Tranmere Rovers 0 - Peterborough United 5

TRANMERE's hopes of causing an FA Cup giant killing are over for another year after they were spanked 5-0 by Peterborough United in a first round replay at Prenton Park.

Danny Lloyd put Posh two up, before Rovers' midfielder Jay Harris saw a straight red for a lunge on Marcus Maddison with only 25 minutes gone.

The hosts rallied after the break but could not cope with United's superiority as Lloyd completed his hat-trick in-between goals from Jack Baldwin and a Maddison penalty.

In front of charged up Bebington Kop, Posh had the first chance of the night when Lloyd headed Baldwin’s cross comfortably wide.

Michael Doughty found himself in the book early doors for a late challenge on Connor Jennings but from the resultant free kick, Liam Ridehalgh could only curl his left footed effort into the hands of Connor O'Malley.

United took the lead just past the quarter of an hour mark when a suicidal back pass from Jay McEveley went straight to Lloyd, who skipped past Davies before knocking into an empty net.

The visitors should have doubled that lead moments later when the silky Maddison crossed for Lloyd but his time his downward header went over the bar.

But in the 22nd minute they did get a second when Steven Taylor knocked Maddison’s corner back across goal and Lloyd was on hand to smash home goal number two.

The hosts lost all control of the contest and on 25 minutes Jay Harris saw a straight red for a vicious looking challenge on Maddison.

Boasting a one-man advantage, United were able to control the game, with Davies forced to deny Jack Marriott twice in as many minutes.

The League One side toyed with their opponent like a cat with a half-dead mouse.

Davies spilled an edge-of-the-box strike from Anthony Grant wide, as the visitors attacked when they felt like it.

Tranmere finally achieved another shot on target when Ridehalgh forced a low easy save out of O'Malley from distance, but by half-time the writing was on the wall.

Peterborough picked up where they left off after the break, with Maddison firing Marriott's pullback just wide of the post, before the latter ballooned another effort over the bar moments later.

To their credit Rovers responded, backed by a noisy home support.

James Norwood had the ball in the net in the 53rd minute but it was pulled back for a free kick on the edge of the Dee, which was curled over by substitute Adam Buxton.

A low side foot effort from Jennings was palmed away by O'Malley as the hosts started to throw caution to the wind.

United were always a danger on the break and Maddison drilled a low one from 25 yards at Davies, before sending a free kick from the edge of the box over the bar.

Tranmere rallied with a succession of corners. Gerry McDonagh headed a cross from Jennings straight at O'Malley before leaving the field for Andy Cook.

But Cook hadn't even touched the ball before Posh extended their lead in the 67th minute.

A free kick in the middle of the park was poorly defended and Baldwin was able to head home from close range, effectively ending the contest.

With central midfield preservation very much in mind, the struggling Ollie Norburn was removed from play for Larnell Cole.

Immediately Posh had a fourth when Davies failed to hold another free kick and Lloyd was able to fire home for his treble.

That quickly became five when hapless Davies conceded a penalty and the classy Maddison converted from the spot.

This was a harsh lesson for Tranmere, who saw all their hard work from the first encounter between these two sides come to nothing.

But Rovers' supporters will be more concerned with the dismissal of Harris who will now likely miss the next three National League matches at a time when central midfielders are becoming an endangered species at Prenton Park.

Manager Micky Mellon said afterwards: "I'm not going to make excuses and say that we weren't well beaten in the end, but possibly everything that could go against us did this evening.

"The one big thing that has come out of it is that the boys kept fighting and showed a lot of spirit, but you know the quality of these teams when they come here – it's as difficult enough as task as it is – but when you go down to ten men it makes it even more difficult.

"And then some of the goals that we gave away are just not like us.

"Too many from set plays, too many giveaways, but I don't want that to overshadow that they came out and gave it a right good go.

"They weren't lacking in that department.

"The first 10 or 15 minutes and standing here and I'm thinking we look ok here, but when we contributed to our own downfall with a few individual errors and losing a goal from a set play and a second phase, which is really not like us.

"But they've played with 10 men for 75 minutes and gave us everything that they had."

Match stats:

Tranmere Rovers 0 Peterborough United 5

Lloyd 16, 22, 73, Baldwin 67, Maddison 75 (pen).

Referee: Michael Salisbury 7/10

Attendance: 4,199

Match rating 2/5 Star man: Adam Buxton (Tranmere defender)

Tranmere: (3-4-3): Davies, Sutton, McNulty, McEveley (Buxton 46), Mottley-Henry, Harris, Norburn (Cole 73), Ridehalgh; Norwood, McDonagh (Cook 67), Jennings Subs not used: Pilling, Rokka, Drysdale, Solomon-Davies

Peterborough: (4-2-3-1): O’Malley, Hughes, Tafazoli (Forrester 77), Baldwin, Lloyd, Maddison, Marriott (Kanu 69), Da Silva Lopes, Doughty (Anderson 68), Taylor, Grant Subs not used: Bond, Penny, Chettle, Cartwright

Rovers National League campaign continues on Saturday with an away game against Gateshead (3pm).