Posh v Cambridge Utd League Division 3 – 10 Nov 1998
Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 2 v Cambridge Utd 1
Referee: Paul Rejer.
The occasion was huge, Cambridge Utd had enjoyed their best start to a season for years, and went into this local derby clash full of confidence sitting comfortably in the top three.
Posh in contrast, were finding wins hard to come by and after seeing a two goal lead vanish against Rotherham 10 days earlier, a match which the Posh went on to lose 4-2, Barry Fry’s job was on the line.
Victory over arch-rivals was essential…but nobody said it would be easy.
Over 10,000 supporters swelled into London Road on a bitter cold November evening. And it didn’t get any sweeter for the home faithful, when Trevor Benjamin – on the wanted list of many Premiership clubs, pounced from close range to put the U’s ahead on the 18th minute mark.
The visitors continued to press, and Posh needed something quickly to get back into the match.
Not only was the equaliser quick, it was also very special. Just a couple of minutes after Benjamin’s strike, ‘Captain Courageous’ Steve Castle picked up a loose ball midway in the Cambridge half and let fly from 25 yards. The scorching left footed thunderbolt which gave U’s goalkeeper Shaun Marshall no chance.
But the drama wasn’t over yet. A certain Leon McKenzie, enjoying a loan spell from Crystal Palace, dribbled his way into the penalty box before powering home past the advancing Marshall on 24 minutes as the Posh found themselves 2-1 up.
Steve Butler, a big goal scoring hero for Cambridge in the mid 1990’s, and Simon Davies were both guilty of missing the target when well positioned in the second half and those errors may have proved costly – but for one man.
Posh goalkeeper Mark Tyler producing inspiring saves to thwart efforts from Alex Russell and Martin Butler late on, and a huge roar of relief was released from the majority of the crowd when the final whistle was eventually blown.
Fry’s men had achieved victory in what was arguably the most exhilarating local derby played at London Road in recent years.
Posh: Mark Tyler, Des Linton, Adam Drury, Richard Scott (sub Matthew Gill), Mick Bodley, Andy Edwards, Simon Davies, Steve Castle, Steve Butler, Andy Legg (sub David Farrell) and Leon McKenzie.
Unused sub: Giuliano Grazioli.
Cambridge Utd: Shaun Marshall, Ben Chenery, Ian Ashbee (sub David Preece), Andy Duncan, Martin McNeill, Jamie Campbell, Paul Wanless, John Taylor, Martin Butler, Trevor Benjamin (sub Michael Kyd) and Alex Russell.
Unused sub: Tom Youngs.
Bookings: Cambridge Utd – Martin McNeill and John Taylor.