The class of on-loan Arsenal striker Jay Simpson inspired West Brom to earn a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Simpson's 18th-minute strike helped the Baggies to overcome a potentially
tricky third-round replay against Peterborough at London Road.
United were dreaming of an upset after drawing 1-1 with Albion at The Hawthorns
10 days ago, but a second goal eight minutes before the interval from defender
Paul Robinson crushed their hopes.
Albion should have taken the lead as early as the sixth minute when Leon
Barnett headed a cross from Jonathan Greening inches wide of the far post.
But the League One side gave Albion a real scare moments later when Charlie Lee
took advantage of some indecision in the Albion defence.
The midfielder burst into the penalty area and was ready to celebrate an
opening goal but his clever chip fell the wrong side of Scott Carson's
But Simpson settled Albion's nerves with the opener - his first since joining
the club from the Gunners.
Simpson, on-loan until the end of the season, collected a pass from Roman
Bednar, swivelled on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed a rasping
20-yard shot into the corner of net.
Posh hit back immediately but George Boyd's shooting was not up to the same
standard and his 25-yard shot was well held by Carson.
Albion's grip on the game forced Posh boss Darren Ferguson into the technical
area in a bid to rally his side.
But they were being thoroughly outclassed by the Premier side who possessed two
quality strikers in Bednar and Simpson.
Peterborough had to rely on goalkeeper Joe Lewis to prevent Bednar from
increasing Albion's lead in the 33rd minute.
The striker weaved his way into the penalty area and was invited to shoot by
Peterborough's back-pedalling defence. The Albion striker seized his opportunity
but Lewis dived low to deny him.
But the second goal, which Albion had threatened since Simpson's opener,
arrived in the 37th minute.
A superb curling cross from the right flank by Kim Do-Heon was met by an
unmarked Robinson at the far post. The Albion defender sent a powerful downward
header into the far corner with Lewis unable to get a hand to it.
But the visitors were fortunate moments later when a corner from Dean Keates
caused confusion in the Peterborough defence and Carson misjudged his attempted
The ball fell to Aaron McLean but referee Andy D'Urso adjudged that the
Peterborough striker had fouled a defender in his bid to head the loose ball
Bednar then squandered a great chance to make it 3-0 in the 41st minute when he
sent his shot over the crossbar from just 12 yards.
Albion continued to dominate after the interval and in the 52nd minute a cross
from Greening was met by Bednar at the near post.
However, the Albion striker's diving header lacked direction and it flew wide
of the target to the relief of Lewis.
Lewis then had to be at his best to deny Filipe Teixeira as Albion increased
The England Under-21 goalkeeper did well to keep out Teixeira's angled drive by
diving to his right.
Peterborough were finding it difficult to take the game to Albion but a cross
from Tom Williams on the hour caused a moment's panic in the visiting defence
before Carson grabbed the ball.
Seconds later a 20-yard shot from Lee was fumbled by Carson as Peterborough
raised their game for the first time in the second half.
Posh, now playing with three in attack, continued their efforts to get back
into the game and Boyd almost put McLean through on goal with a clever reverse
pass into the penalty area.
In the 69th minute, Lee forced Carson to tip the ball over the crossbar with a
deft header but Albion were happy to soak up the pressure.
It was the last real effort from Peterborough who could have fallen further
behind had substitute Craig Beattie not been denied by the diving Lewis with
three minutes left on the clock.
West Brom manager Tony Mowbray was full of praise for Arsenal's rookie Jay
Simpson after the on-loan striker put the Baggies on the way to an FA Cup
fourth-round home tie against Burnley.
Now Mowbray is hoping Simpson can inspire Albion to get away from the foot of
the Premier League.
Mowbray said: "Maybe Jay Simpson's quality and ability to score goals like he
did tonight will help us in the Premier League.
"Our team needs help in the goalscoring department. It needs creativity,
because generally, week-in and week-out, ball retention is not a problem for
"We can control games but if you can't stick the ball in the net you will not
win. Let's hope Jay can do that.
"I saw Jay play against Wigan in the Carling Cup and give them a torrid time.
Arsenal's kids ran them ragged and it was a strong Wigan team.
"Simpson looked such a potent threat and I thought that was something our team
needed. There was an opportunity to bring in a player who wasn't quite ready for
Arsenal. I am delighted they allowed us to take him.
"We saw at The Hawthorns how well Peterborough can play but I don't think they
reached those heights tonight.
"We felt that the first game was their best chance of getting through the tie.
We came here twice last season and won so it held no fears for us."
Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson found it ironic that a player he once
coveted arrived at London Road to dump his side out of the cup.
Ferguson had looked at signing Simpson before he went on loan to Millwall last
season and he echoed Mowbray's assessment of the 20-year-old's performance.
"He is a lad I know well and I watched him for Arsenal a couple of times but
he went to Millwall last season," revealed Ferguson.
"He's a quality player and I thought his first goal showed that. I thought he
was outstanding for them."
"Charlie had a great chance at 0-0 and if he had scored that it would have
given us a platform," rued Ferguson.
"The first goal was always going to be an important one. You don't really want
to chase the game against West Brom.
"When they went in front they took complete control of the game. They killed
it when they scored a second.
"They were always threatening on the break and it is disappointing to go out.
I am disappointed with the manner in which we played in the first half - the
last 30 minutes of it anyway.
"If you continually give the ball away to good players you will get punished
and that is what we did tonight.
"We didn't retain possession well enough. We didn't make the right decisions
and we got punished for it in the end.
"It is no good saying they were a Premier League team, I am not interested in
"We could be playing them in the Championship next season but after tonight we
are well short."