FORRESTER WASTES A LATE GIFT
DANIEL Bentley saved a last-gasp penalty to earn Southend United a point, but manager Phil Brown was left questioning why the spot kick was given in the first place.
Bentley pulled off a fine save to keep out Chris Forrester’s injury-time effort from 12 yards, after Adam Thompson was adjudged to have fouled Marcus Maddison.
And for Brown it was a case of relief rather than joy, after he disagreed vehemently with the referee’s decision.
“It’s not the linesman’s job to flag like that for a penalty anymore,” said Brown.
“He’s backed the ref into a corner and it could’ve cost us.That’s the closest in 36 years I’ve seen to anybody cheating. Justice was done in the end when it was saved but we had a few opportunities too.
“On the balance of play we deserved a point and I’m pleased because it’s been the longest week of my life. And if that had gone in at the end then it would’ve been even longer.”
Southend picked up a point on the back of three successive heavy defeats, but Posh started brightly and Erhun Oztumer came close to giving them an early lead when he had a well struck 25-yard shot impressively tipped over the crossbar by Bentley.
Moments later, Southend full-back Luke O’Neill fired straight at Posh goalkeeper Ben Alnwick before the shot-stopper palmed away Tyrone Barnett’s header from Jack Payne’s right-wing corner.
In reply, Peterborough’s in-form striker Conor Washington sent a deflected 20 yard shot wide of the left post before the lively Oztumer saw an effort from a similar distanced parried to safety by Bentley.
After the break, Bentley did superbly well to claw away Lee Angol’s close range header before the Shrimpers shot-stopper impressively tipped over a well struck 20 yard shot from Washington.
Posh continued to push forward with Forrester having a swerving 20 yard shot well held by Bentley Southend’s Jack Payne who dragged his low shot wide of the right post.
However, Posh squandered an even better chance to win the game right at the death when the hosts were awarded a controversial penalty following a challenge from Thompson on Maddison.
But Bentley was not to be beaten as he dived to his left hand side to smother Forrester’s spot-kick, much to the frustration of Peterborough boss Graham Westley.
“Southend stopped us playing,” said Westley.
“I knew with the experienced players they have they would come and play like that on the back of their last three games but we should have been able to do more about it. “We only started to play towards the end when we started to open them up but the penalty summed up our lackadaisical play for most of the match.”
SQUANDERED: Peterborough’s Chris Forrester takes a penalty in stoppage time which is saved
CHALLENGE: Ricardo Santos leaps to head the ball
STAR MAN DANIEL BENTLEY