Posh v Oldham Athletic 22nd October 1960
Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 2 v Oldham Athletic 2
Referee: E. Crawford.
The painful chest injury sustained by Norman Rigby in a collision mid-way through the first half against Oldham not only put Norman almost completely out of action, but it had an unsettling effect on the rest of the team and another precious Fourth Division point was thrown away.
There seems to be no end to the misfortunes of United this season. On Saturday they seemed certain to break the sequence of five successive games without a win and were giving Oldham the “run-round” until they were reduced to ten men.
The injury to Rigby was a cruel blow, but on the other hand Posh could still have made certain of the points had they taken the many chances created by wingers Billy Hails and Peter McNamee.
Oldham were a very ordinary Fourth Division side and they looked completely outclassed in the first 20 minutes when United delivered an all out onslaught.
It produced only one goal, however, and Posh let Oldham off the hook by failing to take their chances in front of goal.
When United went ahead after only three minutes it looked as though the fans were going to see a return to the attacking form which has put Posh among the League leaders.
Billy Hails’ corner found the visitors defence standing flatfooted and although the goalkeeper made a tentative move towards the ball McNamee was able to nip in between the hesitating defenders and head the ball downwards over the line.
Seconds later another corner from Hails swung over in the same position, McNamee was on the spot again but had the misfortune to head the ball against an upright.
Well supported by wing halves Jim Rayner and Keith Ripley, the United forwards carved opening after opening but still they could not score and gradually Oldham began to creep back into the game.
Former Scottish international Bobby Johnstone inspired a number of attacks and right winger Spurdle was dangerous with his first time shooting.
Johnstone almost scored with a well disguised lob but Jack Walls spotted it just in time to make a good save.
After 20 minutes Rigby was involved in a collision with Spurdle and although he carried on for a few minutes after treatment from Johnny Anderson it was obvious that he was in great pain when he left the field.
Oldham saw their chance and very nearly took it when a neat header from Liddell beat Walls. The Oldham player was flagged offside, however, and the goal was disallowed.
Rigby’s return to the field sparked off another series of devastating attacks by United and although Rigby went to centre forward Posh managed to keep the pressure and were rewarded with another goal just before the interval.
McNamee started the move which sent Dennis Emery body swerving his way up the left wing. Dennis’s centre deceived the entire defence and came right across the goal for Hails who had the easiest of chances to score.
Rigby did not re-appear in the second half and with Ripley at centre half it seemed as if United would have little difficulty in hanging on to their hard won lead.
But Oldham had other ideas and after 57 minutes Birch shot through a crowd of players to see the ball hit an upright and shoot back into the net off the legs of Walls.
Four minutes later the visitors were on level terms when a great pass from Johnstone left Rackley completely unmarked on his wing. The left winger fired in a shot which gave Walls no chance.
Rigby was off the field when United began to hit back, but he gallantly returned again to play at centre forward.
Gradually Posh built up their attacks and Oldham were forced to defend desperately against a four man forward line. Hails put across a stream of accurate centres and twice Terry Bly was inches wide with his headers.
The centre forward should have scored, however, when he forced the Oldham goalkeeper to drop the ball only to fall over it himself.
Then Emery and McNamee took a hand and Dennis was guilty of a bad miss heading just wide of the post when faced with an open goal.
Oldham brought their wingers back to help the defence and concentrated on saving a point, but despite their ceaseless attack in the last 15 minutes United could not get a winner.
Posh: Jack Walls, Dick Whittaker, Jim Walker, Jim Rayner, Norman Rigby, Keith Ripley, Billy Hails, Dennis Emery, Terry Bly, Ray Smith and Peter McNamee.
Oldham: Hardie, Brannan, McCue, Phoenix, Greenall, Hall, Spurdle, Johnstone, Birch, Liddell and Rackley.
Goals: Posh – Peter McNamee 3 mins and Billy Hails 40 mins. Oldham – Birch 57 mins and Rackley 61 minutes.