Venue: White Hart Lane, Tottenham
Score: Peterborough Utd 1 v Tottenham Hotspur 1
Tottenham Hotspur win 5-4 on penalties
Referee: Graham Poll.
Proud Posh were ultimately denied a prized FA Cup scalp by a goalkeeper’s fingertips. At the end it was difficult to know whether to laugh or cry.
Happiness came from a stunning Posh performance worthy of a place in the fourth round – disappointment arrived from the manner of defeat and the part played by a 16 year old boy.
Andrew Furnell is legally not old enough to take alcohol, vote or gamble and yet entry into football lottery proved simple enough. He was the only failure in a tense penalty shoot out and the super save from Spurs goalkeeper Ian Walker will doubtless only prove a small consolation.
But there should be no shame – it takes a man to volunteer for the spotlight in front of 20,000 heckling opponents. More seasoned professionals quivered and retreated at the thought.
It was certainly a sad end to an epic cup tie that belied current league positions. This was not a backs to the wall defensive draw – Posh were underdogs with bite playing aggressively throughout and creating the better chances.
The commitment on show was predictable, but the willingness to attack with pace and panache proved a pleasant surprise – not even the handling offence that gave Spurs the boost of an early lead could disrupt an impressive game plan.
Fred Barber conveniently dropped the ball at Nick Barmby’s feet in the 11th minute, but once Ken Charlery had swept in an equaliser midway through the first half Posh competed on equal terms.
Indeed the speed of the frontrunners against a flimsy home defence always hinted at an upset. Charlery put on his Wembley best, while Jason Brissett, Dominic Iorfa and Furnell spread panic through pace.
Furnell, a half time substitute for the hamstrung Iorfa, missed a golden opportunity towards the end of extra time to put off his penalty agony and Charlery would have been disappointed not to beat Walker after a 47th minute one-two with his young partner.
In contrast Spurs were harried into misplaced passes, screwed up crosses and long range misses, although Barber twice redeemed himself with brave first half blocks.
He was generally well protected by a dominant Lee Howarth while Chris Greenman can never have played better in a Posh shirt. Detsi Kruszynski was again a massive presence.
But it wasn’t about individuals – not until the penalties anyway – and collectively Posh showed a desire that, if repeated, would soon end thoughts of a Division One relegation.
Spurs enjoyed control only at the end of each half of normal time and even then it wasn’t particularly convincing.
The mood of the managers was most revealing. After 90 minutes Chris Turner strolled around joking with anyone in sight – Ossie Ardiles puffed nervously on an endless stream of cigarettes.
That in itself was a comment on Posh’s achievement.
A team expensively created from the Harrod’s end of football’s transfer market had so nearly been humbled by a collection of players from a car boot sale – a team that had not won on its travel’s for over nine months.
It would have been glory richly deserved – not least for the magnificent travelling support.
The Posh: Fred Barber, David McDonald, Chris Greenman, John McGlashan (sub Tony Spearing), Lee Howarth, Steve Welsh, Tony Adcock, Detzi Kruszynski, Dominic Iorfa (sub Andy Furnell), Jason Brissett and Marcus Ebdon.
Unused sub: Mark Tyler.
Tottenham Hotspur: Ian Walker, Dean Austin, Justin Edinburgh, Vinny Samways, Colin Calderwood, Nick Barmby, Darren Anderton, Steve Sedgley, Micky Hazard (sub David Kerslake), Darren Caskey and Sol Campbell (sub John Hendry).
Unused subs: Chris Day.
Goal scorers: The Posh – Ken Charlery 24 mins. Tottenham Hotspur – Nick Barmby 12 mins.
Booking: John McGlashan (the Posh).
The Penalty Shoot out:
GOAL! Peterborough 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Tony Adcock scores by drilling his shot high to the goalkeepers right.
GOAL! Peterborough 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Darren Caskey scores by shooting into the left hand corner off Fred Barber’s fingertips.
GOAL! Peterborough 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Ken Charlery scores by slotting the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
GOAL! Peterborough 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
David Kerslake fires his penalty kick in straight into the middle of the goal.
GOAL! Peterborough 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Detzi Kruszynski hammers his spot kick high and to the goalkeeper’s right.
GOAL! Peterborough 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Darren Andertn sidefoots low and to his left.
Peterborough 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Andy Furnell hits his shot firmly to the right of the goal, but watches in agony as Ian Walker turns the ball against the post.
GOAL! Peterborough 3-4 Tottenham Hotspur
Nick Barmby scores comfortably by shooting into the goalkeeper’s right corner.
GOAL! Peterborough 4-4 Tottenham Hotspur
Chris Greenman scores placing his kick inside the left post.
GOAL! Peterborough 4-5 Tottenham Hotspur
Steve Sedgley nits left footed past Barber’s left hand to win it for Spurs.