Posh stun Bluebirds with second-half showing: Match Review

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Football News

Peterborough launched a stunning fightback to come from 4-0 down at half-time and salvage the unlikeliest of draws against Cardiff.

The Bluebirds were looking to bounce back from their Boxing Day defeat to Plymouth and Peter Whittingham had already hit a post when he set up Joe Ledley for his first goal of the season after just six minutes.

The Wales international midfielder soon grabbed his second with a rare header before Jay Bothroyd's strike and Whittingham's free-kick capped an inspired and unplayable performance from the visitors inside a rampant opening 45 minutes.

But Posh made a real game of it after the break with a stirring comeback and goals from substitute Josh Simpson, Charlie Lee and George Boyd threatened a shock comeback.

And in the second minute of injury time it was Simpson who pounced to grab his second of the game and complete an amazing turnaround that will leave Cardiff boss Dave Jones dumbstruck.

The draw still means Mark Cooper's side enter the new year at the foot of the table while Cardiff, who were denied their first win at London Road for 23 years, lose more precious points in the race for promotion.

The visitors immediately started in the ascendancy as they looked to banish memories of the Pilgrims defeat and Whittingham hit a post after just four minutes following good work down the right by Chris Burke.

And it was Whittingham who was involved in the opener just two minutes later.

Bothroyd did well before finding the former Aston Villa man on the left, and he looked up to pick out Ledley who passed a well-taken finish into the bottom corner from the centre of the penalty area.

Confidence was high among the visitors and it took Posh a while to get any kind of foothold in the game.

But as soon as they showed any signs of encouragement it was 2-0 to the visitors as Whittingham and Ledley combined yet again - the former delivering a corner from the right which the latter met at the back post with a powerful downward header.

A shell-shocked London Road then saw the game effectively put to bed in the 34th minute as Bothroyd, who was a class act in the first half, took advantage of more poor defending to cut inside on the right and rifle a shot past a helpless Joe Lewis with his left foot.

But there was still time for Cardiff to cap a marvellous first-half display with a fourth goal as Whittingham deservedly put his name on the scoresheet courtesy of a curling 25-yard free-kick.

Peterborough boss Cooper made two changes at the interval to bolster his midfield in an attempt to stir a response from his struggling side - and he got one after just six minutes as substitute Simpson pounced from close range to convert Craig Mackail-Smith's pass from the left.

The strike put a spring back in the hosts' step as they looked for an unlikely route back into the encounter.

But they suffered a blow in the 62nd minute when goalkeeper Lewis, who was hardly at fault for any of the goals, was forced off due to injury.

Yet his side grabbed a second shortly after as Lee met Boyd's chipped cross with a well-taken header to set up a nervous final 22 minutes.

Posh had almost completely dominated possession after the break and it was Boyd who volleyed a third in the 89th minute.

And the majority of the 9,796 went wild three minutes later as Simpson levelled matters from close range to cap a remarkable game.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Peterborough United
Chris Burke
Peter Whittingham
Charlie Lee
Cardiff City
Joe Ledley
George Boyd
Joe Lewis
Craig Mackail-Smith
Aston Villa
Plymouth Argyle
Jay Bothroyd

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