Peterborough Sports suffer FA Cup heartbreak on a mixed night for former Posh player, Stamford held, Spalding beaten despite Zakuani’s presence, player-boss delivers Deeping Rangers victory

Peterborough Sports suffered FA Cup heartbreak tonight (October 13), beaten 7-6 on penalties, after a 1-1 draw, by Banbury United at the Bee Arena.

By Alan Swann
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 11:31 pm
Jordan Nicholson after missing a penalty for Peterborough Sports against Banbury. Photo: James Richardson.
Jordan Nicholson after missing a penalty for Peterborough Sports against Banbury. Photo: James Richardson.

And what a mixed night for former Posh player Jordan Nicholson. The first-half substitute claimed the Sports equaliser 10 minutes from time with a calm, composed finish, but went on to be the only player (out of 14) to miss a spot-kick in the shootout.

Nicholson clipped his penalty against the top of the crossbar to send Banbury through to the fourth and final qualifying round.

There was little to separate these two Southern League Premier Division sides throughout. Banbury’s former Northampton Town player Connor Roberts volleyed them ahead during a spell of first-half dominance in the 25th minute before a fortunate ricochet sent Nicholson through on goal for his moment of glory.

Jordan Nicholson equalises for Peterborough Sports against Banbury. Photo: James Richardson.

Dion Sembie-Ferris had an immediate chance to win the game for Sports, but screwed his shot wide. Banbury then struck a post from their best chance to win the match.

Sports had started the brighter, while only creating a couple of 20-yard shooting opportunities for Josh Moreman. Sports ‘keeper Lewis Moat made one splendid save to thwart a Banbury breakaway, but five minutes later he was beaten by a close range volley after his defence failed to deal with a set-piece.

Mitch Griffiths curled a 44th-minute 20-yard free kick against the crossbar, but Sports rarely looked like scoring after the break until Nicholson struck.

Lewis Hilliard’s early departure because of injury didn’t help Sports, but manager Jimmy Dean’s second-half substitutions had a positive impact as Mark Jones looked a far more natural, and certainly more physical, centre-forward than Maniche Sani who struggled against the knowhow of 35 year-old former Posh centre-back Kelvin Langmead, while ex-Posh youth team player Dan Jarvis brought pace and speed into midfield.

Mitch Griffiths (right) in action for Peterborough Sports against Banbury. Photo: James Richardson.

Ultimately it wasn’t enough as a nerve-wracking and lengthy penalty competition ended with the vast majority of a club record crowd of 478 returning home unhappy with the outcome.

P’boro Sports: Lewis Moat, Mitch Griffiths, Matty Miles, Paul Malone, Brad McGowan, Dan Lawlor, Lewis Hilliard (sub Jordan Nicholson, 25 mins), Josh McCammon (sub Dan Jarvis, 68 mins), Josh Moreman (sub Mark Jones, 62 mins), Manice Sani, Dion Sembie-Ferris. Unused subs; Jim Stevenson, Richard Jones, Lewis Elsom.

Elsewhere former Posh promotion hero Gaby Zakuani couldn’t work his magic in Cleethorpes for Spalding United.

Zakuani is assisting caretaker-boss Neal Spafford following the weekend departure of manager Lewis Thorogood, but the Tulips still suffered a fourth straight defeat in the South East Division of the Northern Premier League.

It finished 3-1 to Cleethorpes with debutant Cameron Johnson claiming a consolation goal for Spalding.

High-flying Stamford AFC needed a 77th goal from Sean Wright to pick up a point from a 1-1 draw at Carlton Town, while it’s now six defeats in six games for bottom club Wisbech Town who went down 2-0 at Lincoln United.

Two goals from player-manager Lee Clarke delivered a 2-0 United Counties Premier Division win for Deeping Rangers at Boston Town. Deeping are up to fifth.


Tuesday, October 13


Third qualifying round: Peterborough Sports 1 (Nicholson), Banbury United 1.


South East Division: Carlton 1, Stamford AFC 1 (Wright); Cleethorpes Town 3, Spalding Utd 1 (Johnson); Lincoln Utd 2, Wisbech Town 0.


Premier Division: Boston Town 0, Deeping Rangers 2 (Clarke 2).


Wednesday, October 14


Premier Division: Holbeach United v Sleaford Town.


Division One North: Downham Town v March Town.