JON WORTHINGTON sealed a welcome first home win of the season and then backed Town's battery of strikers to fire them up the table.
Played through by Pawel Abbott just moments after a miraculous double escape for Town, the strong-running midfielder finished with a crisp low shot of which the injured Andy Booth would have been rightly proud.
It was Worthington's first goal in almost eight months and gave Peter Jackson's side the points after a Curtis Woodhouse penalty had wiped out John McAliskey's 16th-minute opener.
"Scoring a couple of goals will give us a massive lift in confidence ," said Worthington, who helped Town pick it up a gear in the second half.
"It was frustrating to go four games without scoring and, while you can understand the fans being on edge, it was never going to be a massive problem for us with the strikers we've got.
"Everyone is pleased we've got a home win under our belts and hopefully we can now build on this and get a run going.
"Expectations are high because we've just won in Cardiff and people want us to do the same this season, but if everyone is patient then I'm confident we can do well again."
Worthington lost regular partner Tony Carss to injury with just half an hour on the clock, giving Lee Fowler the chance to orchestrate the win and impress in his first appearance of the campaign.
"Lee did very well and probably freed me a bit more to get forward," added Worthington.
"I have been feeling stronger these last couple of games but, before this, I probably haven't been getting forward and getting in the box as much as maybe I should have.
"Peterborough made it hard and I gambled on one or two things before Pav's pass just fell nicely and I finished it off with my left foot.
"I'm hoping to get my share of goals this season and hopefully help the lads a bit more up front."
Booth's absence allowed Jackson to field a third striker permutation of the season with McAliskey stepping in alongside Abbott, who caught the eye with his strength, ingenuity and clever creativity to keep Posh on their toes.
After an initial flick by McAliskey, it was Abbott's brilliant pass to Rob Edwards which split the visitors' defence for the opener, McAliskey netting at the second attempt with a pack of defenders on the line.
There were a couple of uncertain punches from Ian Gray, but Town were pretty comfortable until stoppage time at the half, when Peterborough forced a string of corners and earned a ludicrous penalty from referee Tony Leake, who had an awful match.
He punished Efe Sodje for the sort of jostling you see every week, possibly balancing things up for missing an earlier handball by Chris Brandon, but he missed an obvious push on Abbott in the box and various other offences.
Town were hurt by Woodhouse's successful spot kick and it showed as Simon Rea hit Gray's bar on 48 minutes and, from the follow-up, impressive Nathan Clarke cleared off the line from Clive Platt's goalbound header.
It was a last hurrah for Barry Fry's battlers and, after Worthington's strike, Abbott, Brandon (twice) and McAliskey went close.
Not the greatest Town display, but a very much needed win.
Next page: Man of the Match >>>
MAN OF THE MATCH: Pawel Abbott
CREATIVE and full of tricks, he gave the Peterborough defence plenty to think about and Town's fans plenty to cheer. Strong, crafty and effective, he led the line superbly
HOW THEY RATED: Ian Gray Made a couple of unconvincing punches and got help from the bar and Clarke when under pressure Rating: 6/10
Andy Holdsworth Another decent display but had to be wary of Legg and Kennedy on the lefthand side, especially in the first half Rating: 6/10
Rob Edwards Superb run to meet Abbott's pass before laying on the opener for McAliskey. Did well on the ball throughout Rating: 7/10
Nathan Clarke Contender for the top mark with a series of excellent clearing headers, his best off the line from Platt (48 mins) Rating: 7/10
Efe Sodje He will be redundant fast if referees keep punishing him for the soft sort of penalty he conceded on Saturday Rating: 6/10
David Mirfin Like his colleagues, found the Posh strikers a handful but battled hard and didn't give them a free shot Rating: 6/10
Tony Carss It was evident from his quietness that he was struggling with injury. His replacement Lee Fowler had a fine game Rating: 5/10
Jon Worthington Took the sponsors man of the match award with his fine winning goal, his first since the winner at Cambridge in January Rating: 7/10
Chris Brandon Saw his best shot well saved by Tyler in the second half. Another lively display and got in promising positions Rating: 6/10
Pawel Abbott Had a big part to play in both goals and supplied quality passes and fluent link play all through. Excellent Rating: 8/10
John McAliskey Not the new Jon Stead, just the first Macca! In for the injured Booth, he took only 15 minutes to break Town's goal duck Rating: 7/10
Verdict on the ref:
BOOED off the pitch at the end, Tony Leake had a big smile on his face but I don't know why because he had an awful game.
Posh got a penalty for the sort of pushing and shoving you see at every corner, and you had to wonder if the handball by Chris Brandon in the box immediately beforehand, which the Lancashire official also missed, didn't have something to do with it.
Mr Leake then twice missed clear tugs on Pawel Abbott in the box in the second half. Some of the free kicks he awarded were bizarre to say the least
Peterborough Utd: Tyler, Legg (Farrell 70), Rea, Woodhouse, Platt, Newton, Constantine (A Clarke 70), Willock (Jenkins HT), Sonner, Ireland, Kennedy.
Subs not used: St Ledger, Thomson.