PETERBOROUGH UNITED 2, BRADFORD CITY 2: Posh face a replay after throwing a two-goal lead away in the final six minutes
Peterborough United threw away a definite place in the third round of the FA Cup with a second-half display against Bradford City that smacked of complacency.
Posh deservedly led 2-0 at the break through goals from Ivan Toney and Siriki Dembele, but rather than go for the kill after the break they sat back and invited pressure.
In truth City rarely looked like scoring until Kelvin Mellor smacked one into the top corner from 25 yards six minutes from time.
And Posh were then taken to a replay when substitute Luca Colville’s 20 yard shot deflected off Rhys Bennett and past Aaron Chapman in the 89th minute.
It was an outcome few would have seen coming against the bottom team in League One after a dominant first period from Posh.
Posh named an unchanged side and survived an attempted roughing-up by Bradford who saw two players cautioned in the first 10 minutes and another in the 30th minute, before taking control.
Toney was involved in both first-half goals. He scored the first as Posh broke away after clearing an attacking free kick in the 30th minute.
Joe Ward picked the ball up on the edge of his area and fed Dembele, who immediately passed the ball onto Marcus Maddison. Maddison looked up and delivered a superb crossfield pass which Toney met first time without breaking stride and stroked past City ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell.
O’Donnell had won the same personal duel five minutes earlier when Toney raced through after exchanging passes with Matt Godden following a huge clearance from Posh ‘keeper Aaron Chapman. Toney went for placement, but O’Donnell read it and pushed the ball behind for a corner.
Toney was then involved in Dembele’s goal on the stroke of half-time, poking the ball through for the flying winger to race through and finish expertly with his left foot.
Dembele had been double teamed for most of the half, but he coped splendidly with the attention.
As much as Posh had dominated the first half, City had the first good chance to score when centre-back Mellor met Jack Payne’s cross unmarked eight yards from goal, but placed his header straight at Chapman.
City started the second half brightly and Eion Doyle was soon forcing a fine full length save from Chapman, albeit from a tricky angle.
Posh abandoned their attacking intent and made so many poor decisions when breaking they rarely looked like adding a third goal.
Dembele had the best opportunity when dribbling across the 18 yard line, but he delayed his shot too long before shooting wide.
Posh dropped deeper and deeper to try and secure a third round place for the fourth season in a row and were punished when Mellor was given all the time in the world to line up his shot. The result was spectacular and gave Bradford the lift they needed.
Posh then only half-cleared a free kick and Colville leathered home a shot with the help of Bennett’s poor attempt to block it.
Posh: Aaron Chapman, Joe Ward, Colin Daniel, Rhys Bennett, Ryan Tafazolli, Alex Woodyard, Louis Reed (sub Mark O’Hara, 86 mins), Marcus Maddison, Siriki Dembele (sub Jason Naismith, 79 mins), Matt Godden (sub Jason Cummings, 71 mins), Ivan Toney.
Unused substitutes: Conor O’Malley, Sebastien Bassong, George Cooper, Tyler Denton.
Bradford City: Richard O’Donnell, Paul Caddis, Adam Chicksen, Anthony O’Connor, Kelvin Mellor, Jim O’Brien (sub Luca Coliville, 64 mins), Karl Henry (sub Kai Bruenker, 79 mins), Jack Payne, Lewis O’Brien, David Ball (sub George Miller, 64 mins), Eoin Doyle.
Unused substitutes: Ben Wilson, Ryan McGowan, Connor Wood, Daniel Devine.
Goals: Posh - Toney (30 mins), Dembele (45 + 1 min).
City - Mellor (84 mins), Colville (89 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Godden (dissent), Maddison (simulation).
City - Caddis (foul), Henry (foul), Ball (foul).
Referee: Trevor Kettle 6
Attendance: 3,750 (234 Bradford City).