Rovers face a tough test in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup as they travel to on-form Sky Bet League One side Peterborough United.
Posh have enjoyed a strong start to the campaign and currently sit inside the play-off places approaching the half way point of the season.
Like Rovers, they needed a replay to progress to the second round stage and were taken all the way to penalties by Salford City before winning on the 14th spot kick of the shootout.
LAST TIME OUT
Stevenage 2 Peterborough United 2
Sky Bet League One, Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Line up: Bilokapic, Burrows, Knight, Edwards, Kioso, Kyprianou, Collins, Mason-Clark, Randall, Poku, Jade-Jones.
A very familiar face to Rovers fans, former boss Darren Ferguson is currently in his fourth spell as Peterborough United manager and looking to guide Posh to the Championship for a fourth time.
Along with his three promotions at Peterborough, Ferguson also guided Rovers back into League One in 2017 during a three-year spell.
The 51-year-old former Manchester United trainee went into management in 2007 and has also taken charge of Preston North End.
THE KEY MEN
Goalkeeper: Nicholas Bilokapic
After graduating from the Huddersfield Town youth set up in 2021, the Australian managed six appearances for the Terriers before been sent out on a loan spell with Hartlepool United.
He signed for the Posh in the summer and has already played 22 times for his side as well as featuring for Australia U23s.
Defender: Ronnie Edwards
Tipped for a big future in the game, Peterborough boast the services of England U20 captain Ronnie Edwards who won the UEFA EURO U19 championship in Slovakia last year.
He signed from Barnet in 2020 and has since turned out 109 times in the blue shirt to also pick up the club’s player of the year award in 2022.
In the middle: Ephron Mason-Clark
Another player to have come through the ranks at Barnet and make the switch to United is tricky winger Ephron Mason-Clark following his own 2022 move.
He first appeared for Barnet in 2016 and played 174 times for the Bees as well as having a loan spell at Metropolitan Police before joining the Posh and nailing down a spot in Ferguson’s side.
Up top: Jonson Clarke-Harris
Jamaican international, Clarke-Harris has been more than a success for the Posh since joining from Bristol Rovers in 2020.
The early part of his career saw the striker on numerous loan spells but his first prolific stretch came with the Gas in 2019. He was brought in at London Road to fill the shoes of the departing Ivan Toney and has since won a League One promotion with the club as well as the division’s player of the year and two golden boots.
Rovers first met Peterborough in Division Four in the 1960/61 season and fell to a 2-1 defeat in the September of that term. The reverse fixture was played just six days later and Posh completed the double with a 6-2 victory in Cambridgeshire.
United also narrowly lead the head-to-head record with 19 wins in comparison to Rovers’ 16 and the other 12 meetings have ended in draws.
Rovers last success against Posh came on Boxing Day of 2019 as they won 3-0 on the road thanks to a brace from Kieran Sadlier and another goal from Ben Whiteman.
TURNED OUT FOR BOTH
Both clubs enjoyed the services of winger Kieran Sadlier and the Irishman became synonymous with the fixture when he turned out in the red and white.
The West Ham United academy graduate only played 61 minutes on London Road in a 4-1 defeat to Charlton Athletic and left for his homeland in 2015.
After spells with Sligo Rovers and Cork City, Sadlier arrived in South Yorkshire and went on to score 15 times in 59 games – including a couple of great finishes against the Posh both home and away.
He is currently with Wycombe Wanderers after leaving Bolton Wanderers in the summer.
Contributor: Jefferson Hall-Nolan