Posh v Wolverton FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Rd 17 Oct 1936

Venue: London Road, Peterborough

Attendance: 2,427

Score: Peterborough Utd 3 v Wolverton Town 0

Referee: F. Robinson

Although Posh were drawn away to Wolverton for this game, Wolverton approached the Posh for the match to be switched to London Road much to the delight of Posh fans and so it was that this ‘away’ fixture was played at ‘home’.

An inept display by the inside forwards, coupled with the brilliance of Lee, the visiting keeper, prevented Peterborough Utd from piling up a big score against Wolverton in the second qualifying round of this FA Cup tie.

The match was not one to make the spectators wildly excited. In fact it was reported that the size of the gate was the best feature of this game. With spectators numbering 2,427, receipts (including £3 10s  6d from programmes and £1 9s 6d from the car park) totalled £114 1s.

Wolverton no doubt were delighted they changed the venue. At any rate they must have been convinced that they would have had little chance at home.

The score of 3-0 in Peterborough’s favour in no way reflected their superiority in all phases of the game except marksmanship, but it flattered them on the sole consideration of the form of the forwards in front of goal. Except for the first quarter of an hour, and a few minutes immediately before and after the interval – the periods in which the goals were scored – the attack was futile, and unbelievably easy chances presented by a weak defence were missed.

The best football came in the first half, when Peterborough played to a preconceived formation of attack and defence. Why so successful a policy was dropped in favour of aimless cleverness I am at a loss to understand.

In United’s first attack  – in the opening minute – Sims forced a corner and placed the ball out to Jackie Wilson, from whose centre Briggs drove in. Lee knocked the ball down at point blank range, and Sims shot against a post. Another corner on the left after three minutes produced the first goal, Briggs shooting in through a crowd of players, with Wilson and Rigby obscuring the goalkeeper’s sight of the ball.

A fine low free kick from Smith troubled Kendall in the Peterborough goal, but with strong wind at their backs, the United settled down to a spell of relentless pressure in which the forwards footwork was delightful.

The scrupulous marking of the backs and halves reduced Kendall’s work to a minimum – indeed he only had that one direct shot to save.

Lee smartly held Roberts header from Jackie Wilson’s centre and a rousing drive from the right winger rebounded from a post with the keeper standing hopelessly beaten. In the fifteenth minute Jackie Wilson scored a simple goal. He lobbed the ball goalwards and it appeared to be going wide, but the wind turned it inside the far post with the goalkeeper making no attempt to save.

Lucky goals both, but still, they counted.

In the next minute Wilson was through again, and Lee had to go full length to save. Lee also held a fast free kick from Hargreaves from 20 yards out, but was well beaten when Grant wildly shot against the underside of the bar in attempting to clear. The ball rebounded into the goalmouth and Lee scrambled Rigby’s header away, the referee refusing to listen to Peterborough’s appeal for a goal.

Wolverton were handicapped when Gibbins, their smart right winger, was troubled by a recurrence of an old injury to the left knee after thirty minutes play, and was carried off on a stretcher, but their form up to that period had not suggested that they would have given the United a close call even with a full side. Their football was spirited, but that was all. Kick and rush tactics failed to pass a defence which for the first time  adopted definite tactics – the backs marking the wing men, the flank halves the inside forwards, and the centre half the centre forward. Peterborough’s forwards adopted the W plan of attack with such marked success that they were two goals up in a quarter of an hour.

Just after Gibbins had left Rigby cleverly turned Wilson’s centre into the net, but the referee gave an offside ruling.

A minute before half time Briggs slammed the ball against the bar from Wilson’s centre and this time United were successful in their appeal that the ball had crossed the line on the rebound.

There were more thrills crowded into the first five minutes after the resumption than in all the rest of the half. In that period there were two corners, Lee saved twice from Wilson (once when he had beaten man after man in a 30 yard run) and from Roberts Briggs and Chiverton, while a header from Rigby missed narrowly.

Soon afterwards Rigby puzzled the defence when Sims centred by jumping over the ball and allowing it to go on to Roberts but the goalkeeper was ready for his fierce drive.

For a long spell Peterborough’s pointless pattern weaving against a thoroughly demoralised side served only to irritate the spectators, but there were momentary reliefs from boredom when Sims, heading in while moving at full speed, missed by inches, and when Lee saved a grand header from Rigby.

Roberts, Jackie Wilson and Sims were tireless with their efforts to make openings – though the less said about their shooting ventures in the second half the better.

In the same period Briggs and Rigby – playing for the first time this season at centre forward – wasted chances with monotonous regularity.

Rigby, whatever he may be in his rightful position, is on this games form definitely not the solution to the centre forward problem.

Ten minutes from the end Sims was fouled in the penalty area and Lee was cheered for the adroit manner in which he turned Rigby’s spot kick over the bar.

Briggs looked certain scorer when he dashed through but Lee flung himself full length to save. Just before the end the best shot of the match produced the best save. Hargreaves  drove in from 20 yards range, but Lee with a perfect swallow dive right across the goal turned the ball round the post.

The young goalkeeper richly deserved the rousing ovation he was given at the end of the match.

Teams:

The Posh: Jack Kendall, Charlie Wilson, Charlie Bisby, Ted Chiverton, T. Froggart, Len Hargreaves, Jackie Wilson, Harry Roberts, Billy Rigby, Jack Briggs and Syd Sims.

Wolverton Town: Lee, Grant, Durdin, Sanders, Eales, Keynes, Gibbins, Robinson, Betts, Matthews and Smith.

Goal scorers: The Posh – Jack Briggs (2) 3 & 44 mins and Jackie Wilson 15 mins.