The revenue from playing in the Championship is between £5m and £8m more than that in League One, according to Peterborough United’s chief executive, Bob Symns. While it may not compare to the £50m-plus difference between the Championship and the Premier League, it is significant enough, and remains within reach for both these sides going into Tuesday’s League One play-off semi-final second leg after Britt Assombalonga’s opener for Peterborough was cancelled out by Moses Odubajo’s second-half equaliser for the visitors.
If Posh do ultimately go through, it would be nice to think they will spend some of that extra income on the London Road pitch. It is a mess, and together with a strong wind, significantly reduced the quality of the game.
Both managers were optimistic afterwards, though interestingly Peterborough’s Darren Ferguson was by far the more bullish. “On the day they were better than us, so if I was in their camp I’d think it was a missed opportunity,” said Ferguson. “The way the game went it was a good result for us, and we’ve got a great chance now. The away game will suit us more, and on a better pitch I’m confident we will get the job done.”
Orient’s Russell Slade took understandable exception to the fact Assombalonga was not flagged offside, as he should have been. “For that not to be seen is very, very disappointing,” said the manager.
“On another day and on a better pitch the game might have got away from Peterborough, but it’s evenly poised.”
A lively start to the game saw Peterborough take a lead they just about deserved. Jamie Jones should surely have held Danny Swanson’s relatively gentle attempt to curl the ball past him, but the Orient goalkeeper simply pushed the ball to his left, and could not recover as Mark Little turned the ball firmly back across goal and Assombalonga headed into the empty net.
Orient were much the better team thereafter, creating a series of chances, but the game had become scrappy when Shaun Batt, brought on moments earlier for the disappointing Kevin Lisbie, won the ball and laid it off for David Mooney in space in the Peterborough penalty area. Goalkeeper Robert Olejnik made the save, but Odubajo had a simple job to turn in the loose ball.
Peterborough United (4-4-2): Olejnik; Little, Baldwin, Alcock, Ntlhe; Swanson (Isgrove, 70), Bostwick, Payne (McCann, 80), Rowe; Ajose (Washington, 52), Assombalonga.
Leyton Orient (4-4-2): Jones; Omozusi, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Baudry; Cox, Odubajo, Clarke, Lundstram (James, 70); Lisbie (Batt, 70), Mooney.
Referee: Graham Salisbury.