Peterborough United suffered a sending off after only 11 minutes against Bristol City but was it an act of petulance by Lee Tomlin or was it a player feigning injury to get a fellow professional sent off deliberately?
Bristol City 4 – 2 Peterborough United
Location: Ashton Gate
Date: 29th December, 2012
Attendance: 12,991 (375 Posh fans)
An off the ball incident combined with a fresh, determined Robins outfit combined to stop the three match winning run Posh were on.
Having beaten the likes of Cardiff, Bolton and Wolves, Posh had high hopes of making it four wins out of four when they arrived at Ashton Gate to face the team that replaced them at the bottom of the Championship on Boxing Day.
The Robins Boxing Day clash had been called off as their Ashton Gate pitch was water-logged meaning the Bristol outfit were fresh going into this relegation battle. That freshness was evident right from the off as Posh looked sluggish and were punished early on.
The City player that Posh fans love to hate, Sam Baldock, caused problems for Posh throughout the 90 minutes and it was the former MK Dons player that superbly set-up Paul ANDERSON for the opening goal after only four minutes.
Baldock could`ve doubled the score moments later after Bostwick missed a key tackle allowing the striker to fire wide of Olejnik`s goal.
A crucial decision came after 11 minutes when an off-the-ball incident involving Lee Tomlin saw the Posh forward shown a straight red card.
Not many people saw the encounter but officials from Posh have reviewed the incident and have confirmed that there was virtually nothing in it and it certainly didn`t deserve a red card and it certainly wasn`t bad enough for the City player to go down like a sack of spuds!!
It is commonly known that Lee Tomlin has in the past suffered from a short temper and many were questioning whether this was another act of petulance by the former Rushden player but it could now be a case of the City player taking a dive to get a fellow professional deliberately sent off!!
Time will tell whether Posh decide to appeal against the red card but Posh aren`t normally a team that appeals things like this and they may just bite the bullet and accept the three match ban that will come with the red card.
Down to ten men and one nil down, most teams would revert to containment but Posh aren`t most teams!
Credit has to go to the men in blue for putting in a determined, battling performance. They were rewarded not long after the sending off when George Boyd found his way into the box and as he took the ball round Tom Heaton, the City keeper brought the player down for a penalty.
Heaton was the last man and Boyd just had to knock the ball into the empty net but the referee amazingly decided that it wasn`t a goal scoring opportunity and instead of sending the keeper off, he just showed a yellow card!!
Former skipper Grant McCANN stepped up to take the penalty and planted it into the bottom corner of the net to tie things up.
That, for Posh, was as good as it got!
Throughout the first half, Baldock along with Anderson and Adomah caused the Posh backline plenty of problems but they stood firm until the 37th minute when an excellent one-two between Anderson and BALDOCK set up the latter for City`s second goal.
Baldock could`ve scored either side of halt-time as the post and a Zakuani block denied the City player who was returning from injury having missed the last few games.
Having played so many games over a short space of time, unlike their hosts, and down to 10 men, fatigue was starting to set in. Shaun Brisley and Kane Ferdinand were brought on for the tiring Knight-Percival and McCann but to little effect.
Just after Ferdinands introduction on the hour mark, City extended their lead from a very weak header from a corner. Stephen McMANUS got his head on the ball which somehow found its way into the net.
Five minutes later and it was that man again BALDOCK with City`s fourth and final goal from the penalty spot. Bostwick conceded the penalty following a foul on Anderson.
Despite the scoreline, Posh still ventured forward which saw efforts from Dwight Gayle, the impressive substitute Danny Swanson [pictured below] and George Boyd all go close although Swansons effort was the only one to cause any trouble for Heaton.
Posh got their reward in the 89th minute when a good through ball from Ferdinand found the in-form GAYLE to fire in his seventh goal in six matches!
City thoroughly deserved their win but it is Posh that must now put this poor display behind them as they now turn their attention to their next match on New Years Day – a clash with the new bottom team Barnsley at London Road.
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