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No Peterborough FA Cup surprise at Chelsea

Chelsea & Peterborough United's players line up ahead of their FA Cup 3rd Round tie Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

League One Peterborough United couldn't produce an FA Cup shock at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

First half goals from Pedro and Michy Batshuayi gave Posh the proverbial mountain to climb at Stamford Bridge, a task which got tougher when Willian made it 3-0 after the break.

Chelsea had John Terry sent off before Tom Nichols gave Posh fans something to cheer by scoring with 20 minutes left.

But Pedro ended any hopes of a dramatic comeback by scoring his second and Chelsea's 4th.

Peterborough supporters watching the FA Cup tie with Chelsea on a big screen at the ABAX Stadium Credit: ITV Anglia

Around 6,000 Peterborough supporters watched the game in West London, while many more followed the action on a big screen at their home ground the ABAX Stadium.

Posh fans head to Stamford Bridge

Peterborough United fans ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge Credit: ITV Anglia

Peterborough United supporters were in optimistic mood as they dreamed of an Emirates FA Cup upset at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Posh will have around six thousand fans at Stamford Bridge plus many at their own ground, the ABAX Stadium, watching the Third Round contest on a big screen.

A fleet of coaches took a large proportion of Peterborough's travelling support to West London at mid-morning.

Coaches ready to take Posh fans to Chelsea Credit: ITV Anglia

Although Peterborough have lost both their previous FA Cup encounters against Chelsea - conceding five goals on each occasion - followers of the League One promotion chasers are determined to enjoy their day out in West London.

And many have the same hope as the club's Director of Football, Barry Fry- to hold Chelsea to a draw and earn a money-spinning replay at home.

"I've been in football for 56 years and it's the first time I'm going and wanting a draw. I've never wanted a draw. But this one, it would be lovely to get them back at our place."

– Barry Fry, Peterborough United's Director of Football

Peterborough's Barry Fry talks about his hopes for their FA Cup game at Chelsea.

Peterborough fans give their pre-match verdicts before setting off to Stamford Bridge


Luton Town sign midfielder D'Ath from Northampton

Luton Town sign Northampton Town midfielder Credit: Luton Town FC

Luton Town have signed midfielder Lawson D'Ath for an undisclosed fee from League One side Northampton Town.

The 24-year-old has agreed an 18-month contract with the Hatters, following two-and-a-half seasons at Sixfields.

The former Reading player helped the Cobblers win promotion last season, scoring four times for the club.

Manager Nathan Jones told the official Hatters website, "He is a player I know very well; a young player but with real good League experience, including a promotion last year with Northampton. He’ll add real quality and energy to our squad, and we’ve managed to sign him on what could turn out to be a two-and-a-half year contract.”

Colchester United boss McGreal wins Manager of the Month

U's boss John McGreal has been named League Two Manager of the Month for December. Credit: PA

Colchester United's manager John McGreal has been named League Two Manager of the Month for December.

The U's ended the month unbeaten to lift themselves to just outside the play-offs having earlier been fighting relegation.

McGreal saw off competition from Cambridge United's Shaun Derry, Gareth Ainsworth at Wycombe Wanderers and Exeter City's Paul Tisdale.

He says the award is down to a team effort.

It’s very flattering to receive the award...but the credit must go to the players for the way they’ve adapted to what we’ve asked them to do.

We’ve changed the system, had players come back from injury and the whole squad has had the belief and talent to go out there and perform.

Even during the run without winning, they believed in themselves and the results in December were a reward for their hard work and application.

They’ve shown what they are capable of and we all want to continue December’s form into the New Year and the second half of the season.

– John McGreal, Colchester United manager

Hitchin boss 'disgusted' by tweets sent to Harry Arter

Hitchin Town manager Mark Burke has backed the club's decision to sack young player Alfie Barker after he sent offensive tweets to Bournemouth's Harry Arter about his stillborn daughter.

The tweets were posted by Barker during the Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Arsenal last night.

Barker wrote: "Big hype just for a disappointment like the nine months leading up to your child's birth."

Hitchin have now ended their association with the player.

I was disgusted, we can't have people with those views representing Hitchin Town Football Club.

I feel very sorry for Harry Arter and no one should go through that.

It's disgraceful what's happened.

– Mark Burke, Hitchin Town manager


Ipswich Town's Varney joins Burton Albion

Luke Varney is on the move. Credit: PA

Ipswich Town striker Luke Varney has joined fellow Championship side Burton Albion after his contract at Portman Road was cancelled.

The 34-year-old re-signed for Ipswich this summer, after initially being released.

Varney has agreed an 18-month deal at the Pirelli Stadium and could make his debut in the FA Cup at Watford this weekend.

I have finished on a good note at all my clubs but Ipswich will always stay close to my heart.

They looked after me after a serious injury, the fans have been great with me and there's a great group of lads there as well. It was difficult to leave but a new challenge will keep me hungry going forward.

Once I made it aware that I wasn’t going to be staying at Ipswich it was a bit of a risk me playing in the cup for them this weekend, with my contract ending a couple of days later, so I’m thankful to the club and the manager, Mick McCarthy, in letting me come out of it a bit early so I could get this move sorted.

It's a deal that allows me to move back home closer to my family, although I do so with a heavy heart.

I have nothing but good things to say about the club and all the people at Ipswich. I loved my time there and I wish them all the best for the future.

– Luke Varney, Burton Albion

Hitchin Town sack player who sent vile tweets to Prem star

Hitchin Town FC in Hertfordshire. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hitchin Town have confirmed they have sacked one of their players after he sent a series of abusive tweets to Premier League star Harry Arter mocking the death of his baby daughter.

Alfie Barker posted the tweets during the 3-3 draw between Bournemouth and Arsenal last night.

The match saw Bournemouth throw away a 3-0 lead, which prompted Barker to write a message to Arter saying: "at least you didn't lose your kid."

Barker has recently been on loan at Codicote, but parent club Hitchin have now decided to terminate his registration with immediate effect in light of the comments.

Alfie Barker was registered to play for Hitchin Town in the Southern League and has appeared only briefly for the club in the 2016-17 season. He has been playing at Langford and Codicote on a dual registration basis.

The club adopts a responsible approach to social media and would expect any player connected to Hitchin Town to do likewise.

In the light of the player’s irresponsible and anti-social behaviour, we are terminating Alfie Barker’s registration and relationship with the club with immediate effect.

We would reiterate that Hitchin Town, as a community club with established links with various segments of the public, has been a long-time user of social media channels and expects all club stakeholders to use them appropriately.

– Hitchin Town statement

Loan club Codicote have also ended any association with the player.

"We would like to make it clear that Codicote FC cannot and will not tolerate this behaviour; we have a responsibility to our community, supporters and the Football family to stamp this behaviour out," they said in a statement.

Jones backs McGeehan to come back 'better than ever'

McGeehan broke his leg at Portsmouth. Credit: PA

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones has backed midfielder Cameron McGeehan to come back "better than ever" after he suffered a broken leg in the recent game at Portsmouth.

The 21-year-old suffered the injury at Fratton Park in Monday's 1-0 defeat and was booked by the referee for punching the floor in pain.

McGeehan will undergo surgery once the swelling has gone down and is likely to be out of action for a number of months.

Cameron’s picked up a relatively bad injury that’s going to keep him out for a number of months.

We don’t know how long until the surgeon completes the operation, but as soon as it has been done we’ll have a clearer picture of timescale and rehabilitation.

What we do know from Cam though is that he’s strong, he’s driven, he’s a young, super-fit athlete and that gives him every chance to come back better than ever.

– Nathan Jones, Luton Town manager
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