Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 7 v Exeter City 1
Officials: A. Mason.
There was something reminiscent of Peterborough United’s Midland League days about their 7-1 victory over luckless Exeter. Not content with leading 3-0 at the interval, they produced “three in eight minutes” spell immediately after the re-start which completely demoralised the men of Devon and left the fans mildly complaining about a one-sided game.
But the story might easily have been completely different had Exeter taken their chances in the first goalless 20 minutes in which the Posh defence took ages to settle down, and seemed both unsafe and unsure.
Exeter City, unbeaten in the League since Boxing Day, showed a lot of promise in their early moves and it was thanks to a little luck and some fine saves by Jack Walls that United did not concede a couple of early goals.
The Posh forwards were in the game right from the start but they were struggling to break the ice until the 25th minute when Jim Rayner, easily the best player on view, took a hand.
Moving up behind his forwards, he blasted, in a hard shot and saw the ball rocket up into the air off the legs of centre half Williams. The wind carried the ball into the goalmouth and goalkeeper Jones pawed at it in vain when challenged by Terry Bly, the ball dropping behind him into the net.
Six minutes later Posh took a firm grip on the game with a brilliant second goal, Emery teeing the ball up for Billy Hails to score with ease.
Exeter’s attempt at a revival fizzled out completely when a bad defensive lapse gave Bly a “gift” goal and set him on the road to a hat-trick.
The goalkeeper cleared the ball to Williams only to see the centre half robbed by Bly who raced on a couple of yards and put the ball into the unguarded net.
Goals came thick and fast after the interval. Within three minutes of the re-start the ball was deflected through to Bly and with the defence appealing in vain for offside he calmly beat the goalkeeper with a ground shot.
A minute later there was a mix up in the Posh defence and the eager Rees slipped in to reduce the arrears. Within three minutes , however, Bly had scored again.
A glorious move was started up the left wing by Peter McNamee. Emery got the ball across to Bly who attempted to side foot it into the net and succeeded only in moving the ball out to Hails. The winger crossed the ball without hesitation and Bly was on the spot to head home a picture goal.
Two minutes later Hails came worrying down his wing again and his final low centre caught the Exeter defence off balance and right back Foley could only turn the ball into the roof of the net in his attempt to clear.
It was fitting that Hails should score the final goal after 87 minutes from a clever pass from Bly.
In between, however, Billy had seen a shot run across the face of the crossbar, sharp shooting Keith Ripley hit a low drive against an upright, and Jim Rayner put the ball into the net only to have his effort disallowed.
Exeter went home a well beaten and demoralised team, with their hopes of climbing away from the bottom of the League shattered by United’s all round superiority.
This was Third Division football from Posh, and the supporters who have become so accustomed to seeing Midland League sides thrashed week in week out at London Road went home hoping to see better from Third Division sides next season.
Posh: Jack Walls, Dick Whittaker, Jim Walker, Jim Rayner, Roy Banham, Keith Ripley, Billy Hails, Dennis Emery, Terry Bly, Ray Smith and Peter McNamee.
Exeter City: Jones, Foley, McDonald, Wilson, Williams, Thompson, Donaldson, Rees, Jenkins, Carter and Dale.
Goals: Posh – Williams (Own Goal) 25 mins, Billy Hails (2) 31 mins & 87 mins, Terry Bly (3) 40 mins, 48 mins & 51 mins and Foley (Own Goal) 54 mins. Exeter – Rees 49 mins.