Normally this article would describe the events that happened during 90 minutes of football. To do it in this game somehow seems disrespectful. This was more than a football match. This turned into something that became a memory that every single member of the 15,000 contingent of Posh fans will remember for the rest of their life.
My vocabulary isn’t particularly expansive, admittedly, but I cannot think of the words to sum up the emotion today. I’m not sure anyone could. There are some things that cannot be written down, no matter how eloquent you are, they simply have to be experienced to comprehend just how special they are. This was one of these moments.
For 7 minutes today Posh fans experienced the highest of highs. This was a dream world in reality. Some stood, in sheer shock. Others danced around like they were possessed. Strangers embraced, wrapped up in the jubilation. It was a whirlwind of emotions. Sheer, unbridled ecstasy. Yet it could so easily have been different.
For much of this second half Huddersfield were on top. We might not even have got this far. We could have been out of the tie at Stadium:MK. Instead here we are. A Championship football club. Today we stood strong. We would not be broken down. No matter what was thrown at us we defended as a unit, something desperately lacking throughout many games this season, but we saved it for the crucial moment.
To score one goal in a playoff final is special. To score three, in seven minutes, right at the depth of a match. It is priceless. From the moment Tommy Rowe’s header hit the back of the net everything became a whirlwind. Before we had stopped celebrating that strike we were home and dry. Mackail-Smith, with the help of a deflection, put the ball into the far corner and ran off in utter delirium. If this was his way of signing off it could hardly have been done in a better manner. This was a special way to cap of a special player’s Posh career.
The third was just the icing on the cake. When it hit the back of the net I have no memories of my reaction, honestly, I cannot remember what I did. All I remember after this is Lee Tomlin’s dance in the corner, before the 90 minutes were up, and then the full-time whistle blowing. It is hard to recall everything else. To be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention. We were up, there was no way back and everyone knew it. The last 5 minutes were just a celebration.
I remember standing on my chair after the match, raised above the rest of the fan-base just looking round and seeing scenes that I never thought I’d see. It was genuinely incredible witnessing the emotions on display. Etched on people’s faces was a mixture of elation, disbelief and relief. Posh had headed into this game as underdogs. Huddersfield had spent more, brought more, got more points and for much of this game the better team but we upset the odds and became a Championship club. Peterborough United will compete with Leeds United, West Ham United and Nottingham Forest in the league. Peterborough United were in a division above Charlton, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday. Punching above our weight, perhaps, but there is another time to concentrate on the troubles that lie ahead. This is not that time. Feelings like this do not come around to often and nothing should tarnish them. Times like these are ones to savour.
We have been spoilt with promotions in recent seasons, 3 in 4 years is a record that most clubs would envy, but this was the sweetest of the bunch. Many may argue that the playoffs are unfair but the Football League would not be the same without them. This is high-stakes football at its pinnacle. The highest of the highest stakes. Whilst it is worth sparing a thought for the Huddersfield fans who have experienced the other extreme of the spectrum of emotions that the playoffs bring; if you can gain promotion through them there is no better way to do it. All the nerves, frustrations and troubles of a season are forgotten about, subsided by happiness.
This day will never be forgotten by any Posh fan that witnessed it. And through all the bad times, it is for moments like this that we continue to follow our football club. Every player in the squad, the management team and the staff deserve credit today. This has been a culmination of their hard work. Today, above all days, I am so proud to be a part of it. Today, above all days, I am so proud to be Posh.
Up The Posh.