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06/12 Peterborough Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 07/12/2003

THIS was all very well, all so pleasant, Town in the ascendancy, shots, passes, jokes old and new. Peterborough hadn’t got inside the Town penalty area yet. A quarter of an hour gone and nothing for Davison to be concerned about, just a couple of back-passes to launch upfield.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Peterborough (a)

London Road

Peterborough United 3 Grimsby Town 2
06 Dec 2003, FA Cup Round 2

The Poshies had buzzed, hinting at danger, but without any substance. Then a big block of substance came crashing down upon the Town heads. Pressure, pressure, five minutes of solid attacking from Peterborough. Crosses, flicks, tricks, constant attacks forcing Crane to head, block, hook, block, head again as the tricky little strikers started to infiltrate the spaces between full backs and centre backs. Newton crossed, the ball skimmed off a Town head and out towards Farrell, at the right corner of the penalty area. A thwacking great volley flew into Crane’s body, down onto the pitch, and hooked away as all in blue claimed a penalty. How could it be a penalty? A simple grasp of geometry would tell you the ball must, could only, have come off Crane’s.....ribs! There’s a bit of an angle at the bottom of the ribs, isn’t there and it must have come off that. It’s the only explanation I can find.

The pressure ratcheted up and Town were not helped by their inability to hoof clearances very far and, especially, the referee giving a series of free kicks to Peterborough that were contentious in the extreme. And let’s not forget the linesman who was an unwilling flagger. In one way this is a tribute to Fry, for his strikers have perfected the art of being offside but not "active", or at least not active until the cross comes in and, hey presto, they are unmarked, but no longer offside. And from one such occurrence Town should have conceded a goal. A coupe of attacks repulsed back to the middle, McKenzie offside inside the Town penalty area, as the ball was played out to the right wing, behind Barnard. Newton bedazzled and bewitched Be-Barnard, dinking a cross from the bye-line into the middle of the goal. McKenzie, perhaps six yards out, unmarked, the goal a-gaping, a goal awaiting, carefully placed a header against the inside of the far post. The ball spun back and Anderson spectacularly hooked the ball over the bar for a corner. The corner was rubbish, by the way, for all those wondering what happened next.

After about 22 minutes Peterborough were still having a jolly inside the Town penalty area. Was it a corner, was it a free kick, who can remember? Whatever it was it was only half cleared. An appeal for offside was ignored as the ball was headed out towards Jevons, half way inside the Town half. Arber got there first and lobbed the ball towards the penalty area with a big bloke heading it out to their right wing. The Welsh waddler wobbled over towards the ball as it was crossed into the near post. Clarke, about eight yards out with Onuora behind him, rose upon his tan boots (tan!), raising both arms towards his chin. With his back to goal, Clarke appeared to nudge the ball over his shoulder with is right arm. The Town players shouted "handball". The Town fans shouted "handball". CLARKE turned to his left and, from the edge of the 6 yards box, lifted the ball towards goal, the ball creeping under the crossbar as the offside McKenzie ran behind Davison. Is there some rule we don’t know about in second division football? What is it about handball? You don’t have to speculate about the Town fans’ fury, as well as the players. A very soft goal, but probably an illegal one. You’ll have to watch it on super-slo-mo to decide whether Clarke did handle it.

Ah, the Town response. Within a couple of minutes Town had been awarded a free kick about 25 yards out, in the centre. Was it really a free kick? Who knew with this ref? Peterborough’s wall took an eternity to line up, and then we had half a minute of playground slap and tickles as Edwards stood at the end of the wall and was promptly shoved about. Who would take it? Barnard? Hamilton? Campbell? Ah-ha, I see white boots, it’s Mr Jevons! A slow curler gliding towards Tyler, who shuffled left, then suddenly the custard custodian stopped at the foot of his post and twisted right, palming the ball across the line. JEVONS had scored.

Craneyellow card
Hamiltonyellow card
Croweyellow card


Young87 mins
Casgoal60 mins
Mansaram71 mins


Keith Hill


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The rest of the half wasn’t very interesting. After about half an hour Barnard dinked a free kick from left to right, deep into the Peterborough penalty area. Edwards chested the ball down to Jevons, who controlled it, shimmied right, shammied left, drifted past one, two, then placed a shot against a third defender’s shins. Town prodded the Poshites a few times, mainly down the left, with Campbell a constant menace with his purposeful, pacy probing. Crosses to the near post, crosses to the far post, all just a little too far away from a striped booty or head. Town had the ball most of the time, but Peterborough just seemed to like it that way as their rapid attackers really did glide through the Town midfield, and then defence. Did I say midfield? There seemed to be someone missing there. His name was Pouton, or was it Daws? Twice Crowe’s ability to run very quickly saved Town, as did Crane’s extremely long legs.

About 10 minutes before halftime Peterborough tore Town apart down the left; Barnard a distant memory, Hamilton long since curdled, Newton placed a perfect through ball for McKenzie to run onto. Hamilton, dear, dear Des, simply wound down as McKenzie ran past him, leaving a clear run on goal. Into the area, on the left, wide of goal a shot hit low across Davison and a few inches wide of the far post. Davison was forced to race out of his area and lump the ball into touch as Newton again bypassed Barnard without so much as a by-your-leave. How rude of him. Desco Hamilton, free, surging down the left, acres of space, a clear run, go, go, go, you’re going to a go-go. Going into a cul-de-sac of his own making, the chance gone as Hamilton slowed down, overtaken by defenders and events, drifting aimlessly into the corner. Wasted.

That’s just about it apart from a weak header from Jevons from somewhere inside the penalty area. It may have been 3 yards out, it may have been 13 yards out, it was too far away to tell. Oh and that shot by Anderson which screamed just over the bar at the back of the stand against which several Poshites were leaning. Newton and Campbell had a bit of a contretemps as Campbell eased the ball out of play. Stuff and nonsense really, though Newton was fortunate not to be booked for being stupid. Hang on a second, is that it? Is that all from the first half? Yes, you aren’t that bothered about Crane getting booked are you? Or Hamilton, for an ostentatious dive by Farrell after he’d lost the ball? Frankly Town would have been better off if Hamilton had been sent off. For he and Barnard were having shockers. The rest were fine: Crowe was busy, if not particularly threatening going forward; Jevons was trying really hard, even running around and not falling over at the slightest whiff of enemy odour; Onoura had been effective when standing still. The theory of Iffy seemed to worry the Peterborough defence, if not the reality. Peterborough had had three efforts on goal and Davison didn’t make any saves. And that really was it.

Half time: Peterborough United 1 Grimsby Town 1

So, nicely poised, the danger signs were there for both teams. It had a name and that name was Keith Hill.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"There’s a man burning messages on his chest over there".
"This game needs a rocket up its backside"
"So have Town deferred their tax, or just not paid it?".
"I wish we’d sponsored Edwards instead of Hamilton".
"You have a concerned eyebrow".

The report continues in the Second Half.

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