Swansea v Peterborough Utd 2nd Rd 9 Dec 1989
Venue: Vetch Field, Swansea
Score: Peterborough Utd 1 v Swansea City 3
Referee: David Hutchinson.
The Posh were brought down to earth with an almighty bang when their FA Cup dreams were left tattered in the Welsh valleys.
Not only did Mark Lawrenson’s side miss out on a golden chance to face Liverpool in the next round, but all their faults were cruelly exposed to a national TV audience.
The late night viewers to ‘Match of the day’ saw the London Road outfit taken apart by a far superior third division side as Swansea went on to achieve the dream pairing with Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool side.
However, Posh never looked as though they would proceed further than the second round stage.
Admittedly, several controversial decisions by referee David Hutchinson seemed to do Lawrenson’s men a grave injustice but they can only blame themselves for the way in which they caved in at the feet of the home side.
Their age old problem of struggling to score or create chances were painfully obvious and when the Welsh side realised Posh were struggling, they inflicted more pain as they brought the 14 match unbeaten run to a devastating end.
And the match facts proved how bad things were.
Posh registered just one attempt on goal – when Gary Andrews scored and their failure to win any corners gave a true reflection of a poor performance.
However, it could have been so different for Posh.
After going into the match on the crest of a wave, they began well as they swapped the early exchanges in encouraging fashion.
At the back with Gerry McElhinney adopting a sweeper role, they looked reasonably comfortable for the opening period.
But disaster struck after 26 minutes when Swansea’s ever threatening Paul Raynor burst into the Posh penalty area and as he descended upon goal, he was judged to have been pushed by Gerry McElhinney.
The television cameras would have later given the referee a better view of the incident but Mr Hutchinson had no hesitation in pointing to the spot despite Posh’s protests.
And when the complaints had died down, Raynor converted the penalty himself, hitting the ball firmly to the right sending keeper Godden the wrong way.
Posh skipper Mick Halsall had a great chance to level the score on 38 minutes when he burst through only to send his shot agonisingly wide of Lee Bracey’s right hand post.
And Posh striker Carl Richards had an almost identical chance four minutes into the second half when he was released by Phil Crosby’s through ball only to send his shot past the post.
But the optimistic Posh fans waiting to see the now familiar second half revival were soon to be disappointed.
Swansea stepped up a gear in the second half and, led by the experienced Alan Curtis. soon looked a different class.
After 65 minutes, Phil Crosby was robbed by Raynor down the right and his cross was headed into an empty net by Paul Chalmers, with Godden stranded. Posh appealed for offside but their cries fell on deaf ears.
However, to their credit they bounced straight back and two minutes later Gary Andrews rose high to head home from Mick Halsall’s floated free kick to give his side a glimmer of hope.
Their mini revival lasted just for three minutes. The welsh side put the tie beyond doubt when Chalmers blasted home from close range to send Posh tumbling out of the cup.
Although it came as huge disappointment, the news that Swansea’s win had earned them a glamorous tie against the mighty Liverpool came as another bitter pill to swallow as Lawrenson was denied a fairytale reunion with his old club.
But if this performance was anything to go by then Swansea may have saved the Posh from embarrassment at the hands of John Barnes and co.
But as the old football cliché goes, Posh are now out of the FA Cup so they can at least now concentrate on the league!
The Posh: Tony Godden, Noel Luke, Phil Crosby, Mick Halsall, Dave Robinson, Gerry McElhinney (David Longhurst 67 mins), Worrell Sterling, Gary Andrews, Carl Richards, Milton Graham (Paul Culpin 70 mins) and Garry Butterworth.
Swansea City: Bracey, Trick, Coleman, Melville, Boyle, Thornber, Harris, Curtis, Chalmers, Raynor, and Legg.
Unused subs: Phillips and Hutchison.
Bookings: David Longhurst and Dave Robinson (the Posh).
Goal scorers: The Posh – Gary Andrews 67 mins. Swansea City – Raynor (pen) 27 mins and Chalmers 65 mins and 70 mins.