City’s relief at not being drawn away to Bury as usual was tempered by the draw that was instead dished out. One of these days City will be drawn at home to Dog & Duck 3rd XI rather than away to the third highest ranked club currently in the competition! With that in mind, it’s a somewhat pessimistic City embarking on the trip to Cambridgeshire on Saturday hoping to arrest a three match winless run. Paul Tisdale is likely to field close to his strongest available side – Pat Baldwin missed the thrilling 3-2 defeat at Portsmouth but will hope to return, while recent signing Danny Butterfield should be edging closer to a return. Matt Grimes impressed in midfield and the teenager will hope to keep his place, while Tom Nichols has returned to the reckoning after his virtuoso display in the U21 Cup win at Palace.
Like City, Peterborough enter this weekend in poor form having failed to win their last three matches, with the last two fixtures ending in defeat including a 3-1 home reverse to surprise League One leaders Leyton Orient. As a result while Darren Ferguson’s side are still in contention at the top a gap has opened up between Posh and the front pair of Leyton Orient and Wolves. Their form has, however, come as little surprise as Peterborough have been something of a yo-yo side in recent years, seemingly too strong for League One but unable to make the step up to the Championship. As in previous seasons, Peterborough’s main strength is in its firepower, and City will have to be at their best defensively to cope with the likes of Britt Assombalonga (who had a successful season on loan at Southend) and Tyrone Barnett. Devon Football fans will recognise the Posh goalkeeper as Bobby Olejnik, who had a successful spell with Torquay a couple of seasons back.
Since City’s return to the Football League the two sides’ paths have crossed in just one season – 2010/11 – the first clash at the Park produced a thrilling 2-2 draw (Nardiello and Cureton for City, sandwiched by an OG by Archibald-Henville and a late equaliser from Tomlin), while the return produced a comfortable 3-0 win for Peterborough (Boyd 2 and Mackail-Smith). The only FA Cup meeting between the sides ended in a 1-0 win for Peterborough in November 1995, while the Football League head-to-head is 14 wins for Peterborough, 11 for City and 19 draws.