Posh v Symingtons Recreation 1st Qualifying Rd 2 Oct 1948

Venue: London Road, Peterborough

Attendance: 5,000

Score: Peterborough Utd 4 v Symington Recreation 0

Referee: F. Fowler

United were never seriously troubled in this 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup with Symington at London Road. They won comfortably by four clear goals, and such a margin reflected correctly the extent of their superiority.

The UCL side played hard, but the pace and direction of the football was nearly always dictated by the United. The method they employed was much the same as that which brought such convincing victory in their previous home game; the wing halves close behind the forwards in attack, with Bernie Bryan, Jim Fallon and Cyril Parrott spread out behind to check any check breakaway.

The crowd had plenty to cheer. It was an entertaining game; like all cup ties it had its quota of thrills, and unlike most cup ties there were spasms of sparkling football. Most of these were provided by the home forwards, though there were occasions, particularly in the first half, when Symington’s moved well as a team.

Fallon gave another fine display. Whether the ball was on the ground or in the air he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, and it was entirely due to his close shadowing and clever positioning that goalkeeper Bob Ferguson was seldom troubled by Don Kelly. The visitor’s centre-forward had a poor game; Fallon was so much his master that he had no more than half a dozen shots at goal throughout the game and three of these were well wide of the target.

With their accepted goal getter so well marked, Symington’s were compelled to drive their attacks through other channels, and it was outside left Allen that gave the United defence  its most anxious moments. It was from this player in the first half that Ferguson made one of his best saves of the game, diving to turn a stinging shot round a post after he had stopped but failed to hold a drive by Steed.

Once they settled down United’s forwards kept the ball in Symington’s half for long spells, and with Bert Cockroft and Jim Harkin playing well up in support goalkeeper Cowley was constantly in action. But for his sound but often daring goalkeeping United must have led by more than one goal at the interval.

This goal came in the 14th minute, when a miskick by Carter left Harold Huxford with an unexpected opening. The centre forward took a quick shot but Cowley, with a great effort, reached the ball in time. He could not hold it, however, and Johnny McGuinn running in, crashed it into the net.

United went further ahead soon after the interval, Tommy Rickards reaching Billy Guest’s high cross with his foot, the ball dropping just under the bar in the goal farthest from him.

Then Symington’s, hard pressed at this stage, gave away a penalty, and Guest made no mistake with the kick. To complete the scoring – some 15 minutes later – Huxford had only to tap the ball into the net after McGuinn’s header had hit the foot of a post.

Unluckiest  forwards was  Glyn Vaughan, the only one not to score. Once again his polished footwork  was a feature of United’s attacks, and his quick swerves and dribbles often had opponents running the wrong way. The nearest he came to scoring was when he finished off the best movement of the day with a shot which hit the bar with Cowley well beaten.


Posh: Bob Ferguson, Bernie Bryan, Cyril Parrott, Jim Harkin, Jim Fallon, Bert Cockroft, Johnny McGuinn, Tommy Rickards, Harold Huxford, Glyn Vaughan and Billy Guest.

Symington Recreation: Cowley, Carter, Winder, Cousins, Jackson, Fletcher, Buckby, Cleaver, Kelly, Steed and Allen.

Goal scorers: Posh – Johnny McGuinn 14 mins, Tommy Rickards 48 mins, Billy Guest 61 mins and Harold Huxford 76 mins.