Peterborough United and Sunderland served up a dramatic League One clash at the ABAX Stadium today (April 22) with the spoils shared after a 1-1 draw.
The visitors looked like stealing three points when Max Power hammered home the opening goal in the 88th minute from 20 yards.
But Posh responded superbly with Matt Godden supplying a terrific finish in the second minute of seven minutes added time at the end of the match.
With both teams needing to win the final moments were end-to-end and seriously tense. Sunderland were denied a winner by strong Posh defending before Godden almost scoring again in the very last minute after Joe Ward’s superb pass found him free in the area.
The angle was tight, but the strike was true and sadly a little high.
The point did neither team much good in their main aim this season, but that shouldn’t detract from an absorbing contest.
Posh, who replaced Lee Tomlin and Ivan Toney with George Cooper and Godden, started well, but Sunderland finished the first-half extremely strongly.
Ten minutes before the break two passes gave Charlie Wyke a clean run at goal, but he screwed his shot horribly wide and Posh ‘keeper Aaron Chapman followed a point-blank save from a Jimmy Dunne header with a diving stop to thwart Aiden McGeady.
Two set-pieces also caused Posh problems with Alim Ozturk headed wide from close range and Wyke heading a corner over the bar before Posh could head for the sanctuary of half-time.
Wyke had earlier seen a goal wiped out for a soft-looking foul on Rhys Bennett. Bennett, Lafferty and Reed also did well to block goalbound shots.
Posh competed well enough, but couldn’t carve out any opportunities despite Marcus Maddison, Siriki Dembele and George Cooper finding space occasionally out wide. Maddison drew a first-minute booking for Bryan Oviedo who had been sent off for booting the same player when the teams clashed at the Stadium of Light earlier this season.
Maddison fizzed a 30-yarder just wide after Sunderland ‘keeper Jon McLaughlin easily grabbed a Godden header following good work from Dembele.
There was a big moment early in the second-half when referee Anthony Coggins gave a free kick for a foul by Oviedo on Maddison, but his assistant, helped by a mass of Sunderland players obviously, persuaded him to caution the Posh player for simulation rather than send the Sunderland defender off.
The visitors suffered a drop in quality in the second-half. Many good positions were wasted by poor crosses and inaccurate passes. Posh also defended well with Jason Naismith doing a great job on the dangerous McGeady.
Posh improved as an attacking force when Toney joined forces with Godden and they had some joy before falling behind in slightly controversial circumstances.
A Maddison free kick on halfway was blocked by a Sunderland player who didn’t appear to be 10 yards away. The visitors broke and although Posh initially defended the situation well, Power appeared to slam home a superb finish.
Thankfully for the Posh fans in the biggest League One attendance of the season at the ABAX, who generated a great atmosphere throughout, Godden’s finish was just as accurate.
Posh: Aaron Chapman, Jason Naismith, Daniel Lafferty, Rhys Bennett, Josh Knight, Alex Woodyard, Louis Reed (sub Ivan Toney, 72 mins), Siriki Dembele (sub Joe Ward, 64 mins), George Cooper (sub Lee Tomlin, 82 mins), Marcus Maddison, Matt Godden. .
Unused substitutes: Conor O’Malley, Callum Cooke, Ben White, Harrison Burrows.
Sunderland: Jon McLaughlin, Luke O’Nein. Alim Ozturk, Jimmy Dunne, Bryan Oviedo, Max Power, Lee Cattermole, Lewis Morgan (sub Lyndon Gooch, 74 mins) George Honeyman (sub Will Grigg, 65 mins), Aiden McGeady (Chris Maguire, 79 mins), Charlie Wyke.
Unused substitutes: Robin Ruiter, Grant Leadbitter, Tom Flanagan, Denver Hume.
Goals: Posh - Godden (90 + 2 mins).
Sunderland - Power (88 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Lafferty (foul), Maddison (simulation).
Sunderland - Oveido (foul), O’Nein (foul).
Referee: Anthony Coggins 7
Attendance: 11,277 (3,782 Sunderland).