Posh v Darlington FA Cup 3rd Round Replay – 21 Jan 02
Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 2 v Darlington 0
Referee: Phil Richards.
Two goals from front pair Andy Clarke and Lon McKenzie sent the Posh through to the AXA FA Cup 4th Round and a money-spinning home tie with Premier League giants Newcastle Utd at London Road after a tense 2-0 win over Darlington.
The game at London Road was delayed by 15 minutes due to crowd congestion as the home supporters filtered through the turnstiles for one of the most important games in recent seasons for Barry Fry’s men.
Posh made a lively start and McKenzie showed his strength to turn Craig Liddle on the edge of the penalty area but Darlington keeper Andy Collett did well to dive at the front man’s feet as he prepared to pull the trigger.
The lively Farrell saw his powerful shot clip a defender and go for a corner and from the resulting flag-kick Tom Williams nearly caught Collett out with a wickedly taken set-piece.
McKenzie forced Collett into a sharp save from close range on 20 minutes after Neale Fenn had flicked Williams’ throw-in into his path.
Darlington launched their first serious attack just after the half hour mark and Mark Ford had a half chance on the edge of the area but he snuffed his effort well over the crossbar.
The game was beginning to liven up and Clarke came close to latching on to a searching Andy Edwards pass but Collett again came to the Quakers’ rescue.
Posh thought they had got the all important goal in first half stoppage time when McKenzie hooked home from close range following an Edwards knock down but the linesman’s flag came to Darlington’s rescue.
The Quakers made a bright start to the second period and Danny Mellanby tested Posh keeper Mark Tyler with a low shot at the near post but the Posh shot-stopper made a comfortable save.
The home support were holding their breath just after the break when McKenzie went down injured but moments later the fans were in delirium when the front man poked home from close range after Richard Forsyth’s low effort had struck a post.
Clarke sprinted clear of the defence on 55 minutes but Collett smothered his weak shot as Posh went in search of the killer second goal.
The golden chance to make it 2-0 arrived on 63 minutes when McKenzie beat the offside trap, but the inspired Collett again came to Darlington’s rescue.
The Quakers registered their third effort of the night on 68 minutes when Brian Atkinson turned and fired towards goal but the ball drifted past the far post.
Posh goal keeper Tyler showed his worth with a fantastic punch under pressure as the game entered the final moments at a tense London Road.
Then as the game entered stoppage time, Clarke rounded the goalkeeper to send Posh into the 4th round and a tie with Newcastle Utd at London Road.
The Posh: Mark Tyler, Marc Joseph, Simon Rea, Andy Edwards, David Farrell, Richard Forsyth, Tom Williams, Jimmy Bullard, Leon McKenzie, Neale Fenn and Andy Clarke.
Unused subs: Dan Connor, Jon Cullen, Dean Hooper, David Oldfield, Francis Green.
Darlington: Andy Collett, Paul Heckingbottom, Craig Liddle (sub Paul Campbell), Ian Clark, David Brightwell (sub Gary Pearson), Mark Ford, Brian Atkinson, Neil Maddison, Danny Mellanby, Simon Betts and Mark Kilty (sub Wainwright).
Unused subs: Phil Brumwell, Keith Finch.
Goal scorers: The Posh – Leon McKenzie 52 mins and Andy Clarke 90 mins.
Bookings: Andy Collett, Neil Maddison, Paul Campbell, Gary Pearson (Darlington)