Posh v Nottingham Forest FA Cup – 7 Jan 1976

Score: Peterborough Utd 1 v Nottingham Forest 0

Venue: London Road, Peterborough

Attendance: 17,866

Referee: D.T. Richardson.

Both clubs knew the winners of this game would experience the atmosphere of and cash windfall from a visit to Old Trafford in the 4th round of this year’s FA Cup.

And it was brave Posh striker Jon Nixon who made the trip to Old Trafford possible for the Posh by scoring the only goal of the game.

His moment of glory came after 22 minutes with his very first kick after returning from the dressing room with four stitches in a knee injury. The goal virtually repaid his £15,000 transfer fee with a single swoop of his right leg.

The superb goal proved sufficient to land gallant Posh the next best thing to a FA Cup Final at Wembley……a lucrative fourth round trip to Manchester Utd and the club’s richest ever pay day.

Ironically the golden goal which was brilliantly created by debutant left back Jim Walker whose delightful touch line wiggle paved the way for the goal had only been given permission to play by Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough hours before the kick off. Clough also had brought Walker out of non-league football and according to Walker himself Clough had taught him everything he knew.

But if ever a goal epitomised the courage and character of a side then this was it.

For despite the obvious discomfort, Nixon battled on to the end to help Posh survive a nerve stretching last 20 minutes as Forest piled on the pressure in a bid to rescue the tie.

But the former Notts County winger was only one of many Posh heroes who have proved over the two clashes with Second Division Forest that when it comes to supreme tests of character they have few, if any, equals at this level.

Skipper Chris Turner dominated the aerial battles at the heart of the defence and bestowed lavished praise on his central defensive sidekick Jack Carmichael saying “That’s the best I’ve seen Jack play. In fact Mick Jones said at half time that he had not seen Colin Todd play any better.”

Posh Chairman Mr Geoffrey Woodcock described the tie against Manchester Utd as a ‘godsend’ to the club who at the time were £80,000 in debt. Having made around £10,000 from the Forest games and the visit to Old Trafford was forecasted a further £12,000 to £15,000 for the club.

The Posh: Eric Steele, Bert Murray, Jim Walker, Peter Eustace, Chris Turner, Jack Carmichael, Jon Nixon, David Gregory, John Cozens, Lyndon Hughes and Tommy Robson. Unused Sub: Mick Jones

Nottingham Forest: Wells, O’Kane, Clark, McGovern, Chapman, Richardson, McIntosh (Robertson 45 mins), Bowery, O’Hare, Butlin and Bowyer.

Booking: Lyndon Hughes (the Posh).

Goal scorer: Jon Nixon (the Posh).