Lee Tomlin will be making the headlines again this weekend but luckily all for the right reasons this time as his double helped Peterborough United secure their first win in 2012 with a comfortable 3-0 win over Bristol City.
Tomlin’s header on seven minutes and strike on 84 minutes coupled with a goal from David Ball on 62 minutes earned Posh three vital points from a real six-pointer of a game as the gap between them and the relegation pack widened.
Posh made just the one change before the game with Paul Jones replacing the out of form Joe Lewis in goal; a swap that was hoped would bring more stability to the backline.
A lack of confidence had been an issue in recent Posh games but right from the off it was clear that the boys in blue were determined to take all three points from this match and it took just seven minutes for the scoring to be opened when a George Boyd shot was cleared off the line by Liam Fontaine before Lee Tomlin’s powerful header found its way past David James.
It was clear another goal would be needed to calm the nerves and although Posh were maintaining possession and having the best of the changes they just couldn’t find the net again. David Ball wasted a great opportunity on 28 minutes when his right-footed effort was aimed straight at James. It was Ball who had another chance just minutes later when James spilled a shot but Ball took too long to make his shot as James cleared to safety. Gabriel Zakuani, who was playing with a broken toe, then struck the crossbar from a Grant McCann corner on 32 minutes. Tomlin came closest to making it two on 40 minutes when his spectacular volley was heroically tipped over by the fingertips of James.
To be fair Bristol City were poor and they’re closest chance didn’t come until deep into stoppage time when Brett Pitman’s shot rolled just inches wide but with the score-line still only at 1-0 the threat of a comeback was still at large.
HALF-TIME: PETERBOROUGH UNITED 1-0 BRISTOL CITY
Obviously something inspiring was said in that City changing room at half-time as they came out all guns blazing after the break, Pittman firing over just moments after the re-start as the Robins switched to a more attacking formation. Paul Jones finally got to make his first save of the game on 50 minutes when he denied a downwards header from Chris Woods followed by another save on 53 minutes denying Adomah.
City were piling on the pressure as Posh struggled to see the ball and their lead was looking shaky when Jones was called into action again as he punched away a shot that Pitman looked destined to be on the end of then Lee Frecklington made a name for himself when he cleared a Stephen McManus strike from the goal-line.
Finally things started to look a little brighter for Posh when McCann let rip from outside the box and saw his effort go just over. Matthew Briggs, who was having an impressive home debut, then weaved his way past two defenders before dragging his shot wide.
On the hour mark Tomlin showed great vision to pick out Ball but he fluffed his lines as James made a comfortable save but two minutes later Ball did find the back of the net when he was played in by McCann and fired into the top left corner.
City still didn’t give up though as they made a forceful run forward which shook up the Posh defence but ended with Adomah firing wide. At the other end Posh had an amazing chance to make it 3-0 when Briggs and Boyd combined to play in Emile Sinclair who fired wide from only four yards out. Luckily the miss was forgotten when minutes later Sinclair rounded James before pulling the ball back for Tomlin who fired high into the middle of the goal.
That was it for the rest of the game as the final few minutes of the game were counted down with some heart-warming singing form the Posh fans for Ryan Bennett who was playing his last home match for the club.
FULL-TIME: PETERBOROUGH UNITED 3-0 BRISTOL CITY
Overall I’m very pleased with the result; three points and a clean sheet what else could you ask for. Ok it wasn’t quite a perfect performance and we still need to improve on our shooting but this win will definitely boost the team’s morale as we enter into the final stages of the season. Every member of the team put in a respected performance today with Paul Taylor, Gabriel Zakuani and Lee Tomlin impressing the most. Most importantly results went our way so we are now 12 points clear of the relegation zone as we head into another six-pointer against strugglers Doncaster next week.