Posh Serve Up Christmas Cracker

Peterborough United held on for a stunning and at times scary 5-4 victory over Bolton Wanderers at London Road in a game that had more twists and turns than a roller-coaster, a real Christmas cracker.

Darren Ferguson's men made a dream start to this npower Championship encounter with two goals inside the opening six minutes as first Lee TOMLIN coolly slotted past goalkeeper Bogdan after a clever pass from Michael Bostwick and then Dwight GAYLE doubled the lead when he converted from close range after poor defensive work from Knight.

In between the two goals, Gayle had a great chance to score from close-range, but Bogdan produced heroics after Rowe's intelligent header across the six-yard box.

On 13 minutes, Posh were nearly 3-0 up as Lee Tomlin wriggled past three defenders on the edge of the area before unleashing a powerful shot that struck the outside of the post.

Butterfield was booked for diving and Davies followed him into the book for a late tackle on Michael Bostwick by the halfway line.

Boyd saw a free-kick deflected behind for a corner kick on 28 minutes after Gayle was upended by Knight. Bogdan pushed a curling free kick from Tomlin around the post on 39 minutes for a corner kick.

Boyd was inches away from a third goal as his drilled right-foot shot just went wide after great approach play from Little on the right.

On the stroke of half-time, Bolton were given a route back into the game as a penalty was awarded following grappling in the box and Keith ANDREWS stepped up and coolly slotted home the spot-kick.

Posh made it 3-1 on 48 minutes and it was a superb solo effort from on-loan West Brom man George THORNE who burst into the box and fired low past Bogdan into the bottom corner.

Bolton made a double change on 51 minutes as Afobe and Sordell were introduced into the fray.

On 55 minutes, Bolton reduced the arrears once more and again it was from the spot as Newell upended Afobe in the box and ANDREWS converted the penalty.

Gayle and Thorne combined to create a chance for Tomlin on 55 minutes, but he dragged his shot just past the far post. Great football from Darren Ferguson's men though.

It was 4-2 to Posh on 68 minutes as a ball across the box picked out full-back Mark LITTLE who showed composure to fire into the roof of the net.

Olejnik produced a stunning stop to prevent Andrews from getting his hat-trick on 69 minutes before Davies headed over from a corner kick.

Boyd was denied by Bogdan with Gayle just unable to poke home the rebound as the chances continued to come.

Newell was given a standing ovation as he was replaced by Kane Ferdinand on 80 minutes. It was 5-2 to Posh on 83 minutes as a Tomlin corner was powered home at the back post by Gabi ZAKUANI for his first goal of the season.

AFOBE reduced the arrears to 5-3 with a free-header from a corner kick on 85 minutes. It was 5-4 on 87 minutes as substitute PETROV rifled home past Olejnik and that goal brought a nervous hush around the stadium.

Four minutes of injury time and the referee blowing up when it wasn't actually full-time meant a very nervous time for Posh fans, but finally Mr Miller brought to an end a Championship Christmas cracker.

Final Score: Posh 5-4 Bolton Wanderers

Posh: Olejnik, Little (sub Alcock 88min), Bostwick, Zakuani, Knight-Percival, Rowe, Newell (sub Ferdinand 80min), Boyd, Thorne, Tomlin, Gayle. Unused subs: Day, Brisley, Swanson, McCann, Kearns.

Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Eagles, Andrews (sub Petrov 81min), Knight, Davies, Warnock. Ricketts, Spearing, Lee (sub Sordell 50min),  Butterfield (sub Afobe 50min). Unused subs: Lainton, Alonso, Ream, Pratley.

Attendance: 6,600 (964 Bolton fans)