Barnet v Posh FA Cup 1st Rd 26 Nov 1977

Venue: Underhill, Barnet

Attendance: 4,000

Score: Barnet 1 v Peterborough Utd 2

Referee: Ken Baker

4,000 spectators were treated to a good old fashioned cup tie at Barnet as Posh won 2-1 to progress to the 2nd round of the FA Cup.

Promotion chasing Posh had a day off from their Division 3 programme, only to be plunged into the unfamiliar arena of the Underhill ground where the eyes and ears of the soccer world awaited a giant killing by the Southern League minnows.

Ex Spurs and England striker Jimmy Greaves was in the Barnet side and had scored 25 goals already this season though his place in this game had been in doubt after he’d being sent-off on the Tuesday in a game at Chelmsford City.  The game was abandoned when the home side were awarded a hotly disputed penalty.  The keeper saved, but when the ref ordered a re-take, Billy Meadows, Barnet’s manager, completely lost it and Greaves refused to walk when the ref showed him the red card.  Barnet managed to hastily arrange a league game with Hillingdon Borough on the Thursday, which Greaves sat out, allowing him to take the field for this game.

Also playing for Barnet was  former Chelsea centre half Marvin Hinton and ex Posh old boy John Fairbrother.

Barnet were inspired by the occasion and the skills of their man of the moment, Greaves, raising their game to an unaccustomed high level.

They battled, fought, chased, ran ceaselessly and frequently provided some very fair football. Posh knew it would not be easy.

So often non-league grounds are little more than graveyards for the burial of FA aspirations.

The competition has claimed endless victims over the years. Others fell today, but Posh were not among them.

Goals from Alan Slough and Tommy Robson wiped out Barnet’s shock 10th minute lead through Dennis Brown and took the club into the hat for the 2nd round draw.

When Brown scored the home team had already had one lucky let off with Greaves kicking a Chris Turner header off the line. And it was Greaves again who in an indirect manner provided the first goal.

He found room for a shot what was deflected on to Brown by John Fairbrother. The Barnet forward took his chance well, coolly slotting the ball to the side of Jim Barron.

Posh promptly surged into attack, Peter Hindley who had a tremendous match in a remarkable dual role as full back and right winger crossed for Barry Butlin, whose header was saved by keeper Wilf Woodend.

The goalkeeper then produced close range saves from Steve Earle and Hindley when it seemed certain that an equaliser would materialise.

Despite the obvious frustration Posh never lost their patience, and while they may have been forced into error by the eagerness of their opponents and the fluctuating pitch of the match, they always retained a composure that in the end brought them a well deserved victory.

The badly needed gal came in the 40th minute when Hindley made another splendid run down the right flank before crossing into the area. Slough collected and controlled the ball, then turned and ruthlessly cracked it hard and low into the back of the net.

It was a moment of both delight and relief for the large contingent of Posh fans present.

With the score at 1-1 the second half followed a similar pattern to the first. Posh always looked the far more capable side, but Barnet would have run all night if they had been required.

Earle missed a couple of chances and then in the 67th minute who should pop up to score the winner but that man Tommy Robson.

Billy McEwan, again looking very good value for £17,000, lashed the ball in from the right and goal hungry Robson raced to the far post to stick it away.

The game swayed to and fro until the very last second, with Robson glowing from his seventh goal of the season and going for number eight. He had already missed the bar by only inches with a stunning volley from  a Bob Doyle cross.

Teams:

The Posh: Jim Barron, Peter Hindley, Jeff Lee, Bob Doyle, Chris Turner, Ian Ross, Alan Slough, Barry Butlin, Steve Earle, Billy McEwan and Tommy Robson.

Unused Sub: Gary Sargent.

Barnet: Wilf Woodend, Steve Oliver, Walter Lees, Marvin Hinton, Terry Tapping, Gary Borthwick, Jimmy Greaves, Dennis Brown, John Fairbrother, Les Eason and Gary Williams.

Unused Sub: Unknown.

Goal scorers: The Posh – Alan Slough 40 mins and Tommy Robson 67 mins. Barnet – Dennis Brown 10 mins.