Two late goals knocked Peterborough United out of the Checkatrade Trophy at Lincon City tonight (January 24).
Posh and their League Two opponents fought out a pulsating quarter final. Twice Grant McCann’s side led through an own goal and a superb Danny Lloyd strike, but Lincoln fought back to level on both occasions.
A penalty shoot out looked inevitable until former Posh player Harry Anderson scored in the 90th minute and Lincoln broke away to add a fourth goal through Matt Green as Posh pressed for an equaliser.
Posh were dealt a blow before kick off when top scorer Jack Marriott pulled up lame and withdrew. Lloyd, who had been left out to accommodate Joe Ward’s first start, was restored to the starting line-up and performed okay as the lone striker.
As expected there was a real contrast in styles with Lincoln’s long-ball physical approach taking on Posh attempts to play through midfield. It made for an excellent, full-blooded cup-tie.
Posh ‘keeper Jonathan Bond made a point-blank save to thwart Luke Waterfall from a third minute corner and 10 minutes later Lincoln keeper Paul Farman made an even better stop to keep out Chris Forrester’s glancing header from a Marcus Maddison cross.
But Posh were in front on 14 minutes when a Junior Morias cross from the left following a corner was diverted into his own net by Neal Eardley.
Danny Rowe almost equalised with a curling effort from the right wing, but he was merely warming up for his quality equaliser four minutes before the break when he cut through two Posh players after a short throw-in and found the top corner with a lovely strike.
In between the goals Posh managed Lincoln pretty well and kept possession for long periods without creating too much. Green’s searing pace was an occasional problem for the Posh back four and he left Jack Baldwin for dead on the half hour before he was defeated by an acute angle.
Set pieces were a threat for both sides, but Ryan Tafazolli couldn’t get on the end of a couple of fine deliveries from Maddison.
And the excitement continued in the second half as the teams swapped goals in the opening 10 minutes.
Posh struck first courtesy of a stunning shot from 25 yards by Lloyd after he’d accepted a short Morias pass.
But within five minutes Lincoln were level again as Posh allowed Rowe to cross too easily and somehow the ball found it’s way to Matt Rhead at the far post and he had the time and composure to finish.
Next up in the shooting gallery was Maddison whose low drive was somehow turned behind by Farman and then Eardley unleashed a brilliant 30 yard shot that either Bond or Anthony Grant kept out. Grant was prostrate on the goalline at the time having helped to clear a cross,
Posh enjoyed plenty of possession in the middle period of the second half, but couldn’t fashion a clear opening and Lincoln finished the game the stronger.
Posh looked to have escaped when Elliot Whitehouse missed the ball completely when unmarked six yards from goal four minutes from time, but just as the fourth official raised the board showing four minutes added time Lincoln struck the killer blow.
And what a moment for former Posh player Anderson who converted a right wing cross with a skilful volley.
Posh didn’t have long to recover and when Lloyd was caught in possession on the edge of the Lincoln area the home side broke swiftly and clinically with the pacey Green outstripping Grant to finish expertly.
“We’re on our way to Wembley,” sang the home fans. Posh still have plenty to look forward to starting with Saturday’s (January 27) FA Cup tie against Premier League Leicester.
Posh: Jonathan Bond, Liam Shephard, Andrew Hughes, Jack Baldwin, Ryan Tafazolli, Anthony Grant, Chris Forrester, Junior Morias (sub Leo Da Silva Lopes, 70 mins), Marcus Maddison, Danny Lloyd, Joe Ward (sub Idris Kanu, 70 mins)
Unused substitutes: Conor O’Malley, Lewis Freestone, Alex Penny, Michael Doughty, Jermaine Anderson.
Lincoln: Paul Farman, Sam Habergham, Elliott Whitehouse, Neal Eardley. Michael Bostwick, Luke Waterfall, Danny Rowe (for Cameron Stewart, 69 mins), Lee Frecklington (sub Sean Long, 64 mins), Harry Anderson, Matt Green, Matt Rhead (sub Ollie Palmer, 65 mins).
Unused substitutes: Josh Vickers, Callum Howe, Ellis Chapman, Nathan Arnold.
Goals: Posh - Eardley (og, 14 mins), Lloyd (50 mins).
Lincoln - Rowe (43 mins), Rhead (55 mins), Anderson (90 mins), Green (90 + 3 mins).
Referee: Michael Salisbury 8
Attendance: 6,663 (1028 Posh).