Posh v Reading Nationwide League Div 2 – 24 Nov 01
Venue: London Road, Peterborough
Score: Peterborough Utd 1 v Reading 2
Officials: Phil Richard, Tim Howes, Gary Lewis and D.J. Conn.
A last minute header from Darius Henderson condemned the Posh to an unfortunate 2-1 defeat at London Road, as Reading snatched all three points in a controversial Nationwide Division Two encounter which saw Posh skipper Andy Edwards dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Barry Fry’s men won an early corner as Posh looked to make a positive start but a foul by Marc Joseph inside the area led to a free kick to Reading.
On the five minute mark, the home side did take the lead when a delightful through ball from Neale Fenn sent Andy Clarke clear the former Wimbledon man slid the ball past Reading goalkeeper Phil Whitehead at the near post.
The visitors had a great chance to level the scores on 19 minutes when Nicky Forster was left unmarked at the far post, but the former Brentford front man failed to connect at the far post as the Posh defence stood motionless.
The in-form Mark Tyler was called into action moments later as Jamie Cureton let fly but the Posh goalkeeper tipped the ball over the bar.
Dean Hooper, who had earlier tested the goalkeeper from distance, was in the right place to head clear as Cureton waited to pounce before a mix up involving Tyler and Edwards allowed Forster to round the goalkeeper but the chance was snuffed out.
David Oldfield registered the first effort on goal in the second half after David Farrell’s attempted cross was cleared to the edge of the area but Reading still looked dangerous going forward with John Salako unable to get a clean strike on goal after Cureton had headed the ball forward.
The game was fast and furious with full-bloodied challenges flying in by both sides as Posh began to come under sustained pressure from the high flying visitors.
Adrian Viveash got free at the far post from a Salako free-kick but his header across the six yard area was cleared by Joseph.
The turning point of the game came on 71 minutes when Posh captain Andy Edwards was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Gary MacDonald was introduced to strengthen the Posh back line as the pressure intensified from the Royals.
Reading substitute Darius Henderson came close to levelling the scores with a ferocious volley as the tempo showed no signs of slowing.
The visitors finally got the equaliser in the 82nd minute when Henderson planted a header past Tyler after an excellent centre by Salako.
In stoppage time Henderson galloped clear of the Posh defence but Tyler made a fantastic save with one hand to deny the pacy front man.
However, Henderson made amends in the second minute of stoppage time, planting a looping header past the stranded Tyler from a pinpoint Salako centre to earn maximum points when a draw looked a certainty.
Posh: Mark Tyler, Dean Hooper, Tom Williams, Andy Edwards, Marc Joseph, Helgi Danielsson (sub Gary MacDonald), Richard Forsyth, David Farrell, David Oldfield, Neale Fenn (sub Jimmy Bullard) and Andy Clarke.
Unused subs: Dan Connor, Francis Green and Howard Forinton.
Reading: Phil Whitehead, Graeme Murty, Keith Jones (sub Sammy Igoe), Adrian Viveash, Kevin Watson, John Mackie (sub Ady Williams), John Salako, Nicky Shorey, Andrew Hughes (sub Darius Henderson), Nicky Forster and Jamie Cureton.
Unused subs: Jamie Ashdown and Tony Rougier.
Goal scorers: Andy Clarke 5 mins (Posh). Darius Henderson (2) 82 mins and 90 mins (Reading).
Bookings: Andy Edwards and Richard Forsyth – Posh. Andrew Hughes – Reading.
Sending Off: Andy Edwards – Posh