MATCH PREVIEW: A famous FA Cup win for Peterborough United 35 years ago

Posh players celebrate with their fans after a famous FA Cup win at Notts County.

Posh players celebrate with their fans after a famous FA Cup win at Notts County.

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Notts County were a far different club compared to now when Posh last played them in an FA Cup tie back in January 1981.

That County were challenging for promotion to the top flight of English football. They would eventually finish second in the old Division Two under legendary manager Jimmy Sirrel.

Posh striker Robbie Cooke scores the only goal of the game as Posh win an FA Cup tie 1-0 ay Notts County in 1981.

Posh striker Robbie Cooke scores the only goal of the game as Posh win an FA Cup tie 1-0 ay Notts County in 1981.

Posh were also bidding for promotion from Division Four, but they would miss out by finishing fifth in the days before play-off football.

But Posh, who had beaten Northampton, Barnet and Chesterfield to reach the fourth round, pulled off one of the shocks of the day at Meadow Lane thanks to a 57th-minute goal from prolific striker Robbie Cooke.

Playing on the left-wing that day was Posh legend Tommy Robson. He had no trouble remembering events from 35 years ago.

“It was always a big game when we played Notts County,” Robson said.

Posh players after their 1981 FA Cup win at Notts County. From left, Robbie Cooke, Trevir Quow, Gordon Hodgson, Ian Phillips, Tommy Robson, Dave McVey & Billy Kellock.

Posh players after their 1981 FA Cup win at Notts County. From left, Robbie Cooke, Trevir Quow, Gordon Hodgson, Ian Phillips, Tommy Robson, Dave McVey & Billy Kellock.

“They were a great side in those days under Jimmy Sirrel, but we went there thinking we could surprise them with our pace in attack.

“Sirrell famously didn’t like small players. He had a squad of giants like Brian ‘Killer’ Kilcline at the back. The only small player he tolerated was Don Masson who was an exceptionally gifted midfielder.

“But they weren’t the quickest and we did exploit that.

“I can remember Robbie scoring the only goal of the game right in front of our fans packed into the corner of one terrace.

“We could have scored more goals, but their keeper (Yugoslavia international Raddy Avramovic) made some great saves.

“I think they hit the bar a few times as well (Ian McCulloch struck the woodwork three times).

“When the game was over we just charged to our fans and some of the lads jumped on the fence. They’d probably get sent off nowadays!

“We played Manchester City in the next round at home and lost 1-0 in front of a full house of 28,000. That was a great game as well, but we would have swapped the cup wins for promotion.”

Peter Morris was the Posh manager at the time. He was a man of few words, but admitted he was ‘proud’ of his players.

Sirrel was far more effusive. He said: “Peterborough were a credit to the Fourth Division. They deserved their win. They were very positive and played some great football.”

The only other FA Cup meeting between Notts County and Posh also took place at Meadow Lane, in November 1962.

George Hudson (2) and Peter McNamee scored for Posh in a 3-0 first round win in front of 20,473 fans.

Both sides were in Division Three that season.