Brentford v Peterborough Utd FA Cup 2nd Rd Replay 14 Dec 1988
Venue: Griffin Park, Brentford, London
Score: Peterborough Utd 2 v Brentford 3
Referee: B. Stevens.
The Bees of Brentford showed little festive spirit as they dumped the Posh out of the cup.
Three slick gaols proved too much for Mick Jones’ men, but there was no disgrace in the outcome.
For while Brentford’s late winner was the kind of seasonal gift that Posh could hardly afford, they fully deserved their share of the ovation that greeted both sides at the end of this pulsating cup tie.
In a repeat of the previous Saturday’s opener at London Road, the Bees put Posh under the sternest pressure, winning five early corners and forcing the re-shuffled defence onto red alert.
To their credit, Posh – with David Langan deputising for Gary Andrews as sweeper – maintained their composure and stung the Bees with a goal from their first real chance.
Mick Halsall’s clinical finish provided the Posh skipper with his first goal of the season. But it was David Longhurst who must take much of the praise for the Posh breakthrough.
The £55,000 frontrunner got clean away from his marker at the bye line before pin-pointing Halsall on the edge of the box with Brentford defence completely exposed.
Chances continued to fall for both sides and while the third division Londoners enjoyed a numerical advantage, the better quality openings fell to the Posh
A flowing three man break out of defence deserved better than Halsall’s wayward finish, while Gary Blissett miscued for Brentford when well placed.
The slender lead was one that the Posh held until just two minutes before the break, when Bees dangerman Richard Cadette finally proved his worth.
Brentford’s record signing exchanged passes with left back Roger Stanislaisto leave him ideally placed at Paul Crichton’s near post.
There was little the keeper could do as Cadette swept the ball home for a timely equaliser.
And Posh lived to regret a bad Craig Goldsmith miss straight after the re-start as Alan Cockram blasted the Bees into a 50th minute lead.
This time the build up began on the right and when full back Feeley found Cockram on the edge of the box, the alarm bells were ringing in the Posh defence.
But there was little action they could take as Cockram delivered the perfect strike, sending the ball high into the net beyond the reach of Crichton.
The goal lifted Steve Perryman’s side and the game itself became still more intense as Posh men Halsall and Cusack collected cards for retaliatory acts, borne out of frustration.
Indeed, the Posh goal led a charmed life as Blissett, Jones and Cockram all let fly from long range.
Posh though gained a lifeline as Cusack atoned for his indiscretion with a crisply struck 67th minute half volley to restore Posh to terms.
A long throw from Bryn Gunn set up the chance from which the Posh top scorer notched his ninth goal of the season.
The leveller heralded a purple patch from Posh who could have regained the lead had Cusack not lost his footing midway through a well rehearsed free kick, allowing Parks to save with his legs
Half hearted penalty appeals as Goldsmith crashed to the ground failed to impress referee Stevens and Posh were soon behind again.
Left winger Smillie, a veteran of Brighton’s 1983 FA Cup final side was allowed the freedom of London as he popped up in the six yard box to convert a seemingly harmless cross.
Recovery from that setback proved beyond Posh as the Griffin Park fans roared their team to victory.
But while manager Mick Jones was denied the clean sheet he so badly wanted, there was no disputing Posh’s contribution to an absorbing cup clash.
Clichés abound after a game like this, but with Posh placed 15th in the 4th Division never were Posh better placed to “concentrate on the league”.
The Posh: Paul Crichton, Steve Collins, Bryn Gunn, Nowe Luke, Gerry McElhinney, Keith Oakes, David Langan, Mick Halsall, Nick Cusack, David Longhurst and Craig Goldsmith.
Unused Subs: Carl Madrick and Lee Philpott.
Brentford: Parks, Feeley (Perryman 78 mins), Stanislaus, Millen, Evans, Cockram, Jones, Godfrey, Cadette, Blissett and Smillie.
Unused Sub: Buttigieg.
Bookings: Mick Halsall and Nick Cusack (the Posh), Jones (Brentford).
Goal scorers: The Posh – Mick Halsall 17 mins and Nick Cusack 67 mins. Brentford – Cadette 43 mins, Cockram 50 mins and Smillie 77 mins.