Posh v Southport 3rd October 1960

Venue: London Road, Peterborough

Attendance: 17,096

Score: Peterborough Utd 3 v Southport 4

Referee: K. Aston.

One of the most amazing refereeing decisions ever seen as London Road robbed United of a point (and most probably two points) in their match against Southport. Referee Mr Aston of Ilford was so apparently conscious of the mistake he made in the 58th minute that he lost complete control of the match.

The full story of his error is now known. With Posh trailing 3-2 he awarded them an indirect free kick almost on the penalty spot. Ray Smith side footed the ball to Dennis Emery who found a gap in the wall of defenders and blasted it home.

The jubilant Posh players were running back to the centre of the field unaware that referee Aston had awarded a goal kick.

He waved aside their arguments about Smith having taken the kick and refused to consult the linesman.

After the match referee Aston at first refused to make any comment, but finally said he had not given a goal kick, but a free kick because a United player was offside when the indirect free kick was taken.

Thus, for the second game in succession Posh could justly claim that they had been robbed.

But give credit to Southport for a fighting display.

Three times they took the lead and three times United equalised. Then with only nine men, Ripley and Rayner were hobbling Posh went all out for a winner only to see Southport steal the points with a breakaway goal in the last few seconds of the game.

After a couple of inexplicable misses by Emery and Ripley Southport went ahead after 17 minutes. Jones swung his foot at the ball from 30 yards out and saw it flash into the net.

Emery equalised after 34 minutes with a great shot on the turn, and minutes later Terry Bly bulldozed his way through only to see his shot rebound from an upright hit the goalkeeper and go out for a corner.

It was right against the run of play when Southport again took the lead after 36 minutes. Again the scorer was Jones and again he took advantage of a hesitating defence.

A minute before the interval Bly put matters right for Posh with a brilliantly headed equaliser from a centre from Hails.

Five minutes after the interval Southport were ahead again. Reg Blore crashing in a shot which knocked out Norman Rigby on its way into the net.

Then followed the folly of Mr Aston, but Posh refused to let it worry them and with Ripley a passenger on the left wing piled on the pressure.

Southport battled on bravely but Peter McNamee got a well deserved equaliser after 72 minutes when he popped up in front of goal to push the ball home.

Emery missed an open goal but still Posh hammered away and Southport hung on grimly. Then disaster came, Rigby had moved up to support the all out attack when the ball was cleared to Southport’s left winger. He centred the ball and Harrison ran in to snatch the points for the visitors.


Posh: Jack Walls, Ellis Stafford, Roy Banham, Jim Rayner, Norman Rigby, Keith Ripley, Billy Hails, Dennis Emery, Terry Bly, Ray Smith and Peter McNamee.

Southport: Albert Harris, Fred Leeder, Bryan Griffiths, Bill Rutherford, Roger Darvell, Jack Hannaway, Eric Jones, Jimmy Blain, Reg Blore, Ken Booth and Peter Harrison.

Goals: Posh – Dennis Emery 34 mins, Terry Bly 44 mins and Peter McNamee 72 mins. Southport – Eric Jones (2) 17 mins & 36 mins, Reg Blore 50 mins and Peter Harrison 90 mins.