FA CUP THIRD ROUND REPLAY
PETERBOROUGH UNITED 0
WEST BROMWICH ALBION 2
West Bromwich Albion eased into the fourth round of the FA Cup at the second time of asking after a dominant display against Peterborough United.
Last season, Albion knocked the Posh out of both the FA Cup and Carling Cup and they completed a hat-trick of away cup wins against Darren Ferguson’s side, thanks to first-half goals by Jay Simpson and Paul Robinson.
Tony Mowbray’s side will face Championship side Burnley in the next round a week on Saturday at The Hawthorns as they look to repeat last year’s impressive march to the semi-finals.
For all but 20 minutes Posh were arguably the better side in the first game and the question was could they repeat that performance on home soil?
The answer was a resounding no as Albion showed their Premier League quality to take a two-goal lead into the break.
Felipe Teixeira, making his first start of the season, tested Joe Lewis early on with a free kick and then almost played in Roman Bednar with a clever pass to underline how important his return will be to Albion.
Albion were dominant and Leon Barnett should have opened the scoring when he was picked out at the back post by Jonathan Greening but he placed his close-range header beyond the far post.
Posh should have punished the visitors for their wastefulness when Charlie Lee latched on to some slack Albion marking from a long throw and lifted the ball over the advancing Scott Carson but agonisingly just past the post.
However, a piece of quality finishing by Simpson in the 18th minute gave Albion the lead. The 20-year-old striker produced a finish of the highest quality that manager Mowbray has been repeatedly calling for. He collected the ball 25 yards out from goal, turned his marker and curled the ball past Lewis. It was his first goal in Albion colours since arriving from Arsenal on loan but it certainly will not be his last on this performance.
Albion didn’t sit back on their lead and created several more opportunities until Robinson added the second in the 37th minute when he leapt at the far post to head home Kim’s deep cross.
Posh did raise their game before half time and Russell Martin set up top scorer Craig Makail-Smith, who grabbed a late equaliser in the first game at The Hawthorns, but the usually prolific hitman sliced his shot out for a throw-in from eight yards out. Carson then had to tip a Martin free kick over the bar as the hosts finished strongly.
Albion continued to look bright after the break and Teixeira almost played in Simpson after a swift break but Lewis was quickly out, and then Bednar headed wide from a Greening cross.
Lewis again saved Posh when he denied Teixeira with his knee and then Kim let fly from 30 yards. Lewis could only stand and watch as it thundered past him but cannoned off the stantion behind the goal.
Posh tried to rally with 25 minutes remaining and Lee tested Carson with a low shot from the edge of the area and they enjoyed a period of concerted pressure, resulting in a Lee header that was tipped over the bar by Carson.
Substitute Graham Dorrans should have done better when he jinked inside the Posh area and the route to goal opened up for him but his shot was comfortably smothered by Lewis, and then the young Scot played in fellow substitute and compatriot Craig Beattie with a cheeky backheel but the striker curled his shot just wide.