Posh v Northampton Town FA Cup 1st Rd 12 Nov 1994

Venue: London Road, Peterborough

Attendance: 8,739

Score: Peterborough Utd 4 v Northampton Town 0

Referee: Kelvin Morton.

Everyone on the field for this FA Cup first round tie tried their best.

It was an honest, open contest between deadly local rivals – the only suspicion of a ‘fix’ came from the way Posh finished the match.

Four goals in the final 19 minutes was a fitness defying burst, completely out of character with what had gone on before. For all their energy and commitment, Posh had looked as likely to succeed as a one eyed goalkeeper.

But that should not detract from the eventual outcome. Posh defended well against a spirited Northampton side at their best in the opening half and attacked with style when space arrived in that final quarter.

It was a most impressive result given the natural nervousness of local derby football.

Winning manager John Still couldn’t contain his pleasure afterwards stating, “I told the players it would be tight in the first half, but we’d win it in the second when our greater ability would tell among tired players. And they worked tremendously hard after the break to make it come true. I trust we’ve now conquered our problem of playing at home.”

Consecutive victories without conceding a goal would suggest that may be the case, but the quality of opposition has been friendly to say the least.

Northampton have won just one of 10 away games this season and previous victims Chester hadn’t even done that well. That said Cobblers hadn’t let in more than two goals in any one game this season.

Skipper Ken Charlery set Posh on the way with a 71st minute wriggle through a crowded goalmouth and while the cross Luke Williams planted in the back of the net shortly afterwards may have been down to good fortune, Liburd Henry’s strike from substitute David Morrison’s quality cross was beautifully created.

Morrison was on the field in nine minutes after Sean Farrell strained himself taking a throw in and for much of the opening half it looked a poor swap.

The substitute stayed on the edge of the action, while Farrell presence was sorely missed under a stream of high crosses. In contrast Northampton’s football was neat and inventive – Scott Cooksey made two crucial fingertip interventions in the opening minutes.

But the second half saw a transformation in both sides – Northampton manager John Barnwell offered an interesting explanation.

“We allowed the crowd to get involved,” the former Posh boss said. “It was unprofessional of Dean Trott to get involved in a fight  and silly of Lee Colkin to commit a crazy tackle straight afterwards. It got the crowd going and lifted the team. Myself and Peter Morris are massively disappointed because we dominated the first half.”

Trott had scuffled with Posh centre back Gary Breen, who blotted an otherwise excellent display. Both were fortunate referee Kelvin Morton decided on yellow cards especially as the official appeared in one of his more eccentric moods.

At least he gave Posh a late penalty for handball after refusing one just as clear in the first half. Charlery won the race to convert the first spot kick Posh have won this season.

Teams:

The Posh: Scott Cooksey, Kevin Ashley, Tony Spearing, Marcus Ebdon, Gary Breen, Simon Clark, Sean Farrell (sub David Morrison), Brian McGorry, Lee Williams, Ken Charlery and Liburd Henry.

Unused subs: Glen Thomas, Mark Tyler.

 Northampton Town: Stewart, Pascoe, Colkin, Sampson, Warburton, Willaims, Harmon, Grayson (sub Aldridge), Trott, Robinson and Norton.

Unused subs:Turner and Ovendale.

Goal scorers: The Posh – Ken Charlery (2) 71 mins & 85 mins, Lee Williams 74 mins and Liburd Henry 88 mins.

Cautions: Gary Breen (Posh), Dean Trott and Lee Colkin (Northampton).