Southport v Posh 25 Apr 61

Venue: Haig Avenue, Southport

Attendance: 6,104

Score: Southport 3 v Peterborough Utd 3

Referee: A. Ellis.

Nine minutes from time at Haig Avenue it looked all over bar the shouting. Peterborough – trailing by two goals – were fighting a desperate defensive battle that had gone on for most of the match. They looked anything but champions.

Then came the moment that transformed the game  – a gift goal for centre forward Terry Bly.

Southport right back Bentham’s pass back caught goalkeeper Harris moving the wrong way, and Bly was on the spot with no defender in sight to flick the ball into the net. It was his first real shot of the game and Posh will never have a luckier break.

Up to that moment they were not only beaten, they were soundly thrashed. But there was nothing lucky about Bly’s equaliser two minutes from time – the goal that gave Peterborough the Championship.

Over came a great centre from Dennis Emery, and up went Bly’s head to pound in his 49th goal of the season. But even the most ardent supporter could not argue that Peterborough deserved the goal that made them certain of topping the League.

The lively Southport forwards dominated the game with fast accurate passing. In fact, the Posh defence was at panic stations for most of the second half.

Right back Dick Whittaker could do nothing to stop Peter Harrison. Only once in the second half did he beat him to the ball. Norman Rigby, the best Peterborough defender, had a thin time trying to tame centre forward Reg Blore

Southport were on the attack from the word go, and twice in the opening minutes headers from right winger Jones’ centres went just wide.

Ripley tried a shot from a long free kick that scraped the post, and in one of their infrequent raids Posh missed a chance to go into the lead when Billy Hails mis-kicked in front of goal.

It was centre forward Blore who put the home side ahead after 28 minutes, from a Blain pass.

Seconds later Rigby handled the ball in the penalty area, but Harrison’s spot kick went wide.

Despite constant pressure on their goal, Posh drew level two minute before the interval. Harris in the Southport goal was unsighted, and Ray Smith flicked a pass across to the unmarked Billy Hails who hit it home.

Southport regained the lead just four minutes after the restart, when Blore scored his second – but it was left winger Harrison who made the goal.

With the Posh defence overwhelmed, it was no surprise when Southport notched a third 16 minutes later. Hannaway crashed in a shot that Walker only just managed to block, and the ball rolled a way to left half Rutherford who sent in a tremendous drive from 30 yards that had Walls beaten all the way.

Teams:

Posh: Jack Walls, Dick Whittaker, Jim Walker, Roy Banham, Roy Banham, Keith Ripley, Billy Hails, Dennis Emery, Terry Bly, Ray Smith and Peter McNamee.

Southport: Albert Harris, Alan Bentham, Bryan Griffiths, Jack Hannaway, Roger Darvell, Bill Rutherford, Eric Jones, Jimmy Blain, Reg Blore, Johnny Fielding and Peter Harrison.

Goals: Posh – Billy Hails 43 mins and Terry Bly (2) 81 mins & 88 mins. Southport – Reg Blore (2) 28 mins & 49 mins and Bill Rutherford 65 mins.