Steve Bruce promised changes against Peterborough United in the FA Cup third round and he delivered.
Only Conor Hourihane started that had started in the games over the Festive period with returns for injured and youth players like John Terry, Andre Green and Cal O’Hare.
Peterborough supporters travelled in their numbers as many clubs do up and down the country for FA Cup third round weekend and why not? As they say, the FA Cup is all about shocks and who knows what magic could be on the cards for your side.
The home side started the brighter of the two teams when Green’s curling right-footed shot was pushed to safety by Jonathan Bond.
Villa did take the lead with eight minutes on the clock and threatened to run riot. Keinan Davis latched onto a Richie De Laet cross and score with a shot on the turn.
It could have been so easy for Peterborough just to sit back and try and keep the scoreline respectful but to their credit, they had different ideas.
The visitors were denied various times in the first half when Jed Steer prevented Marcus Maddison, Leonardo Da Silva and Danny Lloyd.
It was only a matter of time though and with 15 minutes remaining on the clock, Posh deservedly pulled the game level.
Lloyd whipped the ball across goal and Marriot was on hand to beat Steer with a header from six yards out.
Peterborough finally gained their reward when Lloyd whipped the ball back across goal and Jack Marriott was on hand to beat Steer with a header from six yards.
Bruce’s side had to step up their game and they come close just three minutes later through Birkir Bjarnason but he was denied by the woodwork.
It was Peterborough‘s day though and they took the lead when the towering Ryan Tafazolli rose above the Villa defence to meet a Maddison cross.
With Villa pushing for an equaliser, they were always open for a counter attack and when Peterborough got the ball they raced up the field with Maddison once again creating by squaring the ball for Marriot to confirm their names in the hat for the fourth round.
I have read various comments regarding the defeat and how it isn’t a priority for Aston Villa this season. I am sorry but I don’t think it is for Peterborough. Ultimately they will want to make the playoffs in the hope that they can return to the Championship but that doesn’t stop them from giving there all.
It is the FA Cup for god sakes. The whole point of the competition is the magic aspect. Anyone can beat anyone on their given day through hook or by crook.
Yesterday was embarrassing. Huge credit to Peterborough and their 4000+ travelling supporters. I hope they get the fourth round draw they are looking for and progress.
Steve Bruce: “It is difficult to accept, but we have to accept it and live with the consequences. The best team won by a country mile. We got off to a good start but Peterborough had 20 efforts on our goal which is ridiculous. We haven’t competed well enough and that is the disappointing thing for me.”
Grant McCann: “We were disappointed to be 1-0 down at half-time, but the boys stuck to the game plan. We deserved to get back into the game and the boys grew in confidence after that. Sometimes when you do come to a Championship team and you go down you can crumble and end up getting beat four or five.But the boys kept doing what we worked on. We wanted to keep the ball and keep moving it quickly. I am very proud of the boys. They were outstanding. They played with no fear.”