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West Brom edge it as Gareth McAuley suffers injury blow in FA Cup tie

Peterborough 1-1 West Brom (West Brom won 4-3 after extra-time and penalties)

By Nick Mashiter

Published 11/02/2016

Gareth McAuley limped off early on at London Road
Gareth McAuley limped off early on at London Road

West Brom survived a major scare to edge past Peterborough on penalties to reach the FA Cup fifth round - but Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley limped off after just 19 minutes.

Ben Foster saved from Martin Samuelsen and Lee Angol in the shoot-out as the Baggies won 4-3 following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

It sent them into a tie at Reading on Saturday week - but Tony Pulis' side were fortunate to progress at London Road.

Posh boss Graham Westley said: "Our lads are going to gain so much from that experience.

"They've performed tremendously, played great football and gone toe-to-toe over two games."

Jon Taylor had given the hosts the lead only for Darren Fletcher to level - but the League One side dominated for long spells.

The tone was set when Republic winger James McClean was forced to block Harry Beautyman's early close-range effort as the hosts looked to stun Albion.

Their bright play pinned the Baggies back, although Westley's team - former Northern Ireland midfielder Grant McCann is assistant boss - were unable to make a breakthrough.

Posh's cause was helped, though, when McAuley, who was a doubt with a thigh injury before the match, limped off after just 19 minutes to be replaced by Sebastien Pocognoli.

Multi-million rated Saido Berahino finally registered a shot nine minutes before the break, his effort flashing wide - but it was the closest the Baggies got to threatening Ben Alnwick's goal.

Derry-born McClean had a shot blocked minutes later before, from the resulting corner, James Chester miscued at the far post and his shot hit Fletcher.

The hosts deservedly opened the scoring on 55 minutes. McClean's wretched pass was intercepted by Angol, who found Taylor on the left. The winger then outfoxed Chester and his 15-yard effort clipped the defender to creep low past Foster.

Taylor's dramatic late equaliser in the 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns took the tie to a replay and he - along with the outstanding Samuelsen - epitomised Posh's confident attitude.

However, the Baggies levelled against the run of play on 71 minutes when Fletcher crashed in a half-volley from 18 yards.

And Berahino missed a glorious chance with almost the last kick of extra time when, unmarked, he headed Gardner's free-kick wide from three yards.

But Foster was Albion's hero when he saved from Samuelsen and Angol in the shoot-out, Fletcher missing for the Baggies.

Fletcher said: "I thought we had the better chances."

           

PETERBOROUGH: Alnwick, Baldwin, Bostwick, Zakuani, Fox, Taylor (Oztumer, 106 mins), Beautyman (Maddison, 99 mins), Forrester, Samuelsen, Angol, Coulthirst (Coulibaly, 89 mins). Unused subs: Ntlhe, Da Silva Lopes, Henry, Toffolo.

WEST BROM: Foster, Chester, McAuley (Pocognoli, 19 mins), Olsson, Gamboa, Gardner, Yacob (Sessegnon 62 mins), Fletcher, McClean, Rondon, Berahino. Unused subs: Anichebe, Myhill, Ward, Roberts, Leko.

Man of the match: Martin Samuelsen

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Belfast Telegraph

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