The early dismissal of Lee Tomlin proved to be the catalyst for struggling Bristol City to end the Peterborough United winning run as the Robins clinched a 4-2 victory at Ashton Gate, but striker Dwight Gayle continued his excellent start to his Posh career with a late consolation.
The deadlock was broken on four minutes as Sam Baldock delivered a fine ball into the box and Paul ANDERSON was left all alone to power home a header from six-yards. Baldock wasted a golden chance to make it 2-0 moments later as Bostwick missed his tackle, the former MK Dons man sliding his shot wide of the far post.
The Posh task was made harder on 11 minutes as Tomlin was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident. A nightmare start for Posh against their relegation rivals. The scores were level on 18 minutes as Boyd was upended by goalkeeper Heaton and Grant MCCANN stepped up and coolly slotted home the spot-kick. Referee Heaton was only booked by referee Mr Madley.
Olejnik made a smart stop to deny Baldock after good pace and cross from Albert Adomah. Michael Bostwick sliced a shot wide of the target on 27 minutes while Baldock did the same at the other end. Paul Anderson curled a shot inches past the post after a good ball into his path by Foster on 34 minutes.
The Robins got their noses in front again on 37 minutes as an incisive one-two between Anderson and BALDOCK ended with the latter firing past Olejnik and into the back of the net from close-range for his eighth goal of the campaign.
On the stroke of half-time, Posh were lucky not to concede a third as Baldock crashed the inside of the post with a fierce drive before Stead was crowded out on the rebound. Baldock was denied a goal inside the first three minutes of the second half by a fine Zakuani block.
Shaun Brisley replaced Nathaniel Knight-Percival on 51 minutes as Darren Ferguson made his first tactical change. Kane Ferdinand replaced McCann just before the hour mark to bring a bit more energy to the Posh midfield.
It was 3-1 to the hosts on the hour mark as a corner from the right was headed past Olejnik by Stephen McMANUS at the far post with Baldock claiming a touch before the ball crossed the line. It was 4-1 less than five minutes later as Bostwick was penalised for fouling Anderson and BALDOCK stepped up to convert from the spot.
Gayle curled a free-kick over the top from 25-yards as Posh tried to get back into the game after a disastrous few minutes. Danny Swanson saw a low shot pushed around the post by Heaton as Posh continued to huff and puff against the numerical disadvantage.
On 76 minutes, experienced front man Jonathan Stead cracked a long range effort onto the crossbar with Olejnik rooted to the spot. Boyd saw a left-foot drive go wide of the target moments later as Bristol City allowed him to advance.
Olejnik pushed a Danns effort around the post before Stead was withdrawn to a standing ovation from the city faithful. There was a bright spot for Posh on 89 minutes and it was no surprise the scorer, GAYLE drilling the ball through the legs of Heaton after a clever through ball by Ferdinand.
Final Score: Bristol City 4-2 Posh
Bristol City: Heaton, Foster (sub Bryan 53min), Baldock, Stead (sub Davies 81min), Skuse, Cunningham, McManus, Anderson (sub Kilkenny 77min), Adomah, Danns, Bates. Unused subs: Gerken, Fontaine, Taylor, Elliott.
Posh: Olejnik, Zakuani, Bostwick, Tomlin, Boyd, McCann (sub Ferdinand 58min), Rowe, Newell (sub Swanson 62min), Little, Knight-Percival (sub Brisley 51min), Gayle. Unused subs: Day, Alcock, Kearns, Gordon.
Attendance: 12991 (375 Posh fans)