Ten-man Peterborough United suffered a cruel League One home defeat at the hands of Plymouth today (February 2).
Darren Ferguson’s latest homecoming was ruined first by a first-half red card for Lee Tomlin - his fourth in his last 21 Posh appearances - and then by an 87th minute winner from Plymouth midfielder Ruben Lameiras.
It was a cracking strike from Lameiras after the ball fell to him on the edge of the penalty area, but harsh on Posh who had battled gamely without their main playmaker for the entire second period.
Plymouth created so little despite an abundance of possession, Posh ‘keeper Conor O’Malley was rarely called into action.
The first-half was a game of cat and mouse which exploded into life in added time with two yellows in three minutes for Tomlin.
He was cautioned by rookie referee Peter Wright for a high tackle in the 43rd minute and then despatched after getting involved rather unnecessarily following a tangle between Ivan Toney and visiting defender Ryan Edwards.
Wright had already blown to give Plymouth a free kick, but Toney looked set to confront Edwards when Toney intervened and made contact with the centre-back who threw himself dramatically to the ground.
A second yellow card was inevitable though with Posh fans maybe booing Wright off at the break more in frustration at the referee’s failure to sanction visiting players for constant fouling and a couple of blatant cases of delaying the re-start.
Tomlin had cut a frustrated figure throughout an even 45 minutes, but he did play the pass of the half to get Siriki Dembele behind the Plymouth defence on the half hour. Dembele went round Plymouth ‘keeper Kyle Letheren - going down might have won him a penalty - but the angle was too acute.
Letheren had moved well to save Toney’s free kick earlier in the game and also tipped a Tomlin volley over the bar.
Plymouth reacted to seeing very little of the ball in the opening 10 minutes by matching Posh’s midfield diamond. They then enjoyed as much possession as Posh, but failed to make O’Malley work.
Posh brought Louis Reed on for Dembele and switched to wing backs for the second half.
Plymouth predictably dominated the ball. Graham Carey and Lameiras shot over from the edge of the area before Ryan Taylor headed over from 10 yards when unmarked.
But Posh settled and enjoyed some good moments. From his wingback role Joe Ward sent over two great crosses, one was headed over by Toney, who had been wrongly flagged offside anyway, and the second was well cleared from under his crossbar by a Plymouth defender, returned by Daniel Lafferty for substitute Kyle Dempsey to head over the bar.
Plymouth looked like they’d run out of ideas well before the end, but hit Posh with that late goal.
It was a cracking strike and left a tired Posh team with no time to recover.
Posh: Conor O’Malley, Jason Naismith, Daniel Lafferty (sub Matt Godden, 90 + 2 mins), Ben White, Rhys Bennett, Alex Woodyard, Callum Cooke (sub Kyle Dempsey, 76 mins), Joe Ward, Lee Tomlin, Ivan Toney, Siriki Dembele (sub Louis Reed, 46 mins).
Unused substitutes: Marcus Maddison, Matt Stevens, Aaron Chapman, Josh Knight
Plymouth: Kyle Letheren, Ashley Smith-Brown (sub Joe Riley, 66 mins), Ryan Edwards, Niall Canavan, Gary Sawyer, David Fox, Antoni Sarcevic, Ruben Lamieras (sub, Yann Songo’o, 89 mins), Ryan Taylor (sub Luke Jephcott, 76 mins), Freddie Ladapo.
Unused substitutes: Matt Macey, Lloyd Jones, Scott Wootton, Oscar Threlkeld.
Goals: Plymouth - Lemeiras (87 mins).
Red card: Tomlin (two cautions, foul and unsportsmanlike conduct).
Plymouth - Smith-Brown (foul), Canavan (foul).
Referee: Peter Wright 5
Attendance: 6,543 (593 Plymouth).