LIVE: Full-time Peterborough United 0, Doncaster Rovers 3: Posh beaten easily on Boxing Day
Peterborough United’s stint in the top two of League One lasted five days as they were beaten 3-0 by Doncaster Rovers at the Weston Homes Stadium on Boxing Day.
The final scoreline flattered the visitors, but they deserved their victory if only for keeping the Posh front three quiet for the second time this season.
It was a first home defeat since the opening day of the season for Posh who drop to fourth. Ipswich and Oxford United have overtaken them as Doncaster won for the first time in League One since October 22.
Posh created very little despite sending plenty of crosses into the penalty area and fizzled out badly once former Posh player Kieran Sadlier had claimed his second goal of the game midway through the second-half,
Sadlier also scored the crucial opening goal with a low drive from 25 yards and now has four goals in his last three appearances against Posh.
Posh huffed and puffed, but despite changing formations twice in the second-half couldn’t force a breakthrough.
The closest they came to scoring was in the 90th minute when visiting goalkeeper Seny Dieng made a terrific save to keep out Ivan Toney’s header.
Toney also saw a header from a corner blocked by a defender early in the second-half with the clearance completed on the goalline just before Mo Eisa could get there.
Rhys Bennett then stretched superbly to reach Maddison’s free kick, but his cross was turned behind for a corner.
And then Doncaster struck a killer second goal. A quick break saw Niall Ennis force a fine save from Christy Pym, but from the corner Sadlier headed in at the near post.
Substitute George Boyd then created a chance for Alex Woodyard who sidefooted wide from the edge of the area before Doncaster killed the game off on the break thanks to a fine finish from Ben Whiteman eight minutes from time.
In the first-half Sadlier strode forward to score from 25 yards with a low drive into the corner of Pym’s net. There was a distinct lack of closing down by the Posh midfielders.
That goal came at the end of a dominant spell by Doncaster. Both sides had spells on top without creating any clearcut chances.
Marcus Maddison shot just wide from the edge of the area in the third minute after Toney had intercepted a casual pass, but otherwise Posh efforts on goal were blocked or deflected.
Posh caused their own problems at the back and another ex-Posh player Jon Taylor came close to charging down a Plym clearance.
The game became fiesty just before the break, firstly when Taylor and Dan Butler clashed on the touchline. They escaped without cautions, but when Toney’s arm caught a visiting player in the face he was booked as was teammate Woodyard and Doncaster’s Whiteman in the aftermath.
The visitors picked up three more cautions in the second-half for a variety of offences, but that won’t concern them one iota after completing a League One double over Posh without conceding a goal in either contest.
Posh: Christy Pym, Niall Mason, Rhys Bennett (sub Frazer Blake-Tracy, 78 mins), Frankie Kent, Joe Ward (sub George Boyd, 64 mins), Dan Butler, Alex Woodyard, Louis Reed, Marcus Maddison, Ivan Toney, Mo Eisa (sub Ricky-Jade Jones, 64 mins).
Unused substitutes: Conor O’Malley, Sam Cartwright, Harrison Burrows, Kyle Barker.
Doncaster: Seny Dieng, Brad Halliday, Tom Anderson, Cameron John, Joe Wright, Ben Sheaf (sub James Coppinger, 83 mins), Kieran Sadlier, Ben Whiteman, Jon Taylor (sub Reece James, 72 mins), Madger Gomes, Niall Ennis (sub Kwame Thomas, 86 mins).
Unused substitutions: Ian Lawlor, Alfie May, Anthony Graves, Donervon Daniels.
Goals: Doncaster - Sadlier (18 mins & 64 mins), Whiteman (82 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Toney (foul), Woodyard (unsportsmanlike conduct).
Doncaster - Whiteman (unsportsmanlike conduct), Wright (foul), James (foul), Dieng (time-wasting), John (foul).
Referee: David Rock 7
Attendance: 6,786 (737 Doncaster).