Fergie: Lee’s red is not to blame
PETERBOROUGH BOSS Darren Ferguson refused to use Lee Tomlin’s early red card as an excuse for defeat by fellow Championship strugglers Bristol City.
The visitors were already trailing when Tomlin was shown an 11th minute red card for felling defender Greg Cunningham with a stray elbow.
City went on to record their first home win since August and a crucial double over Peterborough in what is proving a difficult season for both clubs.
Ferguson said: “I’m not going to blame the sending-off of Lee Tomlin for our defeat.
“We cannot start games as poorly as that and expect to get anything.
“I don’t think Lee intentionally used his elbow on an opponent. He seemed to be just trying to hold him off, but if you raise an arm you take a risk and we will now lose him for three games.
“That is a big blow because he has been in good form.
“We have to brush ourselves down for a very big game against Barnsley coming up.
“Bristol started brightly and it was the goals we conceded, rather than the red card, which cost us. The two in the second half were soft and put us out of reach.”
City went in front on five minutes when Sam Baldock raced onto a Cole Skuse through ball and crossed for Paul Anderson to head in.
After Tomlin’s dismissal, a weak header from Cunningham saw City keeper Tom Heaton bring down George Boyd for a 19th minute penalty, coolly converted by Grant McCann with a low drive.
The home side then passed up several opportunities before Baldock restored their lead on 37 minutes, firing past Bobby Olejnik after a neat one-two with Anderson.
The killer third goal came on the hour, with Stephen McManus heading home an Albert Adomah corner.
Baldock was close to getting the final touch and he made it 41 from the spot three minutes later after a foul by Michael Bostwick on Anderson.
Dwight Gayle netted a Peterborough consolation with a low 89th minute shot, but City emerged worthy winners, with Baldock and the impressive Jon Stead denied by the woodwork.
Robins boss Derek McInnes said:“We owed our home fans a big performance and that’s what we gave them.
“We were the better team apart from a five or ten minute spell after the sending-off, which seemed to affect us more than them.
“We were positive in all aspects of our play and it was a huge result for us. The sendingoff made it difficult for Peterborough, but we were already on top at that point.
“It was a huge result for us and one we must use as a springboard. I’m certain we have what it takes to get out of trouble in the New Year.”
City have still to keep a clean sheet this season, but on this showing have the attacking skills to climb the table.
For Posh it was the end of a three-match winning sequence and their performance raised more question-marks about defensive frailty.
Ferguson felt Heaton should have been red-carded when conceding the game’s first penalty, adding: “The ref said there was no way Boyd would have scored, but I know my players better than he does.”
EARLY BATH: Peterborough’s Lee Tomlin is sent off for violent conduct