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Stoke 2-0 Peterborough: Potters strengthen play-off push with comfortable win


Mario Vrancic (right) celebrates scoring for Stoke City
Mario Vrancic (right) netted his second Stoke goal to give them the lead against Peterborough

Stoke City moved up to fourth in the Championship with a third win in a row against struggling Peterborough.

Mario Vrancic’s deflected shot put the Potters in front after three minutes before Jacob Brown almost made it two after charging down David Cornell’s clearance.

Posh did rally with Jorge Grant twice going close before the break but had Cornell to thank for keeping out James Chester’s header in the second half.

Sam Surridge’s red card in the first minute of added time threatened to give the visitors a route back but their hope was snuffed out when Tyrese Campbell added a second a few minutes later.

Stoke stretched their unbeaten run to four games while Posh’s eighth defeat in their past nine away games – and sixth in a row against Stoke – means they still have not beaten the Potters in a competitive game and drop into the relegation zone.

The Potters came into the game chasing a third win on the spin for the first time since October 2016 in the days of Mark Hughes and took the lead through Vrancic’s second goal for the club.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international, afforded too much room on the edge of the box, fired into the corner left-footed with the help of a thick deflection off Posh defender Frankie Kent.

They almost doubled their advantage shortly after when Brown charged down Cornell’s clearance that looped back over the keeper and rolled just wide.

But Peterborough, with the fewest shots on target in the Championship this season, did their best to cause Stoke problems, with the lively Siriki Dembele an irritant down the right.

Grant clipped a free-kick on to the roof of the Stoke net before firing over moments later. Dembele then threatened to equalise late in the first half only for Danny Batth’s tackle to deny him.

Stoke were denied a second goal early in the second half as Cornell saved brilliantly when Chester met Vrancic’s corner before the rebound hit Steven Fletcher and kissed the post.

The Potters were given a nervy ride when a Jack Taylor shot flicked the top of the crossbar before Surridge was sent off late on following an altercation with Josh Knight.

Michael O’Neill’s side calmed any fears of seeing two points slip away when Campbell coolly slotted home his first goal for nearly a year after injury when he was sent through by Vrancic’s lovely pass.

Tyrese Campbell, on scoring his first goal since recovering from a long-term knee injury, told BBC Radio Stoke:

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“It’s been a long time coming and words can’t describe how I felt. Hopefully that’ll kick-start my goals for the season.

“I was never going to run it to the corner flag – anyone who knows me knows I’ll always take on a defender.

“Obviously I want to start but I respect the gaffer’s decision and we have two strikers who are doing a great job.

“Everyone gets on and wants the same thing – we want to win.”

Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:

“We responded very well after conceding and I thought after that we were the dominant team. I told the players I was pleased with the performance but it was just that little bit of quality missing.

“We seem reluctant to shoot and I don’t know why because we do plenty of it in training. You see that for their first goal if you pull the trigger you don’t know what will happen. I said to them at half-time they need to shoot more.

“I felt if we’d got the equaliser we’d have gone on to win it but obviously we didn’t manage to do that.

“This was our best away performance, there’s no doubt about that, but we’ve lost the game. I’d like to think our results will change if we get that level of performance.”

Line-ups

Stoke

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1DaviesBooked at 90mins
  • 19Østigard
  • 6BatthBooked at 25mins
  • 5Chester
  • 2SmithBooked at 79mins
  • 28Sawyers
  • 4AllenBooked at 73mins
  • 8Vrancic
  • 14TymonSubstituted forFoxat 67′minutes
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forSurridgeat 82′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 18BrownSubstituted forCampbellat 77′minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 3Fox
  • 10Campbell
  • 13Bonham
  • 16Wilmot
  • 21Duhaney
  • 22Surridge
  • 23Ince

Peterborough

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 13Cornell
  • 6Kent
  • 4Thompson
  • 5BeeversSubstituted forKnightat 84′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 23Ward
  • 18NorburnSubstituted forClarke-Harrisat 68′minutes
  • 8TaylorBooked at 52mins
  • 3ButlerSubstituted forBurrowsat 71′minutes
  • 11Grant
  • 10Dembélé
  • 7Szmodics

Substitutes

  • 2Edwards
  • 9Clarke-Harris
  • 12Knight
  • 16Burrows
  • 19Kanu
  • 20Coventry
  • 28Blackmore

Referee:
Geoff Eltringham

Attendance:
21,285

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