ON-THE-WHISTLE-REPORT: Peterborough United 1, Doncaster 1: Promising festive campaign ruined by late goal
An excellent festive programme for Peterborough United turned into a disappointing one as Doncaster grabbed a 93rd minute equaliser in today's (January 1) League One fixture at the ABAX Stadium.
Posh looked like they had ground out a third win in four matches in 10 days courtesy of Danny Lloyd’s first-half goal. Instead they had to settle for seven points as the visitors struck late.
Doncaster had plenty of possession, but created very little until the final stages. Posh looked to have survived when John Marquis and Alfie May missed simple headed chances in the 90th and 91st minutes, but Ben Whiteman slotted home from close range in the 94th minute after Steve Taylor chested a shot at goal straight into his path.
Posh and Doncaster fought out a cagey game earlier in the season and it was gentle sparring for the opening 45 minutes, although Posh managed to claim a crucial early goal.
A deep free kick from Marcus Maddison in the 14th minute was headed back across goal by Ryan Tafazolli for Lloyd to volley home from close range off the inside of the post.
That was harsh on the visitors who had started the better side as they pursued their fourth win of the festive programme. They had kept clean sheets in the previous three.
Former Posh player Tommy Rowe was prominent for Doncaster and it required a fine sliding stop from Taylor to deny the midfielder the opening goal.
After Lloyd’s strike the game became much more even with Posh looking threatening down the flanks. Lloyd came closest to finding the second goal just before the break after collecting Michael Doughty’s fine pass, slipping inside his man, but his shot was kicked clear by Doncaster ‘keeper Ian Lawlor.
Posh boss Grant McCann stuck with the same players that started the MK Dons’ debacle at the weekend. One of them, Maddison, was cautioned for simulation after diving over Lawlor’s leg.
The match became a real grind after the break between two teams who looked fatigued.
Chris Forrester did strike a post with a terrific effort from 25 yards following a corner, but Doncaster often looked the more composed side in possession without creating too many chances.
May did threaten after Posh centre-backs Ryan Tafazolli and Taylor collided, but the latter recovered to deflected the shot behind for a corner.
Posh looked to have escaped, but Doncaster’s late rally earned them a point they deserved.
The equaliser saw former Posh boss Darren Ferguson scamper down the touchline in celebration and few could blame him.
Posh: Jonathan Bond, Alex Penny, Andrew Hughes, Steven Taylor, Ryan Tafazolli, Anthony Grant, Chris Forrester, Michael Doughty (sub Leo Da Silva Lopes, 62 mins), Danny Lloyd, Marcus Maddison (sub Junior Morias, 87 mins), Jack Marriott.
Unused substitutes: Idris Kanu, Conor O’Malley, Jermaine Anderson, Lewis Freestone, Liam Shephard.
Doncaster: Ian Lawlor, Matty Blair, Niall Mason, Andy Butler, Joe Wright, Liam Mandeville (sub Alfie Beestin, 66 mins), Jordan Houghton (sub Rodney Kongolo, 72 mins), Tommy Rowe, Ben Whiteman, John Marquis, Alfie May.
Unused substitutes: Craig Alcock, Mathieu Baudry, Marko Marosi, Issam Ben Khemis.
Goals: Posh - Lloyd (14 mins).
Doncaster - Whiteman (90 + 3 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Maddison (simulation), Penny (foul).
Doncaster - Wright (unsportsmanlike conduct), Mason (foul).
Referee: John Brooks 5
Attendance: 5,173 (583 Doncaster).