A brave attacking display from Peterborough United was rewarded as they recovered from going a goal behind by netting three late strikes to see off Championship side Aston Villa in the FA Cup Third Round.
Davis gives the favourites an early advantage
The Championship side started the game on the front foot as Andre Green forced Jonathan Bond into a smart stop in the opening few minutes. Yet Peterborough United will never set up to defend and they responded to their hosts' early threat. Liam Shephard saw a deflected shot land in the arms of Jed Steer before Danny Lloyd fired over after neat interplay by his teammates.
Yet it took just eight minutes for Villa to break the deadlock. Ritchie de Laet advanced down the right before pulling the ball back to Keinan Davis who slotted the ball home on the turn.
The home side looked stronger and faster and continued to cause their visitors problems. However, Marcus Maddison showed glimpses of his talent as he forced Steer into an excellent stop as Posh failed to roll over.
That moment sparked Grant McCann's side into life and young talent Leonardo Da Silva Lopes smashed a shot at Steer from the edge of the box. Shephard then hit the crossbar with a header before Lloyd scuffed his volley wide on the rebound.
Lloyd's partner in attack, Jack Marriott, had been quiet but suddenly made his presence felt against the returning John Terry and his colleagues. The striker was kept out from a tight angle by the legs of Steer before being thwarted again just before half-time. Lloyd also met a dangerous cross from the impressive Shephard as Posh went into the break a goal down but still very much in the contest.
Posh turn the screw
Marriott was clearly buoyed by the freedom he created for himself towards the end of the first-half and proved a threat straight after the break. A shot on the turn was held by Steer before he fired just over a couple of minutes later.
Green was denied smartly at the other end by Bond who had been enjoying a breather before Posh threatened with a couple of teasing crosses. Both Lloyd and Ryan Tafazolli were just inches away from making contact with two separate chances in front of goal.
Posh continued to probe and were certainly the better side by Villa went closest to scoring the second goal of the game after overcoming a wave of pressure. Davis and Callum O'Hare were both brilliantly stopped by Bond and Conor Hourihane fired just wide as the contest entered the final 20 minutes.
Late treble sends Peterborough through
Just as Villa appeared to regain control of the game, Posh sparked a surprise on the side playing in the league above them. Chris Forrester chipped a cross to Lloyd whose volley was met by the head of Marriott to draw the League One side level.
Birkir Bjarnason hit the underside of the crossbar at the other end with an excellent volley before a free-kick from range was tipped over by Steer from Lloyd's effort.
Then, with 83 minutes on the clock, Posh stunned their opponents. Maddison picked out Tafazolli who powerfully nodded the corner against a defender and into the back of the net as the visitors smelt a shock.
Steve Bruce's side looked to respond but the visitors looked dangerous on the break and they duly killed the contest in injury-time. Maddison broke clear and played the ball across to Marriott who slotted Peterborough into the Fourth Round. Spark pandemonium in the away end.