Fergie: Lee’s red is not to blame

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Richard Latham

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

PIC­TURE: TFLP Pho­tog­ra­pher

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