Peterborough United’s hotheaded substitute cost his team the game at Lincoln according to his manager
Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson pinned the blame for today’s (January 1) 2-1 defeat at Lincoln City on a moment of hotheaded madness from substitute Siriki Dembele.
Dembele was sent on 20 minutes from time to try and win the game, but he was sent off for violent conduct within two minutes after a coming together with Lincoln player Joe Morrell. It was Dembele’s first appearance for five weeks because of a hand injury and the first red crad of his career.
Lincoln had just equalised with a lucky goal, but took advantage of the situation to score with a high quality 90th-minute free kick form Jorge Grant. It completed a third straight defeat for Posh over the festive period, although they stayed in sixth place.
Ivan Toney had opened the scoring for Posh in the first-half with his 16th goal of the season.
“I sent Siriki on to win the game and instead he ended up losing it for us,” Ferguson moaned. “I don’t like to publicly shame players, but what he did was incredible and indefensible.
“The referee told me Siiki put his head in the player’s face twice. He’s lost the game for us. We were never going to lose 11 v 11.
“They equalised just as I was getting Siriki ready, but I still made the change as space was opening up in the game and his pace would have been a huge threat. Instead a moment of madness has cost us. A derby game is hard enough with 11 men and I was left scratching my head. Siriki’s had a frustrating season anyway, but we needed him back and now we lose him for another three games.
“It’s been a nightmare Chrismas period for us. It’s such an important time of the season and we haven’t coped with it all.
“I felt for the players today though. They put their bodies on the line and we looked dangerous on the counter attack with Marcus Maddison.
“They haven’t hurt us at all going forward until they get a massive piece of luck with a deflected goal. They put us under pressure towards the end. We dug in, but things aren’t going for us at the moment.
“It’s important now we stick together and ride the storm.”
Posh are next in action in a third round FA Cup tie at Burnley on Saturday (January 4).
Teenage striker Ricky-Jade Jones will return for that game. He was rested today.