Harriers 0 Peterborough Utd 0 FA Cup 3rd rd
away fans: 875
Harriers have it all to do again
Report by Steve Williams
The Harriers survived a late goalmouth scramble to book their place in the FA Cup 4th round draw on Sunday, although they will have to get past the Posh in a replay at London Road Tuesday week to secure the tie.
Peterborough, two leagues above the Carpetmen, were fortunate not to find themselves behind in the opening minute. Joe Lolley, who was surely under the watchful eye of Barry Fry, Peterborough's Director of Football and Darren Ferguson, the Posh's manager, caused havoc coming in from the right hand side. He fired a shot which was deflected onto the bar via Peterborough defender Shaun Brisley.
The home side had settled the better and forced 'keeper Bobby Olejnik into a save on the ten minute mark. Lee Vaughan, charging in from the troubling right side, fired a shot towards goal but the 'keeper did well to parry it away.
Nine minutes later, however, the Posh worked their first opening of the game. Former Rushden and Diamond player Lee Tomlin got on the end on a ball behind the Harriers defence but his shot failed to hit the target.
Two thirds of the way through the half Joe Lolley had another chance to open the scoring. He surged forward on the counter and chose to go it alone, despite being supported by right-back Vaughan and strikers Michael Gash and Amari Morgan-Smith. His shot was very well saved by Olejnik.
Peterborough dominated possession in the closing stages of the half but were unable to break the deadlock. Firstly Jermaine Anderson's shot sailed over the bar before Lee Tomlin forced Danny Lewis into a smart save from a free-kick. The free-kick from just outside the box ended up down to Lewis' right, but he did well to turn it behind for a corner.
The Posh came out very bright at the start of the second half and Steve Burr's men were left indebted to Danny Lewis as he pulled out a fine save to tip over Britt Assombalonga's header from Joe Newell's cross.
Both teams produced some openings without any real threat in the following minutes but a goal really should've been scored when Shaun Jeffers was set free. He broke into the box and took extra time to angle his shot, this allowed Josh Gowling to get in to superbly block his shot.
Just after the hour mark Lee Vaughan had the Harrier's best chance of the half. The full back charged forward down the right hand side after being set free by on-loan debutant Jack Dyer, on for the injured Callum Gittings. He was on his own and controlled it well before looking to fire a powerful shot towards Olejnik's goal but, instead, he fired it straight into the terrace housing the Posh fans.
Peterborough spent the following minutes firing shots everywhere but on target, including a Michael Bostwick free-kick. Their next real chance fell to Assombalonga and it was very similar to his effort at the start of the half. Jeffers flicked the ball his way and Lewis did very well to turn the striker's effort over the bar eight minutes from time.
With five minutes to go the game had its real talking point. The Posh were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box which Tomlin took and he saw his effort crash against the bar. Assombalonga then followed up and hit the woodwork before having another bite at the cherry which was cleared into the path of Shaun Brisley. He finished the game as he started it by hitting the crossbar in front of the North Stand, although this time his effort, looking to be actually over the line by some way, was deflected by a Harriers defender. Peterborough should've scored but it was inspired defending by the Carpetmen, who gained their first clean sheet since the 5th October.
The Harriers looked to steal a late winner through a Gash free kick and a Gowling effort which was charged down but it wasn't to be and these two sides will lock horns again in ten days time where most fans wishes will be more of the same but with a different referee, an away win and a chance to play a Premier League side. I'm not so sure the Posh will be looking forward to welcoming Kiddy to London Road either.