Peterborough win promotion with three goals in seven minutes

Huddersfield 0 Peterborough 3

Peterborough struck three goals in seven second-half minutes to bounce straight back to the npower Championship at the first attempt.

Posh defender Tommy Rowe, striker Craig Mackail-Smith and skipper Grant McCann scored the killer goals in the 78th, 80th and 85th minutes to inflict on a stunned Huddersfield their first defeat in 28 league matches.

Rowe headed home McCann's free-kick, Mackail-Smith fired his 35th goal of the season two minutes later and McCann delivered the knockout blow with a fine free-kick five minutes from the end of normal time.

Victory marked a triumphant return to Peterborough for manager Darren Ferguson, who was sacked by Preston in December after leaving London Road in November 2009, and he has now led Posh to a third promotion in four seasons.

More than 35,000 Huddersfield fans looked on in disbelief as their season was shattered in seven devastating minutes, Lee Clark's side denied promotion in the cruellest of fashions by a first league defeat since December to leave the Yorkshiremen with nothing.

Huddersfield made one change from the side that kicked off the second leg of their penalty shoot-out win over Bournemouth in the semi-final, with midfielder Scott Arfield replacing leading goalscorer Jordan Rhodes.

Peterborough were unchanged following their 4-3 aggregate win over MK Dons in their semi-final.

Posh fans were on their feet in the fifth minute when Mackail-Smith scampered clear, but his low shot was deflected on to Huddersfield goalkeeper Ian Bennett's left-hand post.

Peterborough had Clark's side on the back foot in the opening exchanges before Town skipper Peter Clarke's header, comfortably held by Posh goalkeeper Paul Jones, signalled a better spell for Huddersfield.

Posh striker Lee Tomlin and Town midfielder Lee Peltier were both booked for rash tackles during a feisty six-minute spell towards the end of the first half.

And although chances were at a premium, Peterborough's three-pronged attack of Mackail-Smith, George Boyd and Tomlin carried by far the greater threat than Huddersfield's isolated striker Benik Afobe.

But Town rallied and winger Gary Roberts' curling free-kick was saved at full stretch by Jones just before the break, while Afobe's shot on the turn flashed just wide.

Mackail-Smith then spurned another golden chance in first-half injury time following good work from Tomlin and Boyd, firing wide from 12 yards again with only Bennett to beat.

McCann curled a left-footed free-kick just over the crossbar five minutes into the second half.

But Huddersfield began to get on top and went close to taking a 59th-minute lead when winger Danny Ward cut inside and crashed an angled shot against the top of the crossbar.

Town defender Antony Kay was lucky to receive only a yellow card after cutting down Mackail-Smith in the 75th minute and Tomlin wasted the free-kick.

But three minutes later Town defender Gary Naysmith tripped Boyd on the edge of the penalty area and from McCann's free-kick, Rowe flicked his header beyond Bennett.

Posh fans had had no time to catch breath when Boyd stole clear down the left and his cut back into the area found Mackail-Smith, whose low shot took a slight deflection off Kay and spun away from Bennett inside the far post.

Town were then dealt a knockout blow after Clarke felled Mackail-Smith, with McCann clipping home an exquisite free-kick to seal a stunning finale.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before