Ten-man Barnsley couldn’t make it back-to-back wins last night as they fell to a ninth defeat in ten games at Peterborough.
The Reds put in a terrific effort at times and threatened a late comeback after falling 3-1 behind in the 73rd minute, but once Kevin Long had been shown a straight red card on just his second appearance eight minutes from time, their game was pretty much up.
It was an end-to-end first period at London Road, one in which the Reds matched their in-form opponents stride for stride.
Looking confident following their weekend success at Oldham, Lee Johnson’s men went close to an opener inside five minutes.
Lloyd Isgrove flung over a super cross for Marley Watkins, but his header drifted inches wide.
At the other end Posh responded with Lee Angol firing a shot over the top when it looked easier to have hit the target.
Posh were building some momentum, and they profited in the 24th minute when they surged into the lead.
It was Angol who broke the deadlock, finding space in the box before lashing home a loose ball past helpless ‘keeper Adam Davies.
That was Angol’s seventh goal of the season, and he almost made it eight minutes later when Davies had to smother a smart effort from 12 yards.
Jon Taylor went close, but that was before the Reds dragged themselves back into contention, and a spell of pressure with an equaliser seven minutes before the break.
Former Reds loanee Miles Addison clumsy upended Watkins in the box, and a penalty was awarded without hesitation by referee Mr Kinseley.
Up stepped Conor Hourihane to coolly slot home from the spot to register his fifth goal of the season.
It had been no more than the Reds deserved as they gave an impressive account of themselves against Graham Westley’s side.
It was the Reds who opened the second period with good energy.
Most definitely still in contention, the visitors carved out a great opportunity for Isgrove, who fizzed a shot disappointingly wide.
The Reds had the ball in the Posh net in the 51st minute, but skipper Alfie Mawson’s header was ruled out thanks to an offside flag.
It was Posh who were to fire themselves back into the lead in the 62nd minute.
Again it was a poorly-defended strike, with ex-Red Addison heading home from close range after sub Marcus Maddison had just managed to squeeze the ball back into the danger zone.
Now it was time for the Reds to parade character again.
However, they were unlucky when conceding a third goal with 17 minutes remaining.
Maddison somehow found space in a crowded box, before firing home, via a cruel deflection, past a stranded Davies.
At that point it looked all over, though within a minute Adam Hammill smashed a shot against the post as the Reds hit back.
Sub Sam Winnall did pounce to make it 3-2 minutes later, but once Long had gone off for a crude challenge on Harry Beautyman, the Reds’ hopes had gone.
Both Maddison and Angol struck the Reds’ woodwork in the dying minutes.
Peterborough: Alnwick, Smith, Addison, Bostwick, Elder, J Anderson, Forrester (Beautyman 75), Oztumer (Maddison 58), Taylor, Washington (Coulibaly 67), Angol.
Subs not used: Henry, Fox, H Anderson, Samuelson.
Yellow cards: Addison (37), Smith (66), J Anderson (87), Elder (90).
Red cards: None.
Barnsley: Davies, Bree, Mawson, Long, G Smith, Hammill, Pearson, Hourihane, Isgrove (Winnall 60), Toney (Jackson 76, Nyatanga 86), Watkins.
Subs not used: Townsend, Roberts, Wabara, M Smith.
Yellow cards: None
Red cards: Long (82).
Referee: Nick Kinseley (Essex).