Posh v Luton Town 2nd Rd 6 Dec 2016
Venue: The ABAX Stadium, London Road, Peterborough
Attendance: 8,329 (1,740 away fans)
Score: Peterborough Utd 2 v Luton Town 0
Referee: Nigel Miller
There was plenty of excitement when the Posh drew Luton Town in the second round of the FA Cup. This was because it meant a return to London Road for club legends Craig Mackail-Smith and Mark Tyler as well as former manager John Still, midfielder Josh McQuoid who scored a goal at Wembley when Posh won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final in 2014 and Scott Griffiths who played for the Posh in the Championship.
Tyler who is the second-highest appearance-maker in Posh history with 486 was known to watch every FA Cup draw hoping that he would be able to make one more appearance at London Road before retiring from the game. After the draw it was reported that he said: “I can’t believe it and I can’t wait.”
The Posh had previously played Luton just once in the FA Cup back in 1983 when David Pleat’s Division One side beat Martin Wilkinson’s struggling Posh side 3-0. Wilkinson left the Posh just a month later after a mere seven months in charge.
The game which was put back one day to Sunday 6th December saw the Posh ease through to the third round of the cup with a 2-0 success despite fluffing a catalogue of chances throughout the game with Luton offering little overall as a shock rarely looked on the cards.
The Posh had an incredible 34 attempts on goal as they dominated their League 2 visitors at the ABAX Stadium yet only scored twice.
The game started badly for the Posh when after just three minutes Jermaine Anderson suffered a knee injury which kept him out for the rest of the season and it could have been a very different game had Luton defender Luke Wilkinson not wasted a free header midway through the first half. However top-scorer Conor Washington provided the Posh breakthrough when firing his 10th goal of the season 10 minutes before the break. The in-form forward darted inside and struck with a rising rocket shot into the far corner.
Just before half time only the post prevented Luton from levelling when it kept out a shot from Craig Mackail-Smith – a man who fired Posh to three promotions.
A combination of errant finishing and a man-of-the-match performance from ex-Posh goalkeeper Mark Tyler, in his first return since a 15-year Posh career, meant the Posh’s passage was not sealed until eight minutes from time by a fierce low drive from substitute Marcus Maddison.
After the game Posh boss Graham Westley said: “We could have done some real damage, we crafted a lot of chances and on a different day, that could have turned into a big score.
“Credit to them, they were resilient, dogged, they stuck to the task and made it difficult for us.
The boys had to be patient and work the ball very well to create the chances that we did create.
Thankfully in the end, Conor and Marcus, two great finishes, two great goals to win the tie.”
The game also saw Posh striker Lee Angol, who was booed every time he touched the ball by Luton fans, play against his former club where he had made 19 appearances and scored 12 goals.
The Posh: Ben Alnwick, Michael Smith, Callum Elder, Michael Bostwick, Ricardo Almeida Santos, Jermaine Anderson (Harry Beautyman, 5), Chris Forrester, Erhun Oztumer (Andrew Fox, 89), Jon Taylor (Marcus Maddison, 45), Lee Angol and Conor Washington.
Unused Subs: Jack Baldwin, Dion Henry, Miles Addison and Souleymane Coulibaly.
Luton Town: Mark Tyler, Luke Wilkinson, Magnus Okuonghae, Sean Long, Alex Lawless (Scott Griffiths, 78), Nathan Doyle, Jonathan Smith, Olly Lee (Cameron McGeehan, 62), Josh McQuoid, Pat McCourt (Danny Green, 72) and Craig Mackail-Smith Unused Subs: Elliot Justham, Curtley Williams, Luke Guttridge and Ryan Hall
Bookings: Sean Long and Danny Green (Luton Town)
Goal scorers: The Posh – Conor Washington 35 mins and Marcus Maddison 82 mins.