspiciously like ‘kick and rush and risk it’.
But as they settled they showed that they are capable of as prettily combined movements as seen from many First Division clubs.
Moving at breakneck speed they showed uncanny accuracy at sending the ball to the right man.
In short, one could readily understand why they are monarchs of all they survey in Northamptonshire.
The Posh defence was hopelessly at sea against their virile attack in which precision passing and deadly accuracy in shooting were blended. To crown all they carried out their manoeuvres at top speed, and proved themselves yards faster than the Posh rearguard.
The Posh made a big mistake in not attempting to adapt themselves to the example set by Rushden. They preferred individualism and dainty touches, and not once did such tactics lead them anywhere.
In short, the Posh gave a perfectly miserable display for which they paid the ultimate penalty. Only Jefferson, Collins and Kendall justified their inclusion, and the centre forward almost invariably had to work out his own movements.
The two new men, Upton (inside right, from Royal Albert) and Marsden (left back, from York City), had an unhappy experience and did not shine.
However, force of circumstance compelled the Posh to make the risky experiment of fielding the newcomers for Beach, Rigby and Duthie were on the injured list, and Hargreaves, Jefferson and Macaulay did not report fit until the day before the match.
Posh showed some promise in the first minute, when Barrowclough, from Upton’s pass, forced a corner and Macauley headed on to the top of the bar but Rushden quickly took command of the game, and Kendall had to deal with four centres from Pettit, inside a couple of minutes.
In the sixteenth minute Rushden took the lead, when Eyre beat Jefferson and Warren and pushed the ball out to the left, Pettit’s centre sped across the goal to Harrison who worked himself into position before scoring with a wonderful shot.
Seven minutes later Harrison retrieved a loose clearance and whilst the Posh defence literally stood still he passed through for Eyre to leave Kendall helpless with a tremendous drive.
In another four minutes Rushden’s pattern weaving again bewildered the defence, Kendall pushed the ball out to Pettit from Wait’s centre, and when it was returned Harrison, with the utmost deliberation, tapped it into the net.
Posh rallied ten minutes from half time, and though Wallington was kept fairly busy he never had a really dangerous shot to deal with.
Rushden eased off considerably in the second half, but Posh failed to get down to business.
It was a case of every man for himself, apparently half a dozen of them could be as pretty as you please. They could also beat three men very nicely and they could be relied upon to lose the ball to the fourth every time! Combined movements by the Posh were so unique as to cause quite a flutter among the crowd.
It would not have been quite such a forlorn affair if the individuality had led anywhere. Rushden’s defenders were far too seasoned warriors to allow slow motion forwards to walk the ball past them.
The only effort that gave Wallington serious trouble was a fierce free kick from Jefferon from the edge of the penalty area. The goalkeeper turned the ball wide, and from Willis’ corner, Collins shot against the bar, Wallington fell and Upton appeared to have the ball in when Inwood cleared.
The Posh: Jack Kendall, Arthur Jefferson, Henry Marsden, Ernie Warren, Len Hargreaves, Harry Willis, Arthur Barraclough , Dave Collins, Upton, F. Macauley and G. Mitchell.
Rusden Town: Albert Wallington, Bert Inwood, Fred Patenall, Reggie Bland, Bert Markham, Johnnie Hindmarsh, Mick Eyre, George Hillyard, R. Pettit, G. Harrison and Waite.
Goal scorers: Rushden Town – G. Harrison 16 mins and Mick Eyre (2) 23 & 26 mins.