Peterborough United’s excellent adventure in the FA Youth Cup ended at the ABAX Stadium tonight (January 17) as a defensive blunder handed victory to Bury in a fourth round tie.
Bury striker Bright Amoateng was on hand to finish expertly when Posh left-back Mikkel Fosu missed a harmless through ball in the 27th minute.
And in truth, despite plenty of huffing and puffing, Posh rarely looked like equalising even before midfielder Jack Gurney was sent off for a two-footed challenge nine minutes from time.
Bury deserved their win. Their centre-backs - one was called Sam Allardyce and is the grandson of the excellent manager with the same name were dominant and they always looked lively on the break. Posh ‘keeper Will Blackmore had to save two one-on-ones from visiting skipper Joe Adams whereas Bury number one Mark Edwards-Williams enjoyed a quiet night.
Bury reached the fifth round of this competition last season so Posh, who had won eight of their previous nine competitive games, were expecting a tough game and that’s exactly what they got.
The visitors were big, strong and quick on the breakaway. Posh enjoyed some bright moments in possession in the first half, but failed to give Edwards-Williams a serious test.
Blackmore also enjoyed a comfortable opening half, but he should have been beaten in the 25th minute when visiting centre-back Saul Shotton missed the target with a free header from a corner.
But relief was shortlived as two minutes later Fosu made a hash of a simple interception enabling Amoatang to race through and score.
It was the first goal Posh had conceded in the competition this season and they failed to respond before the break as passes became rushed and inaccurate when in sight of the Bury penalty area. New Posh senior professional Harrison Burrows made little impact on the left.
Bury should have made it 2-0 when Adams was sent through, but Blackmore saved with his feet.
Fosu could have made amends for his first half error, but he couldn’t get his header from a corner on target.
Posh applied some pressure after the break, but couldn’t find a decent final ball. When a good cross was delivered there was no-one in the middle to take advantage.
Blackmore came to the rescue again to thwart Adams after he had again broken behind the Posh defence.
Posh hopes were finally dashed nine minutes from time when midfielder Gurney was dismissed for serious foul play, after the ball had run out of play.
Referee O’Donnell, who was rather poor all night, then angered Posh by failing to give a rather obvious penalty when Oli Shackleton was dragged down by a toiling defender.
It all became too much for Posh boss Matthew Etherington who received an injury-time lecture from O’Donnell.
Etherington who played for Posh in the semi-final of this competition as a 16 year-old, and his team deserve plenty of credit for the best run in the competition for many years, one that included a third round win at Premier League Huddersfield.
Posh: Will Blackmore, Rio Douglas, Mikkel Fosu, Frazer Garner, Archie Jones (sub Luke Harris, 72 mins), Kyle Barker, Brad Rolt, Jack Gurney (sub Flynn Clarke, 64 mins), Harry Brookes (sub Ricky Jade-Jones, 46 mins), Harrison Burrows, Oliver Shackleton.
Unused substitutes: Josh Allen, Shaun Ruzdvizo.
Bury: Mark Edwards-Williams, Femi Seriki, Jack Hatton, Bobby Copping, Sam Allardyce, Saul Shotton, Joe Adams (sub Cedric Ondoa, 88 mins), Aaron Skinner, Bright Amoateng (sub Aaron Brown, 81 mins), Callum Jones, Callum Hulme. Unused substitutes: Ben Thompson, Edward Jones, Joe Collins.
Goal: Bury - Amaotang (27 mins).
Sending-off: Posh - Gurney (serious foul play).
Cautions: Bury - Edwards-Williams (time wasting).
Referee: C. O’Donnell 5