Main Page

Quick Links

The Rest
   Club info
   Last Season
   Unlikely Lads
   A-Z Index



Season 2001-02 
 Match Report 2001-02 - Peterborough (a) 
 FA Cup 4th Round

This match report is brought to you by an Organic Pasty: 
just about the poshest nosh on the Ginsters menu (Click food 
for details)

Sunday 27th January 2002, 4.00pm.

Venue: London Road

Conditions: heavy pre-match rain had put the tie in doubt, but after taking the decision to go ahead, thankfully the rain abated and conditions didn't deteriorate further. 


Peterborough United  2 - 4 Newcastle United


14 mins A corner was swung over and nodded down by Sylvain Distin for Andy O'Brien to swivel a low shot past keeper and defenders. 1-0

43 mins
A ball played through the middle was held up by Acuña on the edge of the area before Jamie McClen took it off his toes and surged into the box to lift it over Tyler. 2-0

Half time: Peterborough 0 Newcastle 2

52 mins Goal of the game as O'Brien perfectly met a cross from the right to steer the ball past Given. Al would have been proud of it. 2-1

79 mins
Hughes almost created our third before Peterborough broke with pace. The ball ended up with Farrell who ran at our defence before curling a shot beyond Given into the far corner. The hint of a slight deflection perhaps, but the ball may have beaten Given anyway. 2-2

84 mins
A downward header caught the arm of McKenzie and Shearer stepped up to calmly drive the ball into the bottom left hand corner past T
yler's despairing dive to his right. 3-2

85 mins
Quinn crossed from the left and Aaron Hughes stooped to meet it at the far post. 4-2

Full time: Peterborough 2 Newcastle 4

We Said

Uncle Bobby said:  

"If we didn’t have a bit of character and tenacity in our team we might just have lost this match.

"In some ways, for the way they played in the second half, I would have loved them to get a draw, take us back to Newcastle and earn more money. I thought they were marvellous. It was a heck of a fight for us, a dogfight.

Of the competition he said:

"It hasn’t lost its magnetism - I’m in love with it. It was a marvellous, typical cup-tie, the pitch was a great leveller and suited direct football, and suited them. The whole place was dancing and singing at 2-2 - the stand nearly came down.

"Manchester United, Leeds and Liverpool are out - it’s going to be worth getting to the final."

Talking about Given:

"What a class keeper he is. He is in brilliant form and has this ability to make a match-winning save."

They Said

Posh boss Barry Fry said:

"Good luck to them. Who better than Bobby Robson and Alan Shearer, the former England manager and the former England captain, to win the FA Cup. They are both a credit to the game - but they are still lucky b***ards.’’

"I am proud of my lads - they deserved a replay. People will look in the paper and see they won it 4-2 but my lads gave them a better game than some Premiership teams will this season.’’

"I said to Bobby Robson beforehand that our lights were poor and the first thing his geezer must have known about the cross was when it hit him on the head and went in. 

"Then Farrell scores a wonder goal and we are back in it - only for the referee to give a decision against us that was a right kick in the wotsits. 

"Leon McKenzie was supposed to have handballed it. He didn't have time to take his arm out of the way. It's a cruel game.' 

"We did well to fight back to 2-2 and had two or three chances to go in front. They were rocking on the ropes."

"I told our players we were unlucky to be two down at half-time and to come out and have a right go - and they did."

Match Stats

First senior goal for Jamie McClen on his 5th senior start (11 games including sub appearances) and his FA Cup debut. He last started a game in the early weeks of Robson's reign, a 2-3 defeat at Leeds in September 1999.  

FA cup debut for Brian Kerr, who almost scored with his first touch, a low hard centre from the right just eluding him as he steamed in on goal. Kerr's only other senior appearance was away at Coventry in Sep 2000, when he was an 88th minute substitute.

Alan Shearer's 18th FA Cup goal for Newcastle, which puts him level second with Bobby Mitchell in the all-time scorers list. Jackie Milburn is still out in front on 23.


Just like the old days then, a packed house, pudding of a pitch, standing terraces and a cracking atmosphere.

Happily for us though, our excursion into the past still saw us emerge victorious, unlike so many of those glorious defeats at smaller clubs in our fallow years out of the top flight. 

Many of those present in the Moyes end at London Road on Sunday no doubt watched from similar vantage points as we were humbled by the likes of Grimsby, Luton and of course Peterborough in those dark days of the 80's and early 90's when big away support used to equate with disappointment.

Much has changed of course since those days, as we've transformed ourselves from that perennially hibernating giant into a team that garners respect rather than derision. Peterborough seem only to have acquired a new stand, a patch of white on their shirts and more debt.

Stepping on to that covered away end was like entering Dr.Who's blue box, and one almost expected to be piped aboard by that Piranhas record that used to rouse the troops long before the phrase toon army was coined.

As it was, a mixture of songs old and new from the travelling support confirmed that standing does make the voice grow stronger, and that the age-old tradition of pre-match drinking was still being religiously adhered to by many. "Pogo, if you love the toon" got the knees creaking, while "The fulwell end, is always full" was lustily rendered - it's actually full of two-bedroomed semi's now, but no doubt the occupiers of those still conform to those unmentionable obscenities.....

However, song of the day has to be the O'Brien tribute, which has been slowly gaining in popularity since Andy's Wearside leveller last season. For those of you unaware, it's a variation on that cockernee anthem "any old iron" repeated thrice, only altered to "any O'Brien" in honour of Doctor Set Piece Liam as well as Andy, and followed by "who put the ball in the mackems net?" before another burst of "O'Brien, O'Brien". Tragically the third (Irish) potential member of this exclusive club, U17's midfielder Alan O'Brien failed to score against the mackems in either Academy game this season, but time is on his side....

This was our 10th win away from St.James' Park this season in all competitions, and if not the most stylish certainly among the most hard-fought. Shorn of our recent key midfield performers through injury (not suspension, Robert isn't included in that category), instead we ended up picking a side with enough quality in it to score goals, and enough stickability and gumption to combat the abrasive tactics of the home side. Good job we had Shay Given as well though - the pivotal moment of the tie was his save at 2-2.

Robert's forced omission was no great miss, after he'd seemingly turned his nose up at the antiquated conditions at Filbert Street last week. In his place came Olivier Bernard, with a lower centre of gravity and a more suitable attitude, at least for the opening 45 minutes - he did seem to fade after the break, possibly as his little legs sank into the London Road paddy field.

Making a rare start, Jamie "santa" McClen did all that was asked of him, and notched his first senior goal for United in slightly fortunate fashion. He may not have pulled up any trees, but at least showed more appetite for the job in hand than Acuna, who was off the pace throughout.

Once again though, the weak link was Robbie Elliott. To say he was taken to the cleaners in the second half was something of an understatement - never mind taken, his shirts could have been pressed and his trousers invisibly mended while he was there. As at Troyes though, Robson refused to acknowledge the fact he was self-destructing at left back and left him on (perhaps fearful that to withdraw him would have an even more debilitating effect on his confidence.) Plan B was to belatedly introduce cover nearby in the shape of Quinn, who promptly went upfield and put in a perfect cross for Hughes to wrap things up. Handy that, along with the penalty some moments earlier.

Shearer calmly put that away (but again at a goal-keeper friendly height - not quite the corner seeking shots of old) but in truth didn't have a major role to play in the game, partially due to the valiant marking job done on him by the home defence. As ever Bellamy was busy with twisting runs and poor passes after good work, but was unfairly pushed around more than once or twice by the Posh players - thankfully the din of the crowd meant that Craig's moaning wasn't within earshot of the ref and he didn't add to his yellow card tally.

So, a barnstorming cup tie with something for everyone - moments of passion and optimism for the small time club, to and froing for the TV audience and those accursed neutrals, and a place in the 5th round for wor lot. 

A transport of delights back to former times for the fans as well (apart from the £15 standing charge, admission being gained through turnstiles clearly labelled £10), but a reminder of just how crap terraces were for watching the game, and how far we've come in terms of facilities since the days of the open gallowgate netties. The standing debate seems to drag on but took a seemingly fatal blow at Ninian Park earlier this season - if we do ever have an alternative to seats, it can't just be a re-opening of cow sheds like this one.

The overall verdict - great game, glad we're through, loved the atmosphere behind the goal - but glad I wore stout boots. Someone in the home section said that the away end at times in the game resembled that at Millmoor when Keegan scored 4 in that fantastic 5-1 game. I hope that came over on the telly, especially to those toon fans who didn't go but will be watching when the team return to St.James' - it doesn't hurt, honest; the odd sore throat and stinging palm is merely proof that you've had something to shout about and clap for. The only thing you'll get squatting in a piles. 

PS: Having failed to gain access to the gents at half time, I was forced to follow the example of many others and do my business against the outside wall of the ground - the turnstiles had all been left open and unguarded. Ah, the joys of the FA Cup....

Get a flavour of them here (2.6Mb).


Back to Main Page

Page last updated 26 January, 2012