Peterborough United tamed the toothless Lions of Millwall on Tuesday night with a 5-1 hiding at the ABAX Stadium in their League One tie.
Posh put on a stunning display of football in the first half to have the result effectively wrapped up by the midway point.
Marcus Maddison opened the scoring for Posh, and was quickly joined on the scoresheet by Paul Taylor, who along with Tom Nichols, who was the provider for the third of the night for Gwion Edwards, was outstanding through out.
Both Nichols and Edwards stuck in the second half to make it a rout, before Millwall’s Steve Morison pulled a goal back late in the day, but there was no chance it was going to stop them suffering their first loss of the new season.
It took less than a minute for Peterborough to pose the first threat of the night, Morrison cutting in from the right wing and firing a speculative shot just over the crossbar from all of 30 yards.
Taylor should have put Posh ahead moments later but after being played through the centre of the Lions’ defence he could only push his shot wide of the far post. It was near enough the only thing he did wrong for the rest of the match.
With six minutes gone Maddison broke the deadlock with a cross come shot which bounced into the box, no one could meet it from either side and the stranded Millwall keeper Jordan Archer could only watch it bounce into his net.
United doubled their lead a minute later, the ball was fired into Nichols on the edge of the box, and despite being under pressure he directed the ball beautifully, with a single touch, into the path of strike partner Taylor, who made no mistake this time.
After being a spectator in the early stages Ben Alnwick made himself big to save one-on-one from Millwall’s Aiden O’Brien and Peterborough got back in numbers to ensure there was no easy shot available, in the end Jimmy Abdou fired over the bar.
Nicholls picked up his second assist of the game after 20 minutes, with a chipped cross into the path of Edwards, who put enough power on the header to set it beat Archer.
To say Peterborough were bossing the the game is an understatement. Taylor was having a magical game at number 10, at times it looked like he had the ball on a bit of string. A couple of nice step overs were too much for the Millwall defence as he weaved past two defenders to set-up another shooting chance, this time just wide.
For all the accuracy of Peterborough, Millwall were errant in their work, over hitting crosses and losing the ball with alarming regularity.
The visitor’s long ball hit and hope tactics simply were fruitless for much of the first half.
Whereas Peterborough were breaking at speed, going from one end of the pitch to the other in a flash of an eye, with Taylor and Edwards leading the charge to win a corner.
From the following set piece Andrew Hughes had a header saved off the line by Ben Thompson
Millwall finished the half strongly Ben Thompson and Byron Webster having shots blocked inside the Posh box in quick succession just before the break.
Lions manager Neil Harris brought on Gregg Wylde at half time and the substitute made an instant impact as he had a vicious shot blocked just in front of line rather unknowingly by skipper Chris Forrester. But it was vital as the momentum was beginning to swing in the visitor’s favour.
Posh took the sting out of the visitors with a wonderfully simplistic goal in the 52nd minute. Just as it has been for the third Nichols and Edwards combined, the former getting his third assist of the night with a ball across the face of goal, and the latter his second goal - a composed tap in.
There was not the same domination in the second half but the hosts remained on top and had the better of the chances.
Nichols made it five in the 68th minute - a terrible error from the Lions defence gave Jermaine Anderson the ball in the visitor’s box and he tested the keeper with a powerful drive which Archer could only parry into the path of Nichols.
Morison pulled a goal back in the 80th minute when it fortuitously fell to him five yards out after being headed down in the box.
Peterborough United: Ben Alnwick, Michael Smith, 3 Andrew Hughes, Michael Bostwick, Jack Baldwin, Gwoin Edwards, Chris Forrester ©, Paul Taylor, Marcus Maddison, Jermaine Anderson, Tom Nichols.
Substitutes: (GK) Mark Tyler, Richardo Almeida Santos, Shaquile Coulthirst, Joe Gormley, Hayden White, Adil Nabi, Callum, Chettle
Millwall: Jordan Archer, Joe Martin, Tony Craig ©, Ben Thompson, Lee Gregory, Mahlom Romeo, Byron Webster, Shane Ferguson, Steve Morison, Aiden O’Brien, Jimmy Abdou.
Substitutes: (GK) Tom King, Shaun Hutchinson, David Worrall, Fred Onyedinma, Gregg Wylde, Sid Nelson, Jamie Philpot.
Referee: R Joyce
Man of the match Paul Taylor