Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 2 v Gillingham 0
Referee: A. Moore.
Because United failed to score any “real” goals against a quick tackling, confident Gillingham defence, the “knockers” have been busy ever since. Posh were lucky to “win,” they tell us. They are talking nonsense.
United found Gillingham a very tough proposition indeed, and while it must be admitted that they had an off day they played well enough to prevent the visitors scoring and at the same time were so persistent with their own attacks that they forced Gillingham into giving away two “own goals”.
On the run of the play in the second half United might easily have scored two or three goals. For long periods they were “shooting in” with the entire Gillingham team packing their own penalty area.
Roy Banham played as confidently as ever in the United defence and the fact that he seems to have been made the “scapegoat” for Posh’s poor showing is most unfair.
Other members of the defence had a shaky time, particularly Dick Whittaker who will be the first to admit that left winger Brown was a dangerous man to watch.
United’s forwards have been described as ineffective, but it should be remembered that they were up against a very hard defence. Take the case of Billy Hails. In the first three minute of the game he was savagely tackled by left back Hunt and from then on showed us none of his sparkling form of recent weeks.
McNamee was too bustled out of the game by an excess of brawn in the form of right back Parry, and with their wingers virtually out of the game the inside trio had to battle their way up the middle with very little success.
It was Gillingham who showed the way when it came to slick passing movements but even these broke down before a resolute home defence. Jack Walls again handled the ball confidently and was never beaten.
Remember also that the Gillingham goal had several narrow escapes. In United’s first real attack a first time shot from McNamee seemed destined for the back of the net when it struck a defender and rebounded to safety.
Ripley and Rayner gave added thrust to the attack and it was from one of Jim’s well placed free kicks after 11 minutes that Posh went ahead.
Bly headed the ball down into the penalty area and Gillingham left half Cockburn was helpless as the ball hit him on the head and spun into the net just out of the goalkeeper’s reach.
The visitors goalkeeper was frequently in action and just before the interval he had a let off when a snap shot from Emery hit Parry’s head and flew over the top of the unguarded goal.
In the second half Posh tried hard to consolidate their position with another goal. It did not materialise and Gillingham were in the game with a chance until five minutes from the end when Perry tried desperately to clear a cross from Hails and succeeded only in helping the ball into his own goal.
Finally a word about the referee. He never seemed to have control of the game and had United responded to Gillingham’s robust tackling then the match might have got out of hand.
As it was the official in charge had the crowd screaming at him fully four minutes after full time when he allowed the game to continue apparently oblivious of the time and the frantic signals of his linesmen.
Posh: Jack Walls, Dick Whittaker, Jim Walker, Jim Rayner, Roy Banham, Keith Ripley, Billy Hails, Dennis Emery, Terry Bly, Ray Smith and Peter McNamee.
Gillingham: Hunt, Cockburn, Parry, Brown, rest unknown
Goals: Posh – Cockburn (Own Goal) 11 mins and Parry (Own Goal) 85 mins.