There are few things as satisfying for city football folk as a victory over Northampton.
And that’s exactly what happened at the Mick George Arena this afternoon as the Peterborough & District League representative team made progress in the FA Inter-League Cup.
They certainly made hard work of seeing off the Northampton Town League with a goal in the first period of extra-time from defender Jake Pell – taken with all the coolness and class of a seasoned striker – eventually clinching a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph.
The victory was all the more impressive following the loss of four members of manager Darren Fogg’s initial squad were lost to injury.
Midfielder Joe Butterworth and forwards Lewis Leckie, Matt Heron and Kyle Orange – the latter the evening before the game – all dropped out.
But those that did line up gave a good account of themselves even if they did fall behind late in the first half and not level until the final few minutes of normal time following a controversial penalty call.
Nat Liburd, a player to have graced much higher levels of the non-league game, rifled the visitors into the driving seat with a smart 20-yard finish in the 39th minute.
The Peterborough lads had found the net themselves moments earlier, but Craig Smith’s finish from a cute Steve Mastin pass was quickly ruled out for offside.
Another injury blow followed at the break with wing-back Chris Hansford forced out of the action by a hip problem, but his replacement Jack Bates became a key figure.
Bates won the hotly-disputed spot-kick with seven minutes remaining when referee Andy Park deemed his burst into the box had been illegally ended by visiting goalkeeper Kevin Sparks.
It looked to the majority of those present that Sparks got a strong hand on the ball as he dashed from his line, but the Peterborough side made the most of their lifeline as Ben Daly coolly converted from the spot – twice.
His first attempt taken before Park blew his whistle didn’t count but his second effort certainly did.
The local lads were reliant on a fine Lewis Moat save moments later to send the tie into an additional half-an-hour and once there they always looked the likeliest scorers.
The decisive strike arrived four minutes from the end of the opening period as Pell accepted a pass from his Coates Athletic team-mate Kev Gilbert, side-stepped a defender and rolled the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
The Peterborough & District League’s reward is a first-round tie in September. They are due to discover the identity of their next opponents during the coming week.
Peterborough & District League: Lewis Moat (Coates Athletic), Jake Pell (Coates Athletic), Ben Daly (Netherton), Matt Holland (Oakham Utd), Chris Hansford (Netherton), Jason Dunn (Stilton), Billy King (Moulton Harrox), Ben Panting (Stilton), Steve Mastin (Netherton), Craig Smith (Stilton), Ian Bradbury (Moulton Harrox).
Subs used: Jack Bates (Coates Athletic) for Hansford; Kev Gilbert (Coates Athletic) for Dunn; Jake Sansby (Netherton) for King.
Subs unused: Mark Baines (Stilton), Ben Derbyshire (Thorney).
Man-of-the-match: Matt Holland