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Last gasp penalty ruins New Year joy – Peterborough United 1-1 Birmingham City

A late penalty from Marlon King cruelly ruined what would have been the perfect to start to the New Year in a game that Posh led after just 30 seconds.

However it’s now five games undefeated for the Posh as they bagged a valuable point against one the Championship’s big teams.

Darren Ferguson’s squad was down to its bare bones for this game with a lengthy injury list of first team regulars youth players were drafted into the team for the second game running. Tommy Rowe started at left back after Tom Kenned returned to his parent club Leister at the weekend.  Young starlet Joe Newell made his first start of the season while Lawlor started on the bench.

Despite losing the toss and being forced to shoot towards London Road in the first half Posh made a superb if not slightly surprising start to the game when within 30 seconds Newell played a lovely ball into Emile Sinclair who neatly slotted home when the Birmingham defence stopped to appeal for offside. Minutes later Posh had another chance but this time George Boyd was judged to be outside. At the other end both Marlon King and Nikola Zigic both missed sitters as the fast paced game stated to take shape.

Despite having the most of the chances Birmingham were struggling to find the target. Both Chris Caldwell and King both had headed chances on goal but both missed the mark. The best chance of the half came just before the first half when Joe Lewis made a clever save with his feet to deny Zigic as the strong team continued to threaten.

Again in the second half it was Posh who made the most energetic start when just three minutes after the break Paul Taylor forced Birmingham goalkeeper Boaz Myhill to make a brilliant fingertip save. Despite the keepers heroics Birmingham didn’t really seem to have their heads in the game and the brum fans started to turn on their star strikers.

Guirane N’Daw wasted the best opportunity to level the score on 67 minutes when Birmingham again headed over. Minutes later Chris Wood and Nathan Redmond were brought on from the strong Birmingham bench to boost the attacking options. These chances clearly worked when Lewis was again called to the rescue on 73 minutes with a superb interception when a fierce Keith Fahey was heading into the bottom corner.

The game was then relatively incident free until two minutes into stoppage time when referee Mr Moss awarded Birmingham a penalty after Gabriel Zakuani, who was having another stunning game, handled the ball. It was King who stepped up and coolly slotted past Lewis. Wood had a chance to steal all three points in the last minute but Lewis stood strong as Posh held on.

This may feel like a case of two points lost after leading for most of the game but in all honesty our passing style wasn’t on form today and despite Birmingham looking like they would never be able to score we certainly didn’t deserve to win. The point still leaves Posh in 15th but still in a strong position nine points above the drop zone.  Before the game Birmingham was seen as a tough game so earning a point is a positive. On the plus side our weak point, the backline, is definitely looking to have tightened up in the past few weeks making us a stronger side as we go into the second half of the season.


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