DERBY CO........3 PETER­BORO’....1

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Nick Brad­shaw

DAR­REN Fer­gu­son be­lieves Peter­bor­ough will have to take max­i­mum points from their re­main­ing two games of the sea­son to main­tain their Cham­pi­onship sta­tus for an­other year.

Fer­gu­son’s men saw their ten-match un­beaten run come to a grind­ing halt af­ter they were blown away by ten-man Derby and now sit above the bot­tom three only on goal dif­fer­ence.

Craig Bryson gave the Rams a de­served lead be­fore Chris Martin and Richard Keogh wrapped up the points early in the sec­ond half.

Grant McCann pulled one back from the spot af­ter keeper Frank Field­ing had seen red for bring­ing down Dwight Gayle in the box but Fer­gu­son ad­mit­ted his side had been soundly beaten.

“We can have no com­plaints about the re­sults be­cause Derby were ab­so­lutely su­perb and de­served the win,” said Fer­gu­son.

“But I can’t crit­i­cise the play­ers be­cause they have been fan­tas­tic re­cently and it’s in our own hands still. There’s no doubt that if we play like we did here then we are down. But we have two mas­sive games now and we could need two wins.

“We’ve got Sh­effield Wed­nes­day next and I can’t em­pha­sise enough how im­por­tant that game is for us now.

“Af­ter the start to the sea­son that we had, to say we still have a chance of stay­ing up is a mag­nif­i­cent achieve­ment be­cause we really strug­gled.

“The best thing about to­day is that we are not in the bot­tom three. Noth­ing else has been pos­i­tive.”

The chances of Posh ex­tended their im­pres­sive un­beaten run looked re­mote early on. Paul Coutts rat­tled the post in­side the first two min­utes for Derby while Jeff Hen­drick fired nar­rowly wide.

Derby’s dom­i­nance was high­lighted by the 15 cor­ners they had in the first half but it was from open play that they fi­nally prised Peter­bor­ough open. Conor Sam­mon cut the ball back from the by­line and Bryson could hardly miss from in­side the six yard box.

It was no more than Nigel Clough’s men de­served and they wrapped up the points with two goals in the space of three min­utes early in the sec­ond half.

Martin turned and fired home from the edge of the box on 50 min­utes be­fore Keogh rose high­est to head home a Jamie Ward cor­ner.

Peter­bor­ough pulled one back from the spot through McCann af­ter Field­ing had been sent for an early bath for foul­ing Gayle in­side the box.

It prompted a few nervy mo­ments in the Derby de­fence and if Lee Tom­lin had fin­ished a de­cent chance with 20 min­utes re­main­ing, the re­sult could have been back in the bal­ance.

Rams coach Andy Gar­ner said: “We can have no com­plaints about the red card. I think Frank’s start­ing po­si­tion was poor and the ref­eree got the de­ci­sion spot on.

“We were com­fort­able up un­til that point. I think Paul Coutts was get­ting tired of tak­ing so many cor­ners and my only worry was that we weren't go­ing to make them pay.

“We were to­tally in com­mand and for the first 20 min­utes at least I thought we were su­perb.

“Craig got a fan­tas­tic team goal and we kicked on from there. We pos­si­bly could have won by more but we had a bit of a wob­ble at 3-1 and put a bit of pres­sure on our­selves.

“We’d love to fin­ish in the top ten and fin­ish the sea­son really strongly.”

PIC­TURES: Andy Clarke

GREAT STRIKE: Chris Martin pow­ers home Derby’s sec­ond goal

CAP­TAIN MARVEL: Richard Keogh heads Derby’s third goal

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