WBA v Posh 4th Rd 30 Jan 2016
Venue: The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Birmingham
Score: West Bromwich Albion 2 v Peterborough Utd 2
Referee: Kevin Friend
This being the third time the Posh had been drawn against West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup in the past nine seasons many fans were disappointed but those Posh fans that travelled to the Hawthorns on Saturday 30th January 2016 watched the Posh fight back twice from a goal down to earn a FA Cup replay with the game finishing 2-2 after a thrilling finale.
West Bromwich Albion began brightly and created an opening after just 50 seconds. James McClean put a low cross straight into the path of Rickie Lambert but rather than shoot first time he tried to take a touch and ran the ball out of play.
Less than a minute later another raid down the left by McClean almost saw him pick out Saido Berahino (who played 7 league games for the Posh whilst on loan from West Bromwich Albion in the 2012/13 season) with a cut-back but the pass was behind the incoming striker.
Peterborough settled thereafter but following a decent spell of possession they fell behind after 14 minutes. Harry Beautyman gave the ball away in midfield, not for the first time in the early stages, allowing Lambert to lead an Albion break.
Lambert held play up well before laying the ball off to striker partner Berahino, who beat Ben Alnwick with a 25-yard shot.
Peterborough were becoming their own worst enemy and presented West Bromwich with two more chances either side of the half-hour mark.
First, Michael Smith sold Alnwick short with a back-pass and Lambert caught him in possession and then, Ricardo Santos gave the ball away to James McClean with Ben Alnwick doing well to block his shot.
The Posh cut out the silly mistakes after the break and made West Bromwich work for their chances, which became few and far between.
There was a genuinely funny moment in the game though when Posh boss Graham Westley fell to the floor as if shot when a bang was heard as the match ball burst. Westley muddied his suit but he won a decent laugh from the Hawthorns crowd.
Craig Gardner should have done better than blast his effort over the crossbar from Salomon Rondon’s cut back midway through the second half.
At the other end, Posh were beginning to make inroads and home goalkeeper Boaz Myhill was extended for the first time after 72 minutes when he had to get down to smother Smith’s low shot.
It looked like Saido Berahino’s early strike would be all that separated the sides but three goals in eight frantic minutes meant the Posh got another chance to beat the Premier side at the ABAX.
With 11 minutes remaining, after failing to capitalise on Peterborough’s defensive errors in the first half, West Brom were punished for one of their own.
A long ball forward caused hesitancy between Sebastien Pocognoli and Myhill and Shaquile Coulthirst took advantage to score from the right side of the penalty box.
However after being level for just five minutes Saido Berahino quickly restored West Brom’s lead as the Posh failed to clear Craig Dawson’s cross and the ball found its way to Berahino who finished clinically.
Posh though were not beaten though as Jon Taylor found the bottom corner of the net with a shot from the edge of the area levelling things up again with four minutes remaining.
The Posh: Ben Alnwick, Michael Smith, Jack Baldwin, Michael Bostwick, Lawrie Wilson (Jon Taylor 46), Erhun Oztumer (Marcus Maddison 69), Ricardo Almeida Santos, Harry Beautyman (Martin Samuelson 46), Lee Angol, Chris Forrester, and Shaquille Coulthirst.
Unused Subs: Andrew Fox, Dion Henry, Leonardo Da Silva Lopes and Souleymane Coulibaly
West Bromwich Albion: Boaz Myhill, S Pocognoli, J Evans, C Dawson, Gareth McAuley, Claudio Yacob, S Sessegnon (Victor Anichebe), Craig Gardner, James McClean, Rickie Lambert (Jose Salomon Rondon) and Saido Berahino
Unused Subs: Cristian Gamboa, Jonas Olsson, James Chester, Jack Rose and Jonathan Leko
Bookings: Lee Angol and Michael Smith (the Posh), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion).
Goal Scorers: The Posh – Shaquille Coulthirst 79 mins and Jon Taylor 86 mins. West Bromwich Albion – Saido Berahino 14 & 84 mins.