Peterborough United delivered a brilliant performance to top the great play-off win over MK Dons in 2011

Posh celebrate Joe Ward's goal v Sheffield Wednesday. Photo: David Lowndes.Posh celebrate Joe Ward's goal v Sheffield Wednesday. Photo: David Lowndes.
Posh celebrate Joe Ward's goal v Sheffield Wednesday. Photo: David Lowndes.
Manager Darren Ferguson was delighted to watch his Peterborough United side deliver a performance he thought topped the famous play-off victory over Milton Keynes in 2011.

Posh certainly delivered their best performance of the season as they blew away third-placed League One finishers Sheffield Wednesday in a semi-final first leg at the Weston Homes Stadium.

Posh thumped the Owls 4-0 to give themselves a commanding lead heading to the second leg at Hillsborough next Thursday (May 18, 8pm).

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Jack Taylor, Joe Ward, Kwame Poku and Jonson Clarke-Harris scored on a night that will surely go down as one of the greatest in the club’s history.

Joe Ward celebrates victory at full-time. Photo: Joe Dent.Joe Ward celebrates victory at full-time. Photo: Joe Dent.
Joe Ward celebrates victory at full-time. Photo: Joe Dent.

After the game, Ferguson compared it to the 2011 semi-final against Milton Keynes when Posh came into the second leg trailing 3-2. but turned the tie around in front of a raucous sell-out crowd thanks to an early Grant McCann strike and a winner from Craig Mackail-Smith in the second half. Ferguson’s men went on to secure promotion at Old Trafford by seeing off Huddersfield with three goals in seven second-half minutes.

Ferguson said: “Regardless of what happens, you have to look back and say it was a special night. The fans were great. We’ve had nights like that before but we’ve not had performances like this before. This tops even the Milton Keynes win.

"I’m delighted with the performance and the result. To take a 4-0 lead into the second leg is very, very good. Will Norris’s save at 0-0 was a key moment, but from then on we controlled the game. The players took on board the tactics very well and executed the plan very well. They deserve a hell of a lot of credit because we were playing against a team that would have been automatically promoted in any other season and we’ve beaten them 4-0 emphatically.

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“We felt they would press so we worked on how we could beat it and you have to give credit to the players. For some it’s their first-ever play-off match and the performances from some were very special.

“We managed the game really well as 2-0 at half-time is a tricky score. Whoever got the next goal would get the ascendency and we got it. Getting the next goal was the clear message at half-time.

"It’s now two performances on the bounce that I’ve been waiting for. I knew it was in them and I have been frustrated with them for not putting performances like they can and in the last two games, they have delivered.

“The players played with tremendous confidence. We had players out of position, but Harrison Burrows and Joe Ward are very good at looking after the ball. They’re intelligent footballers and they were excellent again.

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“Nothing is done yet, though and now we have to refocus and get ready for Thursday.”

The winner of the tie will take on either Barnsley or Bolton, who meet in their semi-final first leg at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday at 3pm.