Peterborough 7-1 Town
Saturday, 20th Aug 2011 19:22
Town had two players sent off in the same match for the first time ever as Peterborough came from behind to thrash Paul Jewell’s men 7-1 at London Road. Lee Martin and sub Tommy Smith saw red either side of half-time after Keith Andrews had put the Blues in front only for Lee Tomlin (3), Paul Taylor (2) and Grant McCann (2) to see Posh to their biggest ever win at this level.
Blues boss Paul Jewell made four changes to the side which lost 5-2 at home to Southampton in midweek. Jack Ainsley came in for his first league start at centre-half alongside Damien Delaney with Tommy Smith dropping to the bench.
In midfield, Lee Bowyer – who was suffering with a hamstring injury - and Mark Kennedy dropped out with Lee Martin and Josh Carson returning to the wide roles with skipper Grant Leadbitter and Keith Andrews in the centre.
Striker Jason Scotland was the fourth man to drop out of the starting line-up, the Trinidadian taking his place amongst the subs with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas partnering Michael Chopra.
David Stockdale was the first keeper in action, brilliantly tipping Grant McCann’s freekick over the bar after Lee Tomlin had been fouled by Carlos Edwards just outside the area. The on-loan Fulham man had to be at his best again from the corner, saving Scott Wootton’s header.
For Town, wearing black, Delaney headed to Boro keeper Paul Jones on six, a minute before Leadbitter got his name in referee Graham Scott’s book for a foul on Lee Frecklington.
On 11 Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’s low ball across the box was too far in front of Chopra but flew only narrowly past Jones’s left post. The Blues were getting more into the game after a nervous start, although they were continuing to look vulnerable on the break.
Chopra diverted Edwards’s low cross from the right wide as the game reached the quarter-hour mark, then Cresswell sent Martin away down the left, the former Manchester United man cutting in from the left and hitting a shot just wide of Jones’s left post.
Town went ahead in the 23rd minute with Keith Andrews netting his second stunning strike in a week. There seemed nothing on when the ball fell to the Irishman 30-yards out, but the on-loan Blackburn midfielder flicked it up and lashed powerfully beyond Jones. It was the 30-year-old’s second goal in his two Blues starts so far.
Posh had the chance to get back on terms three minutes later but Paul Taylor failed to find the target with only Stockdale to beat from the edge of the area.
But the home side did manage to get back on terms on the half hour. Mark Little brought the ball in from the right, with a huge suspicion that it might have gone out of play, and found George Boyd inside the area. The midfielder scraped it back to Paul Taylor on the edge of the box and the striker slammed a shot past a static Stockdale.
Posh had deserved to get back on terms with the Blues making little headway after scoring and in the 28th minute Darren Ferguson’s men went ahead. Boyd found Tomlin on the left with a cross-field pass and the former Rushden and Diamonds man cut inside Edwards and beat Stockdale.
Almost immediately it was 3-1, Leadbitter inexplicably passed straight to Taylor just inside the Town half, the striker holding off Ainsley and taking the ball into the area before Stockdale was beaten again.
Astonishingly, within a minute Peterborough had scored their fourth. The Blues’ defensive frailties were again all to the fore as McCann played the ball straight through the middle, Tomlin got behind Ainsley and finished.
After Tomlin had been booked for a dive in the Town area, things unbelievably got even worse for Town when Lee Martin was shown a straight red card for a foul on Little on the touchline. It seemed a rash challenge, although a red card was probably harsh with a stunned Town team complaining bitterly to referee Scott.
The half-time whistle probably came as a relief to a Blues side which had conceded nine goals in a match and a half, once again looking all over the place at the back and with Peterborough’s midfield playing around them as they netted goals in the 39th, 40th and 41st minute, although Town players were appealing for offside from a number of them and they may have been close.
Lee Martin’s red card, almost certainly the result of frustration, just put the tin hat on another disastrous first half.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tommy Smith was introduced at the break, for the ineffective Josh Carson with Jack Ainsley moving to right-back and Carlos Edwards into midfield.
Smith’s introduction lasted around a minute before the New Zealand international joined Martin back in the dressing room. The ball was played through the middle for a possibly offside Tomlin to chase, Smith and the striker both went to ground just outside the area and the linesman waved his flag for a foul against the Town man when the initial infringement may have been committed by the Peterborough player.
Despite the incident having taken place some distance outside the area, referee Scott pointed to the penalty spot in addition to sending Tommy Smith off, the first time Town have ever had two players sent off in the same match.
After Cresswell had got booked for dissent, McCann lashed the spotkick down the middle to make it 5-1.
Posh were by now unsurprisingly rampant and Little forced Stockdale to save with his feet moments later.
Delaney and Tomlin were both booked for a spat on halfway, before McCann made it six with a shot from the right of the area which deflected off a defender and past Stockdale.
The second half was resembling a training game with Peterborough encamped around the edge of the Town box. Stockdale saved twice from Boyd, then Wootton had an effort deflected wide, before Boyd shot over.
Stockdale saved from Boyd on 63, then Alcock hit an effort straight at the Town keeper, who was doing brilliantly to keep the score within football’s normal parameters.
The home side continued to push for a seventh, McCann hit the post from a cross from the left, then Tommy Rowe sliced over from a cross from the other flank.
Alcock shot wide as the game entered its final 10 minutes, the remaining Blues having done well to keep the score down to six.
Just as it appeared the Blues had prevented the score reaching seven, Tomlin completed his hat-trick, following up after Stockdale and Cresswell had both blocked earlier efforts.
Moments later referee Scott, who had done much to assist Posh’s cause with regard to the sendings off, blew his final whistle, ending Town’s nightmare at London Road.
The red cards had hardly helped the cause, but in truth the Blues were well beaten before then with Paul Jewell’s job of turning things around looking bigger with every game.
Town: Stockdale, Cresswell, Edwards, Delaney, Ainsley, Andrews, Leadbitter, Carson (Smith 46), Martin, Emmanuel-Thomas (Kennedy 54), Chopra (Ellington 71). Unused: Lee-Barrett, Scotland.
Peterborough: Jones, Little (Gordon 60), Alcock, Wootton, Bennett (Thompson 62), McCann, Frecklington (Tunnicliffe 62), Rowe, Boyd, Tomlin, Taylor. Unused: Ball, Day, Tunnicliffe, Gordon, Thompson. Referee Graham Scott (Oxfordshire). Att: 7,928 (Town: 1,346).
Photo: Action Images
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