Swindon Town 1-1 Peterborough Utd (3-3 agg Peterborough win 3-4 on Pens)
Peterborough United booked their place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley after defeating Swindon on penalties at the County Ground following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes. Writes Benjamin Wills.
After a 180 minute stalemate, Tommy Rowe slotted in the winning penalty to send the 383 travelling fans home happy and Peterborough to the JPT Final for the first time in their history. Woeful penalty misses from Town midfielders Massimo Luongo and Tijane Reis – who was a late substitute – left Rowe to convert the winner from the spot which he did with consummate ease.
The game itself was a cagey affair with the two teams only managing five shots on target between them, with Swindon hitting the target once which was their goal and Peterborough tested Wes Foderingham four times.
Swindon opened the scoring when Luongo’s cut back across the six-yard box got a touch off Peterborough goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik. The ball fell into the path of Craig Alcock who smashed a hasty clearance into Dany N’Guessan, before rebounded into – clear man of the match – Alex Pritchard was there to rifle home from close range.
It was Britt Assombalonga who first came close in the match, his swerving shot from the edge of the area was well saved by Foderingham and settled a few early nerves at the County Ground. Relief turned to anger soon after though when referee Keith Stroud failed to blow for a clear penalty when N’Guessan broke free of Alcock and was tripped inside the area.
Town started the second half the brighter when N’Gussan beat Olejnik to the ball but he saw his shot hit post and out. The striker soon tired and Town’s attacking threat wilted as the game progressed with few other options to stem the dominance in possession that Peterborough enjoyed.
The goal Swindon conceded after 75 minutes was just as sloppy as the one they scored. Under pressure, Norwich loanee Jacob Murphy attempted a back pass that was missed by Darren Ward. Alcock crossed to Assombalonga who powered a header past Foderingham to level the scores.
Posh grew into the game following their leveller though, Michael Bostwick fired wide from the edge of the area on 83 minutes and then Foderingham had to have a strong hand to deny a Grant McCann free kick in stoppage time.
It was Peterborough who prevailed on penalties though and they march on to Wembley to face either Chesterfield or Fleetwood on the 30th of March. Chesterfield lead 3-1 going into the second leg which will be played at the home of the North final leaders.
By Benjamin Wills (@BenjaminWills18)