LIVE: FULL-TIME: Peterborough United 4, Oxford United 0: Posh only needed 10 men to dismantle their promotion rivals
Peterborough United made it five League One wins in a row with a terrific 4-0 success against promotion rivals Oxford United at the Weston Homes Stadium today (February 8).
Two goals from Ivan Toney and one from Josh Knight, after a first-half strike from Siriki Dembele, secured the points for Posh who played the last quarter of the game with 10 men after Nathan Thompson was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.
Posh scored their final two goals after Thompson’s red card as they kept the pressure right on the top two.
Sammie Szmodics provided three assists and Toney was quite brilliant in the second-half, although he blotted his copybook by collecting a late caution which leaves him one yellow card from a two-game suspension.
Dembele’s cool finish gave Posh a deserved half-time lead
Dembele was freed by Szmodics’ fine pass and coolly slotted past visiting goalkeeper Simon Eastwood in the 36th minute.
And Posh should have extended their advantage before the break as they took control of the game.
On 40 minutes Dembele was all alone in the penalty area to accept Joe Ward’s excellent cross, but he took a touch and his shot was cleared off the line as were follow-up efforts by Szmodics and Dan Butler.
And just before the break Szmodics sent a lovely ball across goal that was well defended by Rob Dickie as Dembele prepared to pounce.
It had been a game of cat and mouse before the goal with Szmodics testing Eastwood and Marcus Browne shooting wide from distance on two occasions. Posh ‘keeper Christy Pym was twice off his line quickly to thwart Matty Taylor,
Posh wanted a free kick and a red card when Szmodics appeared to be pushed in the back when galloping clear, but got neither.
Posh suffered a blow in the 28th minute when Frankie Kent limped off with an injury to be replaced by Niall Mason.
Posh started the second-half well and Toney was thwarted by Eastwood’s legs, but League One’s top scorer was not to be denied for long.
On 56 minutes Dan Butler advanced down the left, fed Szmodics and his superb cross was turned in at the far post by Toney.
Posh were now in control and threating to run riot on the counter attack when erratic referee Alan Haines decided to dismiss Thompson for a trip on Browne on the edge of the penalty area. Thompson had collected a more obvious caution for fouling the same player in the first-half.
Posh survived the free-kick, made two substitutions and still managed to create the better chances.
A Butler free kick was turned in by Toney at the near post for 3-0 on 77 minutes and then a glorious fourth arrived in the fifth minute of nine added at the end of the game.
Toney won the ball on the edge of his own area and played a magnificent 50-yard crossfield pass to Szmodics.
Substitute Josh Knight made great ground to get up in support and Szmodics laid the ball perfectly into his path. Knight took a touch past Cameron Brannagan before drilling home.
Pym did make a couple of flying saves in the last 15 minutes and Nathan Holland missed a glorious chance to pull a goal back, but Posh were worthy winners.
They appear to be getting better by the week.
Posh: Christy Pym, Nathan Thompson, Mark Beevers, Frankie Kent (sub Niall Mason, 28 mins), Jack Taylor, Reece Brown (sub Josh Knight, 67 mins), Joe Ward, Dan Butler, Siriki Dembele (sub Rhys Bennett, 67 mins), Sammie Szmodics, Ivan Toney.
Unused substitutes: Aaron Chapman, George Boyd, Mo Eisa, Ricky-Jade Jones.
Oxford: Simon Eastwood, Josh Ruffles, Rob Dickie, John Mousinho, Mark Sykes (sub Nathan Holland, 67 mins), Alex Gordon, Sam Long, Cameron Brannagan, James Henry (sub Jamie Mackie, 78 mins), Matty Taylor, Marcus Browne.
Unused substitutes: Jack Stevens, George Thorne, Dan Agyei, Elliott Moore, Liam Kelly
Goals: Posh - Dembele (36 mins), Toney (56 mins & 76 mins), Knight (90 + 5 mins).
Sending off: - Thompson (second yellow, foul).
Cautions: Posh - Thompson (foul), Toney (foul), Ferguson (manager, dissent).
Oxford - Mousinho (foul).
Referee: Andy Haines 4
Attendance: 8,363 (862 Oxford).