Posh v Newcastle Utd FA Cup 3rd Rd 7 Jan 1978
Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 1 v Newcastle Utd 1
Officials: Dennis Turner, P.J. North and A.R. Girdlestone.
This FA Cup third clash had everything except a winning goal which Posh so richly deserved.
A bumper crowd of 17,621 were treated to a footballing feast in which Third Division Peterborough Utd served up ninety minutes of skill, verve and excitement.
They bounced back from the shock of an early Ray Hudson goal to put First Division Newcastle on the rack and in the end Bill McGarry’s side were relieved to get a second bite of the cherry at St James’ Park in 4 days time.
In fact, Posh fans thought the replay was going to be unnecessary when Jack Carmichael headed the ball home late in the second half, but referee Derek Turner silenced the cheers by penalising Tommy Robson for impeding young goalkeeper Kevin Carr as Gary Sargent’s looping cross came over.
Newcastle’s goal came when midfielder Ray Hudson stole forward to hit a fierce left foot volley from 18 yards that sent Posh keeper Jim Barron the wrong way with the aid of a deflection.
The opportunity arose as a result of a partially cleared corner and he took his chance well.
Posh made an excellent start to the match and the setback prompted them to tear into attack. The wait for an equaliser only lasted six minutes when Gary Sargent scored with a superb header.
Ian Ross took a free kick near the centre circle, Chris Turner headed the ball across the face of the goal where Gary Sargent rose and with considerable cool nodded the ball past Magpies keeper Carr.
Sargent never looked back “I have never felt so nervous as at the start of this game” he said afterwards, “but once I scored I always felt I was going to get another.”
And it looked that way. He used his considerable close ball skills to great effect and seemed the man most likely to get the winner.
But to single out any individual for praise would be wrong. It was a magnificent team performance to which all players contributed.
There perhaps should be special mention of Lyndon Hughes who came in as full back replacement for Peter Hindley and produced some good corners.
Tommy Robson gave Ray Blackhall a nightmare match. The Newcastle defender was repeatedly turned inside out by the veteran Posh winger who seemed to revel in performing against his old club.
But they all played well. Alan Slough sparkled, Ian Ross and Chris Turner were masters at the back, and Jeff Lee turned in some frequently exciting work.
Jack Carmichael not only made some thunderous, but crucial tackles, he also came close to scoring a winner on at least three occasions.
Billy McEwan ran as if there were no tomorrow, and though a little uneasy at the start, he settled as the game wore on to make a substantial contribution.
Bob Doyle was always looking to turn the game. It was another in a string of fine displays from the midfielder, who this time operated more as an out and out forward on the right flank.
Finally a mention should go to Jim Barron. He wasn’t called upon a great deal, but what he did was with great confidence and there were good saves from shots by Alan Gowling and Kenny Mitchell.
There was a tremendous spell in the second half when Posh had Newcastle on the rack.
There were two occasions when Posh might have felt justified in claiming a penalty, when first McEwan and then Lee were flattened in the area.
In the dying minutes Turner headed a free kick over the bar and Robson broke through a couple of times but it had obviously been ordained that Posh must travel to St James’ Park for a replay.
The only marr on the afternoon’s entertainment was the fact that six players had their names taken , but this wasn’t so much that the game had been dirty but more that it had been keenly fought.
The Posh: Jim Barron, Lyndon Hughes, Jeff Lee, Bob Doyle, Chris Turner, Ian Ross, Alan Slough, Gary Sargent, Tommy Robson, Billy McEwan and Jack Carmichael.
Unused sub: Keith Oakes.
Newcastle Utd: Kevin Carr, Ray Blackhall, Mickey Barker, Tommy Cassidy, Aidan McCaffery, Irving Nattrass, Ray Hudson, Mickey Burns, Kenny Mitchell (Stewart Barraclough), Alan Gowling and Tommy Craig.
Goal scorers: The Posh – Gary Sargent 28 mins. Newcastle Utd – Ray Hudson 21 mins.
Bookings: Billy McEwan, Chris Turner and Jeff Lee (Posh), Ray Blackhall, Ray Hudson and Irving Nattrass