Peterborough United survived a frantic finale to claim a third home League One win in a row over struggling AFC Wimbledon at the Weston Homes Stadium today (September 28).
Mo Eisa scored twice after a Marcus Maddison rocket had fired Posh ahead, but the plucky Wombles refused to lie down and surrender and twice halved the deficit to one goal in a breathless encounter with strikes from substitutes Mitch Pinnock and Anthony Wordsworth.
In reality Posh could easily have won this game 6-1 as they spurned numerous scoting chances while goalkeeper Christy Pym gifted the visitors their opening goal.
Any thoughts the winless and managerless Dons would turn up with a massed defence were soon dispelled, although playing an open 4-4-2 formation against this Posh team is very brave.
The visitors created half chances and flung some crosses into the Posh area that came to nought, but, while Posh can struggle to hang onto the ball, and try a few too many glory balls, they also possess attacking talents capable of magical moments.
Maddison, Eisa and Ivan Toney had scored 19 of Posh’s 20 League One goals before this game and by the break they had 21 of 22. By the end they had 22 of 23.
Maddison struck first after George Boyd had robbed a dithering defender. Eisa fed Maddison who unleashed a rocket of a shot from 20 yards with his weaker right foot into the top corner in the 28th minute.
Posh have been lethal after taking the lead this season and Toney was soon forcing a fine fingertip save from Wimbledon ‘keeper Nathan Trott from a 25-yard free-kick.
Toney played a huge part as Posh went 2-0 up four minutes before the break, initially as a defender. He stopped a dangerous free kick at his near post and charged out from the back before feeding Maddison.
Maddison’s crossfield pass to Eisa was just about intercepted, but Boyd had followed-up. He fed Eisa who worked his way from an improbable scoring position, darting between two defenders before finishing with aplomb.
Dons picked up four cautions in the first half, one of whom Callum Reilly was one of two visiting players withdrawn at the break.
Posh had made two changes to their starting line-up with Boyd and Frazer Blake-Tracy replacing Dan Butler and Joe Ward with the latter dropping out of the squad altogether.
Posh should have been comfortable in the second-half, but they shot themselves in the foot six minutes into it, firstly by Blake-Tracy losing the ball unnecessarily and then by Pym who let the softest shot from Pinnock slither through him.
Posh wobbled, but just about held firm. A far post header from Joe Pigott was ruled out for offside before Posh recovered their poise.
And chances kept coming on the breakaway. A thrilling break between Toney and Maddison ended the former missing at the near post, but Posh claimed the crucial third goal on 65 minutes.
Josh Knight stormed forward through midfield, timed his pass perfectly for Eisa who finished precisely into the corner from 16 yards.
Maddison then went through twice before shooting straight at Trott who also did well to hold a 30-yard thunderbolt from the same player.
Posh looked safe, but with 13 minutes to go Dons were given too much time and space to advance and Wordsworth finished expertly from 20 yards.
It was real harem scarem stuff for the final 15 minutes with Posh missing two great chances to put the game to bed.
Toney, who was awesome in general play, hit the bar from a pass by Serhat Tasdemir before the surprise substitute for Maddison set up Eisa for a hat-trick opportunity.
Eisa took the ball inside his man, but Trott made another fine save.
Dons had one final chance to equalise as Posh almost made a hash of seeing the game out. Pigott flashing a header wide of the post from a right-wing cross.
Posh: Christy Pym, Niall Mason, Frazer Blake-Tracy, Mark Beevers, Frankie Kent, Louis Reed (sub Alex Woodyard, 77 mins), Josh Knight, George Boyd, Marcus Maddison (sub Serhat Tasdemir, 77 mins), Ivan Toney, Mo Eisa.
Unused substitutes: Siriki Dembele, Dan Butler, Harrison Burrows, Idris Kanu, Conor O’Malley.
Wimbledon: Nathan Trott, Luke O’Neill, Ryan Delaney, Terrell Thomas (sub Anthony Wordsworth, 46 mins), Paul Osew, Will Nightingale, Scott Wagstaff, Callum Reilly (sub Mitch Pinnock, 46 mins), Max Sanders, Joe Pigott, Kwesi Appiah.
Unused substitutes: Nik Tzanev, Nester Guinness-Walker, Shane McLoughlin, Kyran Stabana, Anthony Hartigan.
Goals: Posh - Maddison (29 mins), Eisa (41 mins & 65 mins).
Dons - Pinnock (51 mins), Wordsworth (77 mins).
Cautions: Posh: None
Dons: Appiah (delaying the restart), Delaney (foul), O’Neill (foul), Reilly (foul), Wordsworth (delaying the restart).
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge 5
Attendance: 6,744 (434 Dons).