League One
PeterboroughPeterborough United3Lincoln CityLincoln City3

Peterborough United 3-3 Lincoln City: Jonson Clarke-Harris' 96th-minute penalty seals Posh promotion

Peterborough celebrate
Peterborough will return to the Championship after an eight-year absence

Peterborough sealed promotion to the Championship as Jonson Clarke-Harris' 96th-minute penalty saw them come from 3-0 down to draw with Lincoln.

Darren Ferguson's side needed to avoid defeat to go up but two Anthony Scully goals and a Jorge Grant penalty had third-placed Lincoln in control.

But a Siriki Dembele goal and Clarke-Harris' brace brought second-placed Posh level to get them over the line.

Hull's win means they are champions, with Peterborough runners-up.

Posh were on the receiving end of a comeback in midweek when they spurned a two-goal lead to draw with Doncaster, when victory would have secured their promotion.

Had Michael Appleton's Imps held on to victory they would have been five points behind their opponents with two games left, but League One player of the year Clarke-Harris saw a deflected free-kick go in to make it 3-2 before blasting home his last-gasp spot-kick after Sammie Szmodics was brought down in the box.

Instead Lincoln, who dropped a place to fourth after Sunderland's victory at Plymouth, will contest the League One play-offs as they try to join Peterborough in the second tier.

Posh stay strong at last

It has been a long road back to the Championship for Peterborough, who have taken eight seasons to return to the second tier after being relegated with a record 54 points in 2012-13.

Recent campaigns had followed a similar pattern - a fast start, plenty of hype and expectation, rumours of a key player leaving in January followed by a nosedive in form to see them fall agonisingly short of the top six.

Last season was particularly tough to take as Posh were sixth when League One was halted by coronavirus, only to miss out on a play-off spot on points per game.

Twenty-six goal striker Ivan Toney left for Brentford but the club had already signed a ready-made replacement in Clarke-Harris, with forward Szmodics' move from Bristol City also a coup.

Ferguson's side were top at the start of November but a run of five defeats in six - including an FA Cup first-round exit to non-league Chorley - had supporters worried that another mid-season collapse was happening.

There was the usual January saga as forward Dembele handed in a transfer request but he stayed and Posh strung together 10 wins in 14 league matches to put them back on top heading to March.

Last month's 7-0 demolition of Accrington was a reminder of how devastating they can be in attack and they managed to make the Weston Homes Stadium a fortress despite the pitch being dogged by drainage issues.

Former Coventry, Rotherham and Bristol City striker Clarke-Harris has passed 30 goals for the season and Ferguson - in his third spell as manager - has a fourth Peterborough promotion to his name.

'The best promotion I've ever had' - Reaction

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:

"I've never seen anything like it - it was incredible, absolutely incredible. To do that in a game of that magnitude is incredible.

"You're thinking at 3-0 down it could go to the last day - you're thinking all sorts in your mind - you're thinking we can't concede any more goals because of goal difference.

"But once we got the second goal I thought we'd go and win it, never mind draw.

"This football club means a lot to me - it's my fourth promotion now [at Peterborough] and this is the best one, the best promotion I've ever had, because of what it means.

"Now we're in the Championship we're going to try and stay there, and I think we will."

Line-ups

Peterborough

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 21Bursik
  • 6Kent
  • 4Thompson
  • 5Beevers
  • 23Ward
  • 8TaylorBooked at 55minsSubstituted forHamiltonat 60'minutes
  • 12BrownSubstituted forEisaat 90'minutes
  • 3Butler
  • 15Szmodics
  • 10Dembélé
  • 9Clarke-HarrisBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 7Eisa
  • 13Gyollai
  • 14Reed
  • 16Burrows
  • 17Jones
  • 22Hamilton
  • 24Mason

Lincoln City

Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Palmer
  • 2Poole
  • 4MontsmaBooked at 90mins
  • 22Eyoma
  • 15Bramall
  • 26AndersonSubstituted forEdunat 87'minutes
  • 23BridcuttBooked at 56minsSubstituted forMcGrandlesat 64'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 27Rogers
  • 10GrantBooked at 90mins
  • 11Scully
  • 9HopperSubstituted forMortonat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Sanders
  • 7Edun
  • 8Jones
  • 17Howarth
  • 18McGrandles
  • 19Morton
  • 31Long
Referee:
John Busby

Match Stats

Home TeamPeterboroughAway TeamLincoln City
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home17
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home18
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Peterborough United 3, Lincoln City 3.

  2. Booking

    Conor McGrandles (Lincoln City) is shown the yellow card.

  3. Booking

    Jorge Grant (Lincoln City) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Peterborough United 3, Lincoln City 3.

  5. Booking

    Jonson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough United) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

  6. Post update

    Goal! Peterborough United 3, Lincoln City 3. Jonson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough United) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  7. Booking

    Lewis Montsma (Lincoln City) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Post update

    Penalty Peterborough United. Sammie Szmodics draws a foul in the penalty area.

  9. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Anthony Scully (Lincoln City) after a foul in the penalty area.

  10. Post update

    Joe Ward (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Morgan Rogers (Lincoln City).

  12. Post update

    Foul by Jonson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough United).

  13. Post update

    Conor McGrandles (Lincoln City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Peterborough United. Conceded by Timothy Eyoma.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Peterborough United. Mohamed Eisa replaces Reece Brown.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Frankie Kent (Peterborough United) header from very close range is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Joe Ward with a cross following a corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Peterborough United. Conceded by Tayo Edun.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Lincoln City. Tayo Edun replaces Harry Anderson.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Ethan Hamilton (Peterborough United).

  20. Post update

    Conor McGrandles (Lincoln City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hull452781080374389
2Peterborough452591179453484
3Sunderland452016969412876
4Lincoln City4422101268472176
5Blackpool4421111257372074
6Portsmouth452191565501572
7Oxford Utd452181673561771
8Charlton4418141266551168
9MK Dons451811166459565
10Ipswich441811154345-265
11Gillingham451810176260264
12Doncaster44197186261164
13Accrington451713156268-664
14Crewe451712165359-663
15Fleetwood451612174843560
16Burton451512186169-857
17Shrewsbury441314174854-653
18Plymouth451411205379-2653
19Wimbledon451214195470-1650
20Wigan45139235173-2248
21Rochdale451014215878-2044
22Northampton451111234066-2644
23Swindon45124295186-3540
24Bristol Rovers45108274069-2938
View full League One table

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