Posh v Kingstonian FA Cup 1st Rd 4 Dec 1992
Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Attendance: 0 – Played behind closed doors.
Score: Peterborough Utd 1 v Kingstonian 0
Referee: R.L. Biggar, J. Moore and Carl Finch.
The game that nobody saw…and the game nobody wanted to play!
It would be good to report the curtain finally come down on a very sorry saga.
Unfortunately, the feeling remains as only the playing scene is over. Post-match managerial moans and further inquiries from police and the Football Association will ensure this is one ‘show’ set to run and run.
And the real shame is that back at the beginning it was actually quite a promising FA Cup story.
Lowly non-league club drawn against the giants of the first round is the stuff for which hype was created.
Unfortunately a script change instigated by a coin-throwing hooligan and carried out appallingly by an FA Council ruined everything.
Kingstonian certainly weren’t happy with the rewrite.
They’ve waited 60 years for an appearance in the first round proper of the FA Cup and will probably quite happily wait the same length of time again.
Posh were merely confused at being asked to play again. The barricading of the Kingstonian goal would not have saved the non-leaguers ten day days ago.
But if the intention was to create a farce it was a success. The appearance of Brian Rix with his trousers down round his ankles wouldn’t have come as a total surprise.
The game, conducted in eerie silence behind closed doors on FA orders, needn’t have taken place but for the coin throwing incident which put the non-league club’s goalkeeper out of the first replay.
At least Posh managed to overcome the tricky pitch, a well organised defence and an atmosphere more suited to the moon to record a 1-0 win.
But for all that the midweek haul to Plymouth for the second round seemed a suitable reward.
Posh deserved to win more comfortably. They spent virtually the entire match camped in the Kingstonian half and struck the woodwork twice.
For their part the visitors – who were only one chef short of a first choice side – defended with skill and numbers, preventing Posh from giving goalkeeper Adrian Blake any more headaches.
And when called upon the goalkeeper promoted the power of aspirin to good effect. His handling and positional play was exceptional.
Blake’s best moment came in the first half injury time when Tony Philliskirk’s text book header from Gary Cooper’s cross looked destined for the bottom corner.
He will also remember with pleasure his second half stops from Worrell Sterling and Tony Adcock.
It was Sterling who finally beat him midway through the second half although Philliskirk’s deep cross from the left was a big help.
The little winger arrived late and stooped low to head into the corner. The irony of scoring his first home goal of the season when no-one was watching wasn’t lost on a smiling Sterling straight after the match.
Philliskirk went on to rattle the crossbar from close range ten minutes from time and skipper Steve Welsh was only denied the first goal of his professional career by the width of a post straight after the restart.
Kingstonian’s best effort came on the hour when Darren Brathwaite spotted Ian Bennett off his line and tried to lob him. Unfortunately, the distance of roughly 60 yards and his position wide on the left wing made it a mite too difficult.
But that was still the closest Kingstonain came. Even when central defender Lee Howarth limped off early in the second half the Posh defence was rarely troubled as right back Darren Bradshaw slotted into the centre half position with ease.
Going forward against a packed defence was more of a problem. Mick Halsall displayed his usual urgency, but a reluctance to get down the flanks restricted opportunities.
Adcock did get on the end of two chances. He headed Halsall’s free kick wide from close range on 20 minutes and stabbed over the bar after Sterling’s shot had been blocked just before the only goal.
But this match destined to be overshadowed by events nothing to do with football.
It will be a shame if either manager was to be disciplined for speaking on behalf of the vast majority of supporters.
As they both said, this was a match that should never have been played.
Posh manager Chris Turner broke his silence on the decision of the FA to restage the game launching a bitter attack on the judgment by saying: “It was a waste of time , money and energy and I don’t know why they couldn’t have taken the brave decision and thrown us out. It cannot be right that three doddery old sods sit in a little room and judge whether .results have been affected.”
Turner added, “I know, and the Kingstonian manager agreed, that the result of the original game was not affected. Now any hooligan who wants to get a match replayed knows exactly what he has to do.”
Kingstonian manager said, ” The whole thing’s been a big joke. This wasn’t an FA Cup tie, it was a farce and my club have been humiliated by the decision to replay the match in Peterborough. It should never have been played at all.”
Still the game was played and Posh progressed to the second round.
The Posh: Ian Bennett, Darren Bradshaw, Ronnie Robinson, Mick Halsall, Lee Howarth(sub Noel Luke), Steve Welsh, Worrell Sterling, Gary Cooper, Tony Adcock, Tony Philliskirk and Marcus Ebdon.
Unused sub: Dominic Iorfa.
Kingstonian: Adrian Blake, John Finch, Adie Cowler, Darren Broderick, Solomon Eriemo, David Kempton, David Harlow, Andy Parr, Paul Sheldrick (sub Richard Cherry), Francis Vines and Rod Brathwaite.
Unused sub: Robin Lewis.
Goal scorers: The Posh – Worrell Sterling 68 mins.