Cheltenham 3 Posh 6
Darren Ferguson took his promotion chasing side to Cheltenham, a town more famous for its horse-racing than football, this afternoon and an emphatic win kept Posh in the promotion race.
However, it was to be, with regards to goals, a game of two halves.
With Gabriel Zakuani still not available Ferguson chose to persist with Charlie Lee partnering Craig Morgan at the heart of the defence.
The first half saw Posh take an early lead, in the third minute, when George Boyd scored his seventh goal of the season. The goal came after a pass from Aaron McLean saw the striker fire home from the edge of the area.
The goal settled Posh down and McLean could have scored a second but his header was well saved by Brown in the Cheltenham goal. Mackail-Smith then tested the keeper with a shot that the keeper also saved. As half time approached the keeper was to also save from Mackail-Smith again.
1-0 at half time seemed a decent enough score but the second half was to see a deluge of goals.
The first saw the home side equalise when Ashley Vincent scored from the spot after Charlie Lee had been penalised by the referee, Pat Miller. At 1-1 the game was there for both sides to win.
Thankfully, as the hour mark approached a two goal burst from Posh, in three minutes, saw Posh eek out a 3-1 lead. The first of these, on the hour mark, came from Charlie Lee when he headed home a Keates corner, from close range.
Three minutes later Craig Mackail-Smith made it 3-1 when the striker took advantage of another assist from McLean to fire home. However, and all credit to them, Cheltenham were not about to give up and four minutes later, in the 67th minute, they reduced the arrears.
The goal came from the ex-Fulham and Leicester player, Elvis Hammond when the forward reacted quickly to bury a pass from Vincent. The game continued to haemorrhage goals and an own goal from Alan Wright, turning in a Mackail-Smith cross, restored our two goal lead.
However, at 4-2 there was still some serious action to come. Our hosts refused to give up the ghost and the substitute Owusi made it 4-3 with four minutes to go shooting home after a ball from Ridley.
Thankfully, any fears of a nervous last few minutes were quickly dispelled when a minute later Aaron McLean made it 5-3. Cheltenham were reduced to ten men when Barry Hayles, another ex-Fulham player, was dismissed for violent conduct.
But still there was more to come, in the fifth minute of injury time Chris Whelpdale scored a sixth for Posh heading home a Boyd cross from close range.
Maximum points from our two festive games but what a festive treat today was. Next stop West Bromwich Albion and the magic of the FA Cup 3rd round.
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