Yeovil Town v Posh 1st Rd Proper 30 Nov 1946
Venue: Huish Stadium, Yeovil
Score: Yeovil Town 2 v Peterborough Utd 2
Referee: A.J. Dart
The 400 supporters who made the long journey by bus and rail to cheer United at Yeovil were satisfied with a 2-2 draw, but critical of the incident which snatched victory from Peterborough’s grasp.
With 18 minutes to go the United were leading 2-1. Then Hartburn who had started on the left wing and moved to the centre, followed up a shot which Silcocks saved, and seemed to elbow the goalkeeper . Silcocks tucked the ball under an arm, and appeared to sweep Hartburn’s legs from under him. The referee awarded a penalty, and Peterborough’s chance of an outright win had gone.
That unfortunate occurrence might easily have knocked the fight out of the rest of the team, but they carried on with grim determination that had been stamped upon their play from the start.
The selection of the team had been a major headache for manager Haden. Rickards was in bed with a chill and Mitchell cried off because of his wife’s illness. Almost at the last minute it was decided to play Cliff Woods and Jim Smith on the half back flanks, with Warnes between them. Bramham returned to lead the attack, with Scobie at inside right.
This strange looking United team gave the sort of heart warming display that one dreams of seeing, but sees all too rarely. To a great extent individualism was ruthlessly cut out, and for the first time this season the true team spirit prevailed. The defence was heroic; there was no other word for it. Apart from his one bad lapse Silcocks was brilliant. The backs, given a quarter of an hour or so to master the awkward diagonal slope of the ground, were unshakable in the face of the fiercest attacks. Warnes was the commanding figure we saw when he first came to the club in 1938 – as good as three men.
Padgett, captain in Mitchell’s absence, rallied the attack with his tireless work as a roving forward, gathering every loose ball and popping it back among the bunched defenders. Rudkin at his dazzling best, led the ex-Villa back, Hickman, a merry dance in the first half. In the second half he changed places with Scobie, and was less effective.
Yeovil were a splendidly balanced side. Their burly backs made sure that the goalkeeper had the minimum of work to do., and the halves tackled and covered effectively. Over-eagerness spoiled the forward play, but it was sufficiently good to show what could be expected on a dry ground.
Yeovil had to make a last minute team change, Mann, the veteran coach of the reserve side, coming in at centre forward because White was unable to obtain leave.
Throughout the game hair raising thrills came thick and fast. There had been more than one sees in any ordinary game before Peterborough took the lead in the 27th minute. Rudkin paved the way with an intricate run and a low pass to Bramham, who enticed Affleck and Doyle towards him, leaving Bayliss in the wide open spaces. Then Bramham deftly lobbed the ball over to the right winger, who, with the coolness of a veteran, piloted it into the net.
Seven minutes later Yeovil equalised. Smith made the running with a long dribble and whipped the ball inside to Gore, who shot for the far corner of the goal. The ball struck a defenders foot and ricocheted just inside the near post, leaving Silcocks helpless.
Two minutes from half time Bramham followed up his own shot, knocked the ball out of Ridout’s hands and flicked it across to Rudkin who shot accurately for the second goal.
Yeovil went flat out for the equaliser in the second half, and in the first five minutes Silcocks made three almost impossible saves.
Twelve minutes had gone when a Rudkin pass sent Bramham away alone. The centre forward would not risk missing so he ran on to five yards. Then he hesitated and had his shot smothered and scrambled away by the goalkeeper. A goal at that stage might have put the issue beyond doubt.
A curious incident happened a few minutes later. Gore shot across the goal and the Yeovil claimed that the ball had gone into the net and out at the side. The referee, after inspecting the net, decided otherwise.
Then came the penalty incident, and Sibley gave Yeovil the right to fight again.
With two minutes to go the United were all but beaten, for Hartburn received two yards out and hit a post.
The Posh: Len Silcocks, Bernie Bryan, Cyril Parrott, Nobby (Cliff) Woods, Fred Warnes, Jimmy Smith, Ken Bayliss, Alan Scobie, Arnold Bramham, John Padgett and Tommy Rudkin.
Yeovil Town: Ridout, Hickman, Doyle, Sibley, Gore, Affleck, Collins, Smith, Mann, Stock and Hartburn.
Goal scorers: The Posh – Ken Bayliss (27 mins) and Tommy Rudkin (43 mins). Yeovil Town – Les Gore (34 mins) and Ken Sibley (72 mins).