Gillingham v Posh 1st October 1960
Venue: Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham
Score: Gillingham 4 v Peterborough Utd 4
Referee: C. Rogers.
United did exceptionally well to bring back a point from Gillingham, but had it not been for some strange refereeing decisions which favoured the home side they might well have gained maximum points.
Right winger Billy Hails certainly deserved to be on the winning side. He scored three goals and the fourth came from one of his centres, a Gillingham defender turning the ball into his own net.
United had plenty of followers in the huge crowd and they were soon giving their faithful fans something to cheer about when Simpson dropped a centre from Posh’s left winger Peter McNamee and the ball was scrambled to safety off the goal line.
The United forwards had to move the ball quickly as the home defenders came in with some strong tackles. A good move between Terry Bly and Dennis Emery let McNamee through with a chance but a desperate tackle gave United their first corner.
Little was seen of the Gillingham attack and the home defence was considerably over-worked, giving away six corners in the first ten minutes.
The Gillingham inside right Peter Farrell (he very nearly became a Posh player during the close season) broke through on his own but was stopped by goalkeeper Jack Walls. Then Terry went close with a header.
Farrell put his side back into the game, but Terry Bly was the nearest to scoring when his shot flew upwards off the top of the crossbar.
At the other end, Roy Banham, playing a great game at left back, headed off the goal line. The excitement increased and Posh went ahead after 28 minutes when McNamee and Emery worked the ball cleverly for Hails to whip across a centre which centre half Hughes helped into his own net.
Eleven minutes later came another own goal – this time from United’s Jim Rayner – and Gillingham were on level terms. Rayner saw the ball go into the net off his legs when running back to cover the goal line.
Just before half time the home side took the lead with an astonishing goal. The Peterborough defence stood still expecting the referee to give a free kick for a foul on Norman Rigby but the whistle did not go and Pulley lashed in a shot from 20 yards.
Posh got on level terms five minutes after the interval when, after some clever approach work from Emery, Hails scored with a left foot shot.
Two minutes later Hails – the man of the match – cracked the ball home first time from McNamee’s corner to put United ahead again.
Gillingham’s defence was having a shaky time and Emery looked more like his old self as he created opening after opening.
But luck was more with the home side and they equalised after 67 minutes with another strange goal. Farrell’s shot appeared to hit the post and bounce back into Wall’s arms but after consulting a linesman the referee ruled that it had crossed the line.
Five minutes later Gillingham went ahead when the ball slipped from Wall’s grasp and centre forward Terry only had to tap it home.
Posh went all out for an equaliser and were rewarded 10 minutes from time when McNamee headed in a centre from Bly. The ball came out again and Hails blasted it home just to make certain.
Thus ended a really hard and enjoyable game which was marred by a series of the strangest refereeing decisions ever witnessed in one match.
Banham was easily the best defender on view while Hails and Emery were the pick of the forwards.
Posh: Jack Walls, Ray Hogg, Roy Banham, Jim Rayner, Norman Rigby, Keith Ripley, Billy Hails, Dennis Emery, Terry Bly, Ray Smith and Peter McNamee.
Gillingham: Simpson, Hughes, Farrell, Terry, Pulley, rest unknown.
Goals: Posh – Billy Hails (3) 50 mins, 52 mins & 80 mins and Hughes (Own Goal) 28 mins. Gillingham – Jim Rayner (Own Goal) 39 mins, Pulley 44 mins, Farrell 67 mins and Terry 72 mins.