Peterborough United 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0 match report: Strong finish leaves Posh with chance of survival
Sunday 28 April 2013
Darren Ferguson had his own distinct – but still familiar – take on it: "twitchy bum time".
Undeniably, after a frantic penultimate day in the Championship, only two things are clear about the relegation battle.
The first is the quality of Grant McCann's winning free-kick here, which just about keeps Peterborough above water. The second is the fact that seven clubs will be involved, with the defeated Sheffield Wednesday now sucked into the whirlpool.
At the very least, both these teams have their fates in their own hands, with Peterborough at Crystal Palace on the final day and Wednesday at home to Middlesbrough. For the Owls' manager, Dave Jones, that was the only source of consolation from a frustrating defeat.
"It's in our hands and that's the biggest thing we want," he said. "We know what we've got to do, we've got to roll our sleeves up and get into it now."
Ferguson struck a similar note. "We've done our jobs in terms of this week. We move on to next week. It's in our hands. It's one game of football – if you win it you're safe. You know what you've got to do. Just like today, I didn't want to know [about other results]. I watched TV for 10 minutes and turned it off."
Peterborough certainly look switched on. This victory represented an immediate response to last week's 3-1 defeat to Derby and ensures they have still only lost one of their last 12. Ferguson described it as "top three" form. They would certainly be well clear of the bottom three had they not opened the season with a run of seven straight defeats. But, just as in this game, a strong finish might prove enough.
Peterborough did actually begin this game well. The only problem was that Wednesday did too, as both exchanged frantic opportunities in a surprisingly open first half.
Tension gradually started to grip in the second half, only for McCann to provide the ultimate release in the 64th minute. After Alex Pritchard had been felled on the edge of the box, the Northern Ireland international curled a supreme free-kick that went in off the post.
A tense final day now awaits. And this time a man who uttered a similar phrase to Ferguson Jnr may be in attendance.
"Last time he came we got beat so he got superstitious," the Peterborough manager said of his famous father, Sir Alex. "If he wants to come on Saturday then I'm not going to tell him to stay away."
Peterborough (4-4-2): Olejnik; Alcock, Bostwick, Zakuani, Rowe; Mendez-Laing (Newell, 81), Payne, McCann (Ferdinand, 83), Pritchard (Barnett, 82); Gayle, Tomlin.
Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Kirkland; Buxton, Llera, Gardner, Pugh; Maguire, Coke, Olofinjana, Helan (Lita, 67); Howard (Madine, 73), McCabe (Lee, 46).
Referee Nigel Miller.
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