Coventry Sporting v Posh FA Cup 13 Dec 1975
Venue: Highfield Road, Coventry
Score: Coventry Sporting 0 v Peterborough Utd 4
Referee: J. Coggins
Minnows Coventry Sporting Club sunk in a 4 goal Posh cruise.
If any of the Posh players broke sweat then it could only have been self induced to keep warm on a freezing Saturday afternoon in Coventry.
That may sound brutally unkind to £5 a week part-timers of Coventry Sporting but to be frank, Posh never had to extend themselves beyond practice match limits to earn an FA Cup third round tie at Nottingham Forest.
Three goals in the opening 33 minutes finished the match as a contest and then Posh sensibly avoided too many risks on a frost bound Highfield Road pitch before adding a fourth for good measure in the last minute.
Even so, the Posh lost striker David Gregory with a thigh injury three minutes from time which meant he faced a battle to be fit for the following Saturday’s Third Division game at Gillingham.
The ease with which the Posh achieved victory and the standard of opposition made Sporting Coventry’s 2-0 first round win over Fourth Division Tranmere Rovers seem even more unbelievable.
Apart from some early touches of quality from Tom Starkey, the West Midlands League side were swamped in midfield where Peter Eustace, Mick Jones and Lyndon Hughes dictated and dominated the game from the first to last whistle.
In fact Mick Jones, a late replacement for John Cozens, proved Posh’s most effective player scoring the second goal and having a hand in two others.
Sporting defended stubbornly with goalkeeper Howard Jeavons making several fine saves, but in attack they offered very little, Stuart Gallagher, their tow goal hero against Tranmere, being completely subdued by Jack Carmichael.
Gallagher did miss an open goal close to half time after Gore had headed against the bar, but those instances apart, Posh goalkeeper Eric Steele spent a cold afternoon.
Gore did have the ball in the Posh net twice, once in each half, but in both cases he was clearly offside.
Sporting, greeted by a fanfare of trumpets, produced an early flourish and had a seventh minute “goal” disallowed.
But once Lyndon Hughes had struck after 15 minutes with his first goal for the club the writing was on the wall for the minnows.
Collecting a long ball out of defence from Chris Turner, Hughes drifted across the edge of the penalty area before picking his spot with a shot wide of the diving goalkeeper.
Seven minutes later, Mick Jones virtually sealed Sporting’s fate with a 20-yard drive after the defence had half cleared a Tommy Robson free kick.
It was all over after 33 minutes when David Gregory had a long range effort deflected past Jeavons by Derek Jones.
The second half was a non event with Posh just doing enough to prevent Sporting from hauling themselves off the floor.
A large proportion of the 8,500 plus crowd had in fact left for home when Jon Nixon added a fourth in the last minute after Jeavons had blocked a Mick Jones drive.
The game had been held up for two minutes midway through the first half after fans spilled on to the pitch following a scuffle behind the Sporting goal. But the police quickly intervened and there were no more incidents.
The Posh: Eric Steele, Bert Murray, Jeff Lee, Peter Eustace, Chris Turner, Jack Carmichael, Jon Nixon, David Gregory (Keith Bradley 87 minutes), Mick Jones, Lyndon Hughes and Tommy Robson.
Coventry Sporting Club: Howard Jeavons, Sorbie, Mundy, Dunk, Derek Jones, Skelcy, Randle (Gibbs 72 mins), Tom Starkey, Stuart Gallagher, Gore and Manning.
Goal scorers: The Posh – Lyndon Hughes 15 mins, Mick Jones 22 mins , Derek Jones (Own Goal) 33 mins and Jon Nixon 89 mins.