BURTON ALBION 0-3 PETERBOROUGH UNITEDPeterborough United gained revenge on the Brewers for their league defeat back in August as they ran out 3-0 winners at the Pirelli Stadium to ruin Jimmy Floyd Hasselbainks managerial debut in the FA Cup. Livewire forward Conor Washington grabbed himself a brace of opportunist goals either side of half time to put Graham Westley's side in control whilst Jermaine Anderson's goal with six minutes left put the gloss on a cup victory that ensured a first ever win for the Posh over the Brewers.
Washington nipped in to convert Michael Smith's pass just under five minutes before half time and he anticipated well when Phil Edwards tried to find Remi Matthews with a back header to intercept and score his second twenty minutes from time. Albion had been punished for two defensive errors despite being in the ascendency for much of the game up to that point.
Matthews and Matty Palmer came into the side for Albion's entrance into this season's Emirates FA Cup. Jon McLaughlin made way for Norwich loanee Matthews whilst Tom Naylor, serving a one match ban for his fifth yellow card of the season at Oldham allowed Palmer the chance to come in and stake his claim for a regular place. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff's absence also allowed Tom Flanagan to continue at the back having replaced the Australian at half time last week.
Calum Butcher had a low shot blocked inside the box as Albion got off to a positive start. It did not take Albion long to win the first corner of the game either and as the ball pinged about inside the box a deflection took it just wide of the far post with Posh keeper Ben Alnwick at full stretch as it whistled beyond the upright.
Jon Taylor flashed a shot over the angle of post and bar with Peterborough's first effort in anger but on the whole it was the Brewers pressing for the breakthrough.
Nasser El Khayati went close after one of his typically mesmerising darts into the penalty area but Alnwick's goal was safe once more as the Dutchman's shot curled just wide.
Burton were continuing to press but they were almost undone from one of their own corners as Peterborough broke quickly. Conor Washington latched onto a ball hacked clear by Chris Forrester and although Palmer initially held him up the winger regained possession and put a ball into the box that was half cleared as far as Lee Angol who fired wide.
A lovely move inside the Peterborough box looked to have given Albion a tap in for the lead on 28 minutes but Ricardo Santos' clearance denied Timmy Thiele that first Burton goal. Palmer linked up with Lucas Akins with El Khayati played in down the left channel and his low ball across was just begging to be finished until the big Peterborough man got his toe in the way.
Gabby Zakuani, for the second time this season, failed to see out the whole game at the Pirelli. Having seen a red card in the visit earlier this season this time the experienced defender left the pitch rather dazed after a collision in the middle of the pitch. Whilst he was going off Albion almost profited with a cross finding the head of Butcher whose effort was not that far wide.
The game turned on its head on 41 minutes as Peterborough grabbed the lead. Jerome Binnom-Williams had just forced a good save from Alnwick at one end and then less than 30 seconds later Matthews was picking the ball out of the back of his net. Posh broke up the Burton left and when the ball found substitute Michael Smith he played a ball through the Burton back line for WASHINGTON to nick in ahead of Matthews to score.
It was somewhat harsh on Albion who had made much of the first half running up to that point but it was to be Peterborough to go in at half time with a slim advantage.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-1 Peterborough United
Albion certainly started the second half eager to get back on level terms as quickly as they could. Thiele made up ground down the right to latch onto El Khayati's pass and put in a teasing centre that was hacked clear. From the corner Albion twice went close, skipper John Mousinho flicking a header towards the back post where the ball was played back in for Edwards to force Alnwick into an excellent save. The Brewers were almost picked off again from their own corner, Edwards unable to find a yellow shirt and allowing the visitors to break and once again it was Washington on the end of it when it was played into the Burton box nicking it past Matthews but this time watching the ball go agonisingly wide.
The second half was just ten minutes old when Albion went for a double change in an attempt to change their fortunes in the game. Thiele and Akins were sacrificed as Stuart Beavon and Aurelien Joachim were introduced to pep up the attack.
However it was Peterborough who were only inches away from making it 2-0 just three minutes later. A run infield from Taylor appeared to be going nowhere but the former Shrewsbury winger found room for a shot that looped up off a Burton defender and with Matthews wrong footed the Burton stopper did incredibly well to adjust and tip the ball onto the face of his own crossbar.
Matthews was then forced into another excellent save to keep Burton in the tie. Taylor won a corner with a direct run into the Burton box and was then in the middle to head goalwards and force Albion's keeper into a smart save with Washington firing over from the rebound.
Washington was to have the last laugh though on 70 minutes when he again was alert to capitalise on another half chance. Edwards attempted to find his keeper with a back header but it just failed to find Matthews as WASHINGTON nipped in to push the ball beyond him before firing into the empty net.
Albion had been busily preparing to bring Callum Reilly into the action and he was waiting to come on as Posh scored. It all meant that when he did come on to replace Matty Palmer that the Brewers had it all to do to so much as salvage a replay.
Vociferous shouts for a Burton penalty were turned down on 78 minutes when Duffy's cross was blocked by Callum Elder. In fairness most of the appeals came from the supporters gathered behind the goal with referee David Webb unmoved.
Duffy had a good chance to give Albion a lifeline with a neat turn inside his man on 83 minutes but on this occasion his finishing let him down firing well over.
A minute later and Albion's cup hopes were definitely gone. Another Peterborough raid down the left saw the ball whipped across and when Mousinho only got half a foot on his clearance the ball sat up kindly for Jermaine Anderson to fire home gleefully. It was a sweet moment for the Peterborough man who had been denied what he felt was a legitimate equaliser in the League game earlier in the season with the last kick of the game.
Five minutes of stoppage time offered Albion chance of a consolation and Joachim came close to his first Burton goal with a well judged header that Alnwick was able to cut out with a degree of athleticism.
Jack Baldwin made a late entrance as a substitute for Posh coming on to a heros welcome for the visitors after a long spell out with injury but he left the field as the villain less than two minutes later. Phil Edwards slightly overran the ball bursting forwards in search of a consolation goal but he was upended by the substitute with referee Webb deciding to show his first card of the afternoon, a straight red to the Peterborough man.
The excitement and incident was not over yet as Washington made a late burst towards goal feeding in Anderson who was upended by Binnom-Willliams but this time Webb only saw fit to show yellow as the game reached an exciting climax but it was to be Peterborough's day and their name that went into the draw for the second round.