MATCH REACTION: Evans rues slapdash defending as Peterborough United suffer another blow to their play-off hopes

Danny Graham nods into an empty net to put Blackburn ahead against Posh. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Danny Graham nods into an empty net to put Blackburn ahead against Posh. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Peterborough United manager Steve Evans rued a slapdash second-half defensive display which left his side’s League One play-off chances hanging by a thread.

Posh led 1-0 at high-flying Blackburn Rovers at the break courtesy of a Charlie Mulgrew own goal, but conceded three second-half goals, two of them to League One’s player-of-the-season Bradley Dack. Two of the goals arrived in the last 10 minutes to leave Posh three points outside the play-off places, but having played more games than teams they need to overtake.

Posh striker Jack Marriott tussles with Blackburn's Darragh Lenihan. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh striker Jack Marriott tussles with Blackburn's Darragh Lenihan. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

It’s a third straight defeat for Posh who will now need to win their final games at Shrewsbury and Portsmouth and at home to Fleetwood to have any chance of extending their season.

Evans also felt refereeing decisions went against his side, notably the failure to send home midfielder Corry Evans off for a terrible challenge on Michael Doughty midway through the second half.

“It was the proverbial game of two halves,” Evans said. “We were fantastic in the first half. We must have given them more problems than any other team during their current good run.

“Tony Mowbray (Rovers manager) said after the game we were magnificent in spells. He must have meant the first-half because we didn’t do enough after the break.

Posh substutute Junior Morias takes on Blackburn's Charlie Mulgrew. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh substutute Junior Morias takes on Blackburn's Charlie Mulgrew. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“Blackburn are an excellent side with top players and a top manager, but we defended too deep, we didn’t push up the pitch and get the players who were causing them problems in the first half on the ball. We gave up too much territory and too much possession. We allowed them to overrun us.

“But it’s goals that change matches and if Steven Taylor hadn’t slipped they wouldn’t have equalised when they did and then they might have started panicking.

“That mistake encouraged them and we made more errors defensively to give them the points. They never carved us open, but crosses in the penalty area weren’t defended properly. Jack Baldwin was beaten too easily for the second goal and Leo Da Silva Lopes hasn’t reacted when the ball hit the crossbar.

“And you wouldn’t see the third goal on a Sunday morning, but we were dead by then.

“I’m frustrated because we had been so good. We were unfortunate not to be two goals ahead at the break as we were denied a couple of good penalty shouts.

“And Corry Evans’ tackle on Michael Doughty was horrendous and deserving of a red card at a key stage of the game (it was still 1-1), but unfortunately the referee saw it differently.

“That’s not Blackburn’s problem. This is a great club, but Tony Mowbray knew they got out of jail tonight.

“We will get back on the coach though and find a way to win the last three matches. If we can play like we did in the first-half tonight for longer we can beat Shrewsbury, but we have problems with some players lasting 90 minutes at the moment.”

Marcus Maddison was again absent tonight because of a sprained ankle.