Football: Sterling saves Peterborough's face

Click to follow
Peterborough United. . .1

Kingstonian. . . . . . .0

THE replay of the FA Cup first-round replay that neither side wanted reached an appropriate and unsatisfactory conclusion yesterday with confusion surrounding the goal that ended Kingstonian's gallant last stand.

The Posh winger Worrell Sterling afterwards claimed the final touch in the 68th minute which at last breached the defences and the goal protected admirably by Adrian Blake, the same goal he was defending 10 days ago when a hooligan's missile felled him and prompted the Football Association to order another game behind closed doors.

David Kempton, the Diadora side's left-back, a cheese salesman by trade, was only too happy to give Sterling the credit. It was his attempted clearance which struck the winger and saw the ball nestle in the corner of the net. Hard cheese for Kempton and his fellow part-timers, who lost the first replay 9-1 and were forced to seek special dispensation from their employers to travel a second time along the A1.

'I tried to flick the ball away and it caught him in the face,' Kempton said. 'It would have gone round the post if he had not been in the way.'

With spectators barred it was hard to reconcile the match with the passion and noise of a true Cup encounter. However, we saw a vastly improved Kingstonian display with the skipper, Adie Cowler, who missed the first replay, marshalling his defence.

Roddie Braithwaite almost caught the home goalkeeper napping with a spectacular drive in the second half, but two minutes later and Kingstonian were behind, Tony Philliskirk providing the cross for the goal that earned Peterborough a second-round meeting at Plymouth on Wednesday.

Despite pride in his team, Chris Kelly, the Kingstonian manager, renewed his attack on the FA for sanctioning the game. 'It should have been on a neutral pitch and I would have fancied our chances to have won there. Our Cup run has been soured by the events of the last fortnight.'

Not even the winning manager Chris Turner was satisfied at the end. 'It was a farce, I don't know what any of us were doing here,' he said. 'I had a job raising my players for the game. And I'm just glad it's all over.'

Peterborough United: Bennett; Bradshaw, Robinson, Halsall, Howarth (Luke, 55), Welsh, Sterling, Cooper, Adcock, Philliskirk, Ebdon. Substitute not used: Iorfa.

Kingstonian: Blake; Finch, Cowler, Erimo, Broderick, Kempton, Harlow, Sheldrick (Cherry, 58) Vines, Braithwaite, Parr. Substitute not used: Lewis.

Referee: R Bigger (Croydon).

(Photograph omitted)