Mansfield Town v Posh 10th September 1960
Venue: Field Mill, Mansfield
Attendance: 11, 385
Score: Mansfield Town 1 v Peterborough Utd 0
Referee: G. McCabe.
United’s players were the first to acknowledge that they had only themselves to blame for their failure at Mansfield when they were beaten by the only goal of the game, scored by the “Stags” teenage centre forward after 70 minutes of play.
But even the most enthusiastic Mansfield supporter will agree that it was incredible that Posh should lose their first League game after completely dominating the play for nine tenths of the game.
Mansfield were the poorest side encountered by United in the Fourth Division. In the first 20 minutes of the game Posh toyed with them to such an extent that the Mansfield supporters were jeering their own players.
United had class, speed, and footballing skill in abundance. They mounted attack after attack and swept the Mansfield defence aside with the greatest of ease. The only thing they failed to do was put the ball in the net.
Posh delighted the huge crowd with their football and the way in which they made Mansfield look a very third rate side indeed. Twice Terry Bly had only the goalkeeper to beat and saw his final shot deflected over the crossbar.
Emery, Hails and McNamee all had shots scrambled away, and it was amusing to see the antics of the home defence as Posh piled on the pressure.
Goalkeeper Wyllie was the luckiest man in League football as he got his body in the way time and time again to prevent “certain” goals.
Mansfield’s first real shot at goal came after 30 minutes and this was a long range effort from Delaphena who had spent most of his time in defence.
But is was Delaphena who began to put his side back in the game just before the interval. He encouraged his men to copy United’s style where possible, but when half time came Posh were still hammering away for that first vital goal.
In the second half United began to despair a little, and who can blame them. They had played Mansfield “into the ground” and had nothing to show for it.
Then Mansfield took a hand and after several spasmodic attacks had petered out in the United penalty area they went ahead with a simple goal by 17 year old centre forward Wagstaff.
One of many long clearances by the defence fell at his feet. He had no one to support him so he made for goal, slipping the ball past Rigby and just beating Stafford in the race to get a foot to it again. Walls was half way out of his goal to cut off the danger and he had no chance with the ground shot which went into the net.
And United “went to town” again. Everything was thrown into attack, and a long swerving shot from Emery was the best of the game. It could have pulled United out of the fire, but somehow Wyllie managed to put the ball over the crossbar.
That was really the last straw for Posh. And when the final whistle left them beaten for the first time there was no one who could really believe that such a one sided game should produce such a fantastic result.
Posh: Jack Walls, Ellis Stafford, Jim Walker, Jim Rayner, Norman Rigby, Keith Ripley, Billy Hails, Dennis Emery, Terry Bly, Ray Smith and Peter McNamee.
Mansfield: Wyllie, Toon, Humble, Smith, Phillips, Watson, Fitzsimons, Williams, Wagstaff, Delaphena and Hollett.
Goal: Mansfield – Wagstaff 70 mins.