Peterborough Utd v Hayes FA Cup 1st Rd 21 Nov 1989
Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 1 v Hayes 1
Referee: Peter Foakes.
Everything that is bad about Posh was demonstrated in this embarrassing FA Cup clash against non-league Hayes at London Road.
In their worst performance of the season so far, Mark Lawrenson’s side came within an ace of being dumped out of the FA Cup by their impressive Vauxhall Opel League opponents.
Only a series of good fortune and the dependability of record signing Dave Robinson ensured that Posh could live to fight another day.
The Posh struggled in almost every department and at times it was difficult to distinguish which of the sides were non-league.
At the back, Posh looked unusually shaky and were forced to depend on the ever reliable Robinson to clear things up when things became difficult.
And in a re-shaped midfield, consisting of Worrell Sterling on the left, Garry Butterworth on the right and Mick Halsall in the centre, Posh were always struggling to create openings for the striking trio of Paul Culpin, David Longhurst and Steve Osbourne.
Although Posh boss Lawrenson has to be credited on using such a brave formation, he must realise it never looked effective.
Only Sterling demonstrated and real imagination as he created a couple of openings in the early encounters.
But that could have been too late for Posh as Hayes could so easily have found themselves 3-0 up within the opening 40 minutes.
Roy Marshall went close with a stinging shot in the 12th minute while their outstanding player Neil Fraser came even closer on two occasions.
But just as it seemed as though Hayes had achieved a well earned scoreless first half, Posh hit with venom.
From Paul Culpin’s flighted cross from the right, Sterling made a brave diving header which saw the ball hit the back of the net before he clashed against a defender’s boot.
Thankfully, Sterling was fit to carry on in the second half and it was just as well for he was the only player who looked capable of lifting Posh out of the doldrums.
But Posh came within a whisker of adding a second goal in the 54th minute when Paul Culpin connected with Noel Luke’s cross only for the ball to be cleared off the line.
But just as the game was sailing into oblivion with Posh seemingly booked for the second round disaster struck with Seabrook brought down by Crichton in a rather innocuous position and Paul Barrowcliffe had no problems in converting the spot kick.
The Posh: Paul Crichton, Noel Luke, Phil Crosby, Dave Robinson, Gerry McElhinny, Worrell Sterling Paul Culpin (Milton Graham 77 mins), Steve Osborne (Carl Richards 73 mins), Dave Longhurst and Garry Butterworth.
Hayes: Paul Hyde, Jason Court, Taylor, Alan Ardren, Leather, Dixon, (Whiskey 72 mins), Paul Barrowcliffe, Roy Marshall, Darren Seabrook, Neil Fraser and Walton.
Unused Sub: Smales
Goal scorers: The Posh – Worrell Sterling 45 mins. Hayes – Paul Barrowcliffe (pen) 71 mins.