Kevin Phillips earned a reputation as one of English football's most accomplished strikers, often carrying a club's goalscoring burden on his slight shoulders. Now, though, he is enjoying the easy life for free-scoring West Bromwich.
This season the former England international has chipped in with 17, the latest being a penalty to complete Saturday's FA Cup stroll at Peterborough. Phillips, at 34, was called on only for the second half – partly due to the fact he needs the rest these days, but also because the Baggies have firepower in reserve.
On Saturday the country's most prolific team, who lead the Championship and find themselves in the fifth round of the FA Cup for the second successive season, took their tally in all competitions to 73. Peterborough lag behind on 68, though they too had their chances to improve on that.
"It's great to play in a team that creates chances," Phillips said. "You know if you miss one there will probably be another one coming along pretty quickly. I haven't had that for a good few years, so the last two years have been fantastic. The manager's philosophy is just play football, and you saw that today."
His manager, Tony Mowbray, talked about being "in the entertainment business. That's the way we play, we try and create the chances and the fans are enjoying it." The manager's goal is promotion to the Premier League, but a Cup run will not do them any harm.
Their place in the next round was secured just 15 minutes into the game. Roman Bednar, whom Phillips rates highly, nudged them ahead with a close-range finish and the impressive Robert Koren converted another simple chance as the Posh goalkeeper Joe Lewis's heroics were not matched by his sloppy defence.
The Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson, unlike his father Sir Alex, is not usually one for teacup-throwing half-time rants but he had to have strong words after what he called "a great anticlimax for the fans". The striker Aaron Mclean confirmed as much. "The manager wasn't happy at all at half-time," he said. "I think that's the craziest I've seen him go. It wasn't far from the hairdryer treatment. He was upset with the defending."
Ferguson's lot got worse when Craig Morgan was sent off for bringing down Jonathan Greening, and Phillips converted from the spot. Game over for the League Two team and the majority of their biggest crowd of the season.
Ferguson hailed Albion, Carling Cup winners at London Road in August, as "the best team we have seen here by miles. We have to learn from them and take it into our league games."
Mclean appreciated the lesson handed out by Phillips. "He is a striker I've watched all through his career. He's someone I hope to emulate," said Mclean, who is no slouch himself with 23 goals this season.
Goals: Bednar (7) 0-1; Koren (15) 0-2; Phillips pen (58) 0-3.
Peterborough United (4-4-2): Lewis; Newton, Morgan, Charnock, Day; Whelpdale, Keates (Mitchell, 76), Lee, Boyd; Mackail-Smith, Mclean. Substitutes not used: McKeown, Crow, Gnakpa, Blanchett.
West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Albrechtsen, Cesar, Robinson; Morrison, Greening (Brunt, 64), Koren, Teixeira; Beattie (McDonald, 78), Bednar (Phillips, 46). Substitutes not used: Steele (gk), Barnett.
Referee: J Moss (West Yorkshire).
Booked: Peterborough Lee; West Bromwich Hoefkens, Beattie.
Sent off: Morgan (57).
Man of the match: Koren.
Attendance: 12,701.Reuse content