A break in rain rescued this match from postponement, but the pitch, which Peterborough boss Barry Fry boasts is ‘the worst in the league,’ looked terrible, a fact likely to trouble Newcastle more than the Second Division side.
Magpies manager Bobby Robson selected as strong a line-up as possible for the FA Cup fourth-round clash, with Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy as usual leading the attack but Kieron Dyer ruled out with a foot injury.
Posh pinned their hopes on leading scorer Leon McKenzie up front alongside Neale Fenn.
The London Road stadium was packed out and tickets had been such a rare commodity that Peterborough’s reserve players were not given a ticket for the game, while youth team players could only get in if they agreed to be ball-boys.
Peterborough: Tyler, Joseph, Rea, Edwards, Williams, Forsyth, Bullard, Farrell, Andy Clarke, Fenn, McKenzie.
Subs: Hooper, Oldfield, Connor, Forinton, Cullen.
Newcastle: Given, Hughes, Distin, O’Brien, Elliott, Bernard, Solano, Acuna, McClen, Shearer, Bellamy.
Subs: Griffin, Harper, Quinn, Ameobi, Kerr.
Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe)