Peterborough United 0 - 2 Birmingham City

Match info: Championship at ABAX Stadium

Date: 23/02/2013 KO: 15:00 Ref: M Russell Att: 8,350

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers




Nikola Zigic 34
Chris Burke 80

FT (ht: 0-1)

  • Last Updated: February 23 2013, 18:16 GMT

Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson raged at referee Mick Russell after seeing his team tumble back to the bottom of the npower Championship with a 2-0 home defeat by Birmingham.

Darren Ferguson: Unhappy with referee
Darren Ferguson: Unhappy with referee

Ferguson was left fuming by two key second-half decisions as Russell refused to award a blatant penalty before failing to send off Birmingham player Callum Reilly.

The Posh chief was adamant Russell should have pointed to the spot when wideman Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was sent crashing by City full-back Mitch Hancox soon after the restart.

And Ferguson's mood was worsened when Russell chose not to show a second yellow card to the already-booked Reilly for a cynical trip on Kane Ferdinand.

Both incidents occurred after Posh trailed to a Nikola Zigic opener 10 minutes before the break.

A deflected second goal from Chris Burke 10 minutes from time eventually sealed Posh's fate.

Ferguson said: "If you're asking me whether or not the officials are good enough, the answer is nowhere near at this level.

"There were two big decisions in the game and the referee got both of them wrong as far as I am concerned.

"I see absolutely no reason why a forward would choose to go down when clean through and Nathaniel is adamant the Birmingham lad caught him.

"The assistant referee was 10 yards behind play so in no position to give a penalty while the referee clearly chose not to give one.

"I asked the referee why he didn't give the Birmingham lad a second yellow card and he said his foul was an accident, but again that's not how I saw it.

"It was one of those days where we didn't get the breaks, but if anyone thinks we deserved to lose that game, they are completely wrong.

"We were only prevented from going ahead by an unbelievable double save and were getting on top when Birmingham did score.

"We dominated the second half and I can't be disappointed with my players."

That super stop was made by Birmingham keeper Jack Butland in the 19th minute when he brilliantly denied Posh captain Tommy Rowe before also keeping out Lee Tomlin's follow-up.

The deadlock was broken when Zigic pounced on a rebound after a Burke shot had been parried by Posh keeper Bobby Olejnik.

Burke doubled the City lead with 10 minutes remaining when his shot took a wicked deflection off defender Gaby Zakuani and looped past the helpless Olejnik.

Zigic saw a third Birmingham effort scrubbed for offside before substitute Wes Thomas was denied by Olejnik from point blank range as the visitors finished strongly.

Birmingham boss Lee Clark said: "You have to be delighted to win 2-0 on the road and that's certainly how I feel right now.

"A second successive clean sheet was particularly pleasing as solid defending is always the basis for success in football.

"We came here with a game plan and executed it very well. We had some outstanding performers, not least Chris Burke who has been back to his fine form of last season in recent games.

"We've only lost once in eight games but we won't get ahead of ourselves. It's been an up and down season and we can only focus on the next game against Hull.

"It was a big boost to hear that George Boyd had left Peterborough during the week. He is a terrific player who I've had my eye on for years but never had the opportunity to sign.

"But we'll still have to face him next Saturday now he is at Hull and that will be a really tough game after their result today."

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