West Brom needed penalties to beat League 1 outfit Peterborough United after their FA Cup fourth round tie finished 1-1 after extra time on Wednesday night.
- Peterborough 1 West Brom 1
- Posh looked the better side
- Taylor breaks the deadlock
- Fletcher equalises with a scorcher
- Baggies win 4-3 on penalties
Peterborough were full value for the lead they took in the 55th minute through James Taylor after a fast break down the wing by Lee Angol.
In fact, they would have been well within their rights to feel aggrieved when West Brom pulled level through a fantastic half volley from Darren Fletcher in the 71st minute.
Neither side was able to add to the score in the remainder of normal time or the half an hour of extra time and the match was decided on penalties.
Martin Samuelson and Angol both missed penalties for the home side as West Brom counted their lucky stars to win the penalty shootout 4-3.
The match started in the expected fashion with West Brom dominating possession and passing the ball around with ease.
However, the Posh unexpectedly grew into the game and created the first real chance of the fixture in the seventh minute and would have taken the lead but for a desperate diving block from James McClean.
The home side began to gain confidence and belief, and looked by far the stronger of the two sides throughout the first half despite the gap of two divisions and 38 league places between the teams.
The Premier League side’s expensively assembled squad looked unable to cope with the energy and endevour that Peterborough were playing with and would’ve felt fortunate going into half time on level terms at 0-0.
The second half continued in similar fashion and the home side grabbed a well deserved lead through Taylor, who’d looked threatening throughout. Angol broke on the counter attack down the right wing before switching play to Taylor on the other flank. The midfielder took a couple of touches to come inside before drilling the ball past Ben Foster in the Baggies goal.
Spurned chances from Shaq Coulthirst, Samuelson and Barry Bostwick meant West Brom could consider themselves lucky they didn’t go further behind and took full advantage with possibly the only piece of quality they showed in the first 90 minutes.
McClean’s cross from the left was only half cleared by a weak header and the ball fell for Fletcher just outside the area, who took it on the half volley and roofed the ball into the top left corner to make the score 1-1.
Both sides created chances after the equaliser, but were unable to add to the scoreline in regular time.
West Brom began to take the ascendancy in extra time as the Peterborough players started to show clear signs of fatigue.
Saido Berahino should have won it at the death for the Premier League outfit after Craig Gardner send in a looping cross from a wide free kick and Ben Alnwick got caught in two minds about whether or not to come out and claim the ball. In the end he was left in no man’s land as Berahino had a free header, but he sent it harmlessly across the face of goal, much to the frustration of Tony Pulis.
Samuelson was the first to miss a penalty as he took a long run up, but hit a weak penalty, which was easy for Foster to save. Fletcher then let Peterborough back into the game, sliding a poor penalty wide of the left post.
However, it wasn’t meant to be for the League 1 outfit as Angol took a strange run up before hitting a very tired looking penalty that Foster blocked to push his side through to the next round of the FA Cup 4-3 on penalties.