Posh Steal Last-Gasp Draw
Ashton Gate, Bristol
17 October 2009; 15:00
City surrendered a late goal to gift newly promoted Peterborough a deserved point at Ashton Gate.
Johnson opted to keep faith with Gerken in goal and the visibly jet-lagged Alvaro Saborio in attack as we sought our fifth home league win of the season.
The game's best early chance fell to top scorer Nicky Maynard. Presented with a clear sight of goal from Evander Sno's 5th minute chest down, Maynard proceeded to blaze over Joe Lewis' goal from six yards.
City should have surged ahead but were unlucky not to fall behind when Craig Mackail-Smith raced through moments later.
Racing clean through on the counter attack, Mackail-Smith only had the onrushing Gerken to beat but was brilliantly thwarted by the pace and postional play of the ex-Colchester stopper. Adriano who?!
Lewin Nyatanga nearly opened his City account on 9 but his hooked effort was well stopped by Lewis in the Posh goal.
The game died down after that until Toumani Diagouranga tested Gerken with a dipping shot for the visitors on 26 minutes from 25 yards that dropped inches over his own crossbar.
However, the opener arrived only five minutes later.
Cole Skuse ignored cries from the crowd to shoot from 25-yards to slalom his way through the Posh back line before firing a composed finish underneath the body of England prospect Lewis.
It was no more than the City deserved and the lead arguably should have been doubled immediately after.
Maynard raced onto Sno's pass straight from the re-start only to be thwarted by Lewis' feet as he tried to round him.
We had a feeling it would prove to be the turning point for the match and so it proved after the break.
Gerken was called upon again to stop Mackail-Smith controversially meeting Boyd's left wing cross after Orr went down injured.
Expecting the visitors to put the ball out of play, Posh played on and Mackail-Smith's effort was superbly stopped by Gerken.
Marvin Elliott nearly opened his account for the season, narrowly stabbing a McAllister cross milimetre's wide on 67 before Lee Johnson did his only thing of note by testing Lewis from distance.
Bradley Orr marauded down the right flank to pull out an inviting cross for Maynard to tap in but he only just failed to connect.
The game was petering out to another uninspiring win for the Reds with only Haynes firing over the top.
That was until stoppage time when the Posh found a deserved equaliser, even if it came completely out of the blue.
On-loan Spurs winger Danny Rose saw his cross met by the impressive Boyd, who looped his header over Gerken's outstretched arm to share the spoils with 13 seconds left, blowing three points and my accumulator out of the water at the same time!
CITY 4-4-2: Gerken, Orr, Carey, Nyatanga, McAllister, Sno (Hartley 88), Johnson, Elliott, Skuse (Williams 83), Maynard, Saborio (Haynes 73).
POSH 4-4-2: Lewis, Whelpdale, Morgan, Zaukauni, Williams (Day 61), Rowe (Batt 61), Rose, Diagouraga, Boyd, Mackail-Smith (Martin 84), McLean.
REFEREE: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire)
Asked, yet again, to play an unfamiliar role on the left of midfield, Skuse adapted well. Anticipated superbly, tackled well and scored a composed goal.
Dean Gerken 7
Bradley Orr 6
Jamie McAllister 6
Lewin Nyatanga 7
Louis Carey 7
Evander Sno 6
Marvin Elliott 6
Lee Johnson 5
Cole Skuse 7
Nicky Maynard 6
Alvaro Saborio 5
Danny Haynes 5
Gavin Williams 5
Paul Hartley 5
Poor today. First half was good, plenty of possession but sat back (again) as soon as we scored. The Posh were there for the taking and looked vulnerable but City lacked any sort of killer instinct after the opener, not helped by a ridiculously narrow midfield.
Given the superiority complex between the two sides, he made sure they kept their heads at the break and it showed with the way they asserted themselves in the second period. Bagged a much deserved equaliser, no matter how frigging late it was.
Negative City Must Change
Today was a real chance to stamp our authority on the Play-Off positions and the Posh were there for the taking but our boring, negative tactics HAVE to end at home if we're serious about the Play-Off's.
Sort it out Johnson! Square pegs in square holes or loan some wingers. It ain't rocket science!
What Must Clarkson Be Thinking?
Surely you would think, including Clarkson, that he would deserve to get his chance today? But no. He didn't even get off the bench!
Christ knows what Johnson's reasons were for this but I think it sends out a really bad message, especially when Saborio looked visibly unfit from his midweek exertions.
Clarkson deserved to start today but if that's the message the gaffer's sending out to the strikers, I'd be slapping in a transfer request first thing on Monday morning.