Fulham v Posh FL Cup 1st Rd 1st Leg 28 Aug 1990
Venue: Craven Cottage
Score: Fulham 1 Posh 2
Referee: Mike Reed
Posh Grab Cup Glory
London may be buzzing with Gary and Gazza mania at the moment but Posh showed the capital last night they have a dynamic duo of their own to be proud of.
Admittedly, Worrell, Sterling and Kevin Bremner may not command the same international respect as Tottenham’s Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne, but they still showed the signs they could steer Posh to success this season. The pair were constant thorns in Fulham’s side and by grabbing a goal apiece, have given Posh a commanding position for next week’s second leg of this Rumbelows Cup tie.
Although Bremner is far from being fully fit, he was more than a handful for Fulham’s suspect defence and with Sterling beginning to show vintage form, they could be the men to spear-head Posh’s forth division promotion campaign.
But a Rumberlows Cup win at Craven Cottage last night was more than Posh could have hoped for. Mark Lawrenson’s half crippled and hastily reconstructed side went into the match without five key players – injured Paul Bradshaw, Milton Graham, David Riley and George Berry as well as suspended Mark Hine. But they managed to muster a gutsy performance as they turned on the style on several occasions. But despite the performance. Posh found themselves trailing after just nine minutes when Fulham took a surprise lead. After Peter Scott had unleased a thunderous 25 yard drive, debutant goalkeeper Eddie Herbert tipped the ball onto the bar only for the rebound to fall into the path of Francis Joseph to head home.
It was then that the Bremner and Sterling roadshow began. The pair instigated several Posh moves which saw Phil Crosby and Gary Butterworth come close to scoring.
But after posh survived few hair-raising moments at the back, Sterling grabbed the equaliser after 36 minutes. Following superb work by Mick Halsall, Noel Luke’s fearsome shot was too hot for Fulham goal-keeper Laurence Batty and the rebound was gratefully slotted home by Sterling. It stunned the Fulham fans in the 2,736 crowd and they saw Bremner take just 26 seconds of the second half to head Posh into the lead. He met Dale Watkins’ cross with a brave header in front of Batty’s desperate lunge and the ball looped into the net.
Bremner then showed he can create chances as well as score them when he set up two golden opportunities for striking partner Steve Osborne but two great saves from Batty kept the 21 year old off the score sheet. But while Posh were impressive up front, they needed some favours from lady luck at the back as Fulham pressed for an equaliser. That nearly came in the 67th minute when Mark Kelly’s delicate chip looked to have gone over Herbert before he dived at full stretch to tip the ball away.
Recalled Gerry McElhinney was also on hand to head the ball off the line when it looked as though Scott’s deflected shot was heading for the top corner. It all added up to another night of celebration for Posh, although they will postponing the opening of the bubbly until next Tuesday’s second leg is over.
Fulham: Batty, Newson, Pike, Scott, Eckhardt, Thomas, Baker, Kelly, Joseph, Cole (sub Langley 67) and Marshall.
Sub not used: Skinner
Posh: Eddie Herbert, Noel Luke, Phil Crosby, Mick Halsall, David Robinson (sub Dale Watkins 45), Gerry McElhinney, Worrell Sterling, Keith Oakes, Kevin Bremner, Steve Osborne and Garry Butterworth.
Sub not used: Ian McInerney.