Boston United 2-5 Peterborough United

Midland League

8th October 1955

In the mid 50s Boston United and Peterborough United were amongst the top teams in the Midland League. Peterborough were the more successful of the two sides, winning the title for five consecutive seasons from 1955/6 before being elected into the Football League in 1960. Boston however gave them a run for their money, coming second in 55/6 and third in 56/7 & 57/8 before switching to the Southern League in 1958. Both sides also had great victories in the FA Cup. Boston beating Derby County by a record 6-1 score in 1955 and Peterborough beating Ipswich Town, Bradford Park Avenue and Lincoln City. When the two sides came together for their Midland League fixture at Boston in October 1955, Peterborough topped the table and Boston were in second place. The match attracted a new record crowd for Boston - 9656 spectators packed into their ground. This was 311 more than the previous record, which had been set just five days earlier when 9345 people came to watch the first game to be played under the newly installed floodlights in Boston and they saw Corby Town beaten 5-0 in the Midland League.
Peterborough had a great start, scoring twice in the first eight minutes, which was before some of the huge number of spectators had managed to get into the ground. The first goal came in the fourth minute from a corner taken by Hails. The Boston defence failed to clear the ball and Andy DONALDSON hooked the ball into the net from close range. Four minutes later Peterborough doubled their lead. Another corner swung into the Boston goal mouth and was half cleared to FARROW who saw a space and fired the ball into the net from 25 yards out. Ray Middleton - Boston's 'keeper and player-manager - was injured in clearing the ball and with no substitutes allowed, he decided to go out on the wing and let Vic Walker take over in goal. Peterborough got their third goal in the 14th minute. HAILS produced a tremendous drive that Walker could only parry into the path of Denis EMERY who had the simple task of tapping the ball over the line. Middleton now decided to go back in goal. Peterborough went four up in the 31st minute. Vic Smith missed the ball in midfield allowing Bob GIBSON to run at goal before placing his shot past the advancing Middleton. Boston then began to attack. Donalson had to head the ball out of the Peterborough goalmouth after Jimmy Bloomer had beaten Lowery with his shot. Boston reduced the arrears five minutes before half time when Ray WILKINS headed home a corner taken by Jimmy Whitfield.

Ray Wilkins

Ray Wilkins

Boston began the second half well. Wilkins shot wide after getting on the end of a square pass from Whitfield. Then in the 62nd minute Boston got their second goal when BLOOMER fired in a shot that was too hot for Lowery, allowing the striker a second chance that he gratefully took. Norman Rigby had to make a desperate clearance after Lowery had been beaten by a well flighted corner. Three more corners were won in quick succession, but Boston couldn't find a way through the Peterborough defence. Bloomer then saw a shot go just inches wide of the post with the 'keeper beaten. Roy Killin then cleared the ball off the line after Whitfield had run into the area and struck his shot past the 'keeper. Three minutes from time Peterborough sealed their victory when GIBSON beat Middleton after picking up the ball from what appeared to be an offside position.

Boston United: Ray Middleton, Vic Walker, Geoff Snade, Don Hazledine, Vic Smith, Johnny Birkbeck, Reg Harrison, Ray Wilkins, Jimmy Bloomer, Jimmy Whitfield, Steve Wheatley.

Peterborough United: Jerry Lowery, Clarke, Roy Killin, Bernard Shaw, Norman Rigby, Farrow, William Hails, Denis Emery, Andy Donaldson, Bob Gibson, George Hair.

Attendance: 9,656

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