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17:02 3rd December 2011


Peterborough United 3 (Boyd 64, Bennett 68, Frecklington 70)
Barnsley 4 (O'Brien 17, Butterfield 45+1, Vaz Te 55, Davies 78)

It seemed the Reds had thrown it away but a sensational strike from Craig Davies gave Keith Hill's side three points in a remarkable seven-goal thriller at London Road.

The Reds had a two-goal lead at half time thanks to O'Brien's lucky strike and Jacob Butterfield's 22-yard screamer, and it seemed Hill's side were cruising as super sub Vaz Te made it three on 55 with another corker, but that wasn't the case.

The hosts hit back with great spirit and made it 3-3 in a mad six minutes but Davies popped up on 78 with another absolute peach - half-volleying into the top corner with what eventually proved to be the winner.

The first half chance came for the hosts with former Red Grant McCann keen to make his mark from distance but Steele gathered with relative ease on four minutes.

Barnsley eased into the match and enjoyed some typical neat football with ten minutes gone but a move of around 30 passes ended in some confusion for Peterborough but Lewis was too quick for Davies to capitalise.

At the other end a minute later, Steele pulled off a smart save to deny Tomlin's 25 yarder -the former Posh 'keeper getting down low to his right to deny the midfielder's awkward looking effort.

There was another fizzing effort from distance unleashed from Tomlin's right boot that had Steele worried. But it was the Reds at the other who opened the scoring on 17 minutes albeit with a slice of luck. The little Scot cracked a 20 yarder past the flailing arm of Joe Lewis after a wicked deflection off Zakuani.

McCann was in the thick of it again for the Posh as he curled a sweet strike towards Steele's top corner but Barnsley's number one, and England's according to the Reds faithful, tipped it away.

With half-an-hour gone Boyd popped up inside the area only his connection was less than clinical and Steele blocked away.

Danny Drinkwater had a double chance with a 25 yard free kick but his second attempt flew wide after his initial set-piece ricocheted back off the wall and into his path.

Ranger's appeal for a penalty was waved away by the officials when his cross struck the arm of Zakuani - but in fairness to the defender, his arms were by his side. Ironically, Ranger was penalised for a hand ball as the Reds looked to break a minute later.

The home side were pressing, as you would expect a goal down, and Taylor's clever footwork was followed up with a curling 20 yard effort that Steele had to gobble up five minutes before the break.

Just after the fourth official held up one minute of added time the Reds doubled their lead in emphatic fashion through Butterfield. The midfield barged forward with intent after great hold-up play by Ranger and the Reds' skipper unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top-left corner from 25 yards.

Second half

Surprisingly, Barnsley started the second half the stronger and forced a corner after Done's run into the area was well blocked off following another neat passage of play into the final third.

Rowe probably should have pulled one back from a drilled-in corner, the United man heading over. Vaz Te was then introduced for Done who seemed to have picked up a knock. Confusion in the 'Borough third allowed Butterfield in but he wasted his chance after wriggling into the area but a third was on its way. Vaz Te added to the 'goals of the month' with a 30 yard wonder-strike after being on the pitch for barely 90 seconds. The Portuguese winger picked up possession and hammered past the despairing Lewis for 3-0 on 55 minutes.

The Reds wanted offside but Boyd smashed in a lifeline at Steele's near post when he got in behind O'Brien four minutes past the hour mark. United didn't leave it long before making it 3-2, Frecklington did the hard work down the right and pulled back for Bennett to finish easily.

And, of course, the equaliser came barely two minutes later. Barnsley just went to pieces and Frecklington tucked home the third with twenty minutes to play.

A Butterfield corner was headed towards the far corner by Davies only for Bennett to clear off the line and spring a counter attack.

This game was unbelievable. Craig Davies thumped in an absolute screamer in front of the Barnsley fans to give his side the lead again. The striker claimed his sixth goal in as many games as he half-volleyed the sweetest of strikes into Lewis' top-right corner after latching onto Butterfield's pass.

Another spectacular attempt was, this time, smartly saved by Lewis as Butterfield struck low to his right. And once more the match was stretched with the home side pouring men forward and they probably should have equalised through Boyd but his effort was blocked by Steele.

Into the dying embers of normal time once again saw the home side come close. Tomlin's initial eight-yard effort was saved and the rebound was lashed over the bar.

Sensational strikes came from United -striking the bar and then forcing Steele into a remarkable save. It was end-to-end, breathless stuff.

The final whistle brought relief to the travelling faithful - it was an amazing effort from both sides in a remarkable match that will be remembered for many years to come.

Peterborough: Lewis, Bennett, Zakuani, Tomlin, Boyd, McCann (Frecklington 60), Sinclair (Tunnicliffe 60), Rowe, Taylor, Alcock, Kennedy (Kearns 60).
Subs: Thompson, Jones.

Reds: Steele, Hassell, McEveley (Wiseman 74), Foster, O'Brien, Davies, Done (Vaz Te 53), McNulty, Butterfield, Drinkwater, Ranger (Haynes 74).
Subs: Preece, Addison.

Attendance: 8,320 (1,609 from the Red Army)
    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.