Rough justice for stylish Latics as Posh steal the points
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 19 August 2013
Peterborough 2, Athletic 1
IF SOME Athletic fans felt short-changed by the cost of their tickets at London Road, they should know the feeling extended to the away dugout too.
Athletic were superior for large chunks of the game - an opinion backed up by Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson.
“They gave us all sorts of trouble,” he said afterwards. But Assombalonga was the man who ultimately made the difference.
Smashing home a 30-yard drive past Mark Oxley against the run of play in the first half, the powerful forward also won the second-half penalty stroked home by Lee Tomlin.
But at two-down against an attack-minded side justifiably fancied to go straight back to the Championship, the visitors refused to cave in.
And after Charlie MacDonald had stooped low to nod in an excellent, teasing Connor Brown cross in the 90th minute, only James Tarkowski will know quite how he managed to miss a volley from debutant full-back Joseph Mills’ flick-on. It was the last moment of a tight contest from which Athletic gain great credit.
Johnson believed Athletic deserved more - not least from referee Tony Harrington, who refused to issue a second yellow card to full-back Paul Alcock for a tackle on Cristian Montano that sparked a heated exchange in those dugouts. Alcock, a red card waiting to happen, was quickly substituted by the canny Ferguson.
Athletic, for all their possession and promise in neat build-up play, lacked smarts in key attacking positions. Too few chances were carved out.
Still, Rooney would have had his first goal for the club with the game’s first chance but for a superb flying save by Peterborough ’keeper Bobby Olejnik off his header from Baxter's delivery
That was in the 11th minute, after the lively Dayton had already wasted a three-on-one break with a weak shot. Peterborough struggled to get into gear as a reshaped Athletic line-up bossed things.
With Korey Smith and restored Posh old boy James Wesolowski providing incessant energy in midfield, Athletic continued to dictate play in the second half.
Assombalonga smashed one snap-shot into Oxley’s chest and Dayton failed to hit the target from the edge of the box at the other end, prior to the Alcock tackle which had Johnson seething. Dayton wasted a presentable chance when scuffing wide just before the hour after battling work from Rooney.
There was nothing comfortable from the home perspective about the game’s last minutes. Had Tarkowski managed to apply that crucial final touch, those ticket prices might sit a little better for Athletic.
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