WE CAN STAY UP, SAYS FERGIE
PETERBORO’....3 WATFORD ........2
DARREN FERGUSON called on Posh to bring survival home after riding out a last-gasp fright in this thrilling victory over 10man Watford.
Late goals from Mark Yeates and Fernando Forestieri nearly unhinged a Dwight Gayleinspired Peterborough who had threatened to blow them apart.
And now Ferguson insists he is looking upwards; not at the foot of the table.
“I told the lads beforehand if we win our last three home games, 56 points will surely be enough,” he said.
“For 70 minutes we were outstanding but the atmosphere in the dressing room wasn’t what it should have been. We have got to learn from those last 15 minutes in our last four games. We stopped doing what had put us three goals up. That spell seemed like an eternity.
“Danny Swanson has shown what a good player he is after his injury-hit season and we knew Dwight Gayle would cause them problems with his pace on the counter attack in the second half.
“For most of the game we were really good against the best footballing side in this division.”
Lightening-fast Gayle was a feature in all three goals and all but lured both his markers into early baths.
Gayle fired his opening salvo after just four minutes, racing clear of Joel Ekstrand before shooting a few inches the wrong side of Manuel Alumnia’s left-hand post. Just four minutes later the same Watford defender was booked by David Webb for slicing down Gayle heavily by the touchline.
The pattern became clear; Watford probing with delightful first time passing and Ikechi Anya and Fernando Forestieri prominent only to be hit by razor-sharp Posh on the break.
Silky Nathaniel Chalobah went close with a skilful 25-yard volley but it was Posh who fashioned a 29th minute breakthrough. Gayle paved the way with a neat pass and Danny Swanson kept his cool admirably to side foot beyond Alumnia. The half time damage could have been greater for Gianfranco Zola’s men had Mr Webb shown a deserved red to Ekstrand for another foul on Gayle just before the break.
Watford were undone again by Gayle’s pace on the hour as he won the ball back from Marco Cassetti. Lee Tomlin took over before intelligently picking out Gayle to sweep the ball home.
Cassetti saw red as he prevented Gayle from capitalising on Grant McCann’s raking pass and punishment was doubled by Tomlin’s exquisite 25-yard free kick.
Fergie could afford to replace goalscorers Swanson and the cautioned Tomlin and Watford had been reduced from riches to rags. But a deflected free kick from Mark Yeates pulled one back with five minutes left and Forestieri added to the Posh boss’ obvious discomfort after four of five added minutes.
Watford boss Zola said: “We were playing OK but made silly mistakes.
“We were controlling the game and building momentum and it was a stupid mistake that did my brain in a lot. A lot for the second goal as well. That killed us off and made me crazy
“Troy Deeney should have had at least one penalty. I can complain about the mistakes but not the attitude which was incredible.We scored two with 10 men and with a little longer may have got a draw.
“I had to take Ekstrand off as he’d been booked and had a warning. I don’t believe Marco (Cassetti) meant to foul and hope it will be only a onematch ban.”
WALL GAME: Lee Tomlin scores the third goal for Peterborough
HANG ON: Watford’s Marco Cassetti is shown a red card