Two goals inside the opening quarter of an hour set Posh up for a 2-1 victory over Rochdale at the ABAX Stadium.Peterborough United recorded a vital 2-1 victory against Rochdale in Sky Bet League One with Harry Beautyman and Christian Burgess securing a deserved three points for Darren Ferguson's men.
The deadlock was broken on four minutes as a cross from Michael Smith was powered home by Harry BEAUTYMAN whose header gave Josh Lillis no chance.
Beautyman was denied a second by a superb point blank stop from Lillis moments later as Smith again picked out his man.
It was 2-0 to Posh on seven minutes as a corner kick from Newell was bundled home on the line by Christian BURGESS as goalkeeper Lillis couldn't deal with the in-swinging delivery.
Luke James saw a well-timed volley find the side-netting on 10 minutes after another cross into the box caused panic.
Mclean saw a shot blocked by Lancashire after a Newell cross was only half cleared. On 24 minutes, Rochdale halved the deficit and it was a stunning strike from full-back Joe RAFFERTY whose 25-yard strike flew into the top corner past the despairing dive of Ben Alnwick.
Erhun Oztumer fired wide with his left-foot after an intelligent lay-off from Mclean as Posh pushed forward. Bunney was cautioned for a foul on Smith on 42 minutes.
Posh were forced into a change at the break with Joe Newell struggling with a knock. Kgosi Ntlhe replaced him. Smith fired into the side-netting after a well-timed pass from Oztumer picked him out down the right.
A James run was greeted with a fine ovation from the Posh faithful as he bulldozed his way through two challenges, but his cross was out of the reach of Beautyman in the box.
Posh made a switch on 65 minutes with Jon Taylor replacing Mclean in attack. Alnwick clawed a Vincenti effort around the post on 69 minutes, but bizarrely a goal kick was given by referee Keith Hill.
Peterborough-born midfielder David Norris replaced Oztumer on 70 minutes with Beautyman moving into the number 10 role. Beautyman saw a 25-yard shot saved comfortably by Lillis.
Brisley was booked for a foul on the powerful presence of Andrew on 72 minutes. O'Connell fired over at the back post for Dale after a free-kick was inadvertently flicked into a dangerous area by Smith as he attempted to clear.
Rochdale striker Andrew limped out of the fray on 75 minutes leaving Dale with 10 minutes for the remainder of proceedings. Rose fired a free-kick over the bar from 30-yards as Burgess was penalised for a shirt tug.
Taylor was denied by Lillis and then dragged a shot wide from a tight angle before four minutes of added time was signalled by the fourth official.
Full-time: Posh 2-1 Rochdale
Posh: Alnwick, Smith, Brisley, Bostwick, Payne, James, Oztumer (sub Norris 70min), Newell (sub Ntlhe 46min), Mclean (sub Taylor 65min), Burgess, Beautyman. Unused subs: Loach, Washington, Anderson, Zakuani.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Eastham (sub Rose 46min), Lancashire, Vincenti, Noble-Lazarus (sub Camps 46min), Dawson, Connell, Allen (sub Andrew 66min), Bunney, Henderson. Unused subs: Diba-Musangu, Logan, Cannon, Bell.
Attendance: 5,163 (220 Rochdale fans)