By Jack Wynne – Sports Editor
League One Peterborough United denied Preston North End a place in the 4th round of the FA Cup, winning 2-0 at the ABAX Stadium.
Martin Samuelsen established an early lead for the home side, striking a powerful shot from distance straight past PNE goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.
Early in the second half, Michael Smith’s cross was turned into the back of the Preston net by Conor Washington.
PNE manager Simon Grayson made four changes to the side which beat Rotherham United last week.
Kirkland made his debut for North End after Manchester United refused to allow Sam Johnstone to play.
Paul Gallagher and Bailey Wright came in for Alan Browne and Paul Huntington whilst Josh Brownhill replaced Daniel Johnson, who was rested.
Lee Angol, Martin Samuelsen and Lawrie Wilson were all brought into United manager Graham Westley’s starting XI, replacing Marcus Maddison, Jon Taylor and Andrew Fox.
Eoin Doyle had an early chance to silence the home crowd but fluffed his lines, failing to sort his feet out when one-on-one and therefore unable to test Peterborough goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.
Shortly after, United went ahead as Samuelsen’s long range strike nestled into the bottom.
Lee Angol thought he had put doubled Peterborough’s lead but the referee disallowed the goal, penalising Washington for a push.
Joe Garner set up Doyle up once more but the striker didn’t make Alnwick work, firing his shot into the stand.
Browne looked to equalize for PNE but sliced Adam Reach’s corner wide from inside the box.
After the interval, United grabbed a second goal as Washington latched onto Michael Smith’s cross and directed it past Kirkland.
Ricardo Santos was then denied from scoring a third, as Kirkland blocked his header at the back post.
Tom Clarke looked like he might pull a goal back in the 80th minute but his header was cleared off the line by Smith, following substitute Paul Gallagher’s corner.
Simon Grayson expressed his disappointment at not being in the hat for the next round after the match.
“It was a competition we wanted to progress in, we wanted to keep the momentum going from the results we’ve had recently.
“We were inconsistent today, there were too many players who were up and down and we didn’t show the quality we are capable of doing” he told BBC Radio Lancashire.
Peterborough United: Alnwick, Smith, Baldwin, Oztumer (Maddison 71), Ricardo Santos, Washington, Beautyman, Angol (Coulibaly 71), Forrester, Samuelsen, Wilson. Subs not used: Henry, Fox, Anderson, Da Silva-Lopes, Addison
PNE: Kirkland, Vermijl, Huntington, Clarke, Cunningham, Reach, Welsh (Gallagher 46), Browne, Brownhill (Robinson 56), Doyle (Hugill 75), Garner. Subs not used: Hudson, Wright, Kilkenny, Woods.
Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland)
Attendance: 7,665 (589 PNE)