Lack of belief costs Posh points
Peterborough United 0 - 2 West Ham United Both teams were desperate for three points from this match for very different reasons. Posh are trying to secure their survival in the Championship while the Hammers needed the points to help their quest for promotion.
Location: London Road
Date: 27th March, 2012
Posh kicked off proceedings and immediately caused problems for West Ham but the end result was a fairly simple save for former England keeper Rob Green from a Lee Tomlin effort.
A high tempo start to the match was just what Darren Ferguson ordered and Posh were unlucky not to take the lead when an excellent shot by Paul Taylor from 25-yards struck the crossbar after beating Rob Green.
The lively Ricardo Vaz Te had a battle thoughout the match against Tommy Rowe and it was Vaz Te, who scored earlier in the season at London Road for Barnsley, had the first shot for The Iron. Paul Jones got his body behind the ball but he looked very unsure of himself as he gathered the ball at the second opportunity.
Carlton Cole enjoyed an aerial battle with centre back Gaby Zakuani which was fairly even but it was very disappointing to see a player like Cole dive on two occasions in attempt to con the referee into giving a penalty. Similarly, the referee appeared to be Kevin Nolan`s puppet as he gave everything to West Ham that Nolan asked for.
The referee had a poor game as not only was he Nolan`s puppet, he failed to issue yellow cards to Carlton Cole for numerous late (and in some cases dangerous) tackles as well as the unsporting behaviour of the West Ham players each time they scored when they went over to celebrate in front of the Posh fans. Vaz Te and Nolan even made gestures towards the Posh fans!
Mid-way through the first half, West Ham were having slightly more possession compared to the early stages of the match as James Tomkins saw his header go wide following a cross from Mark Noble. Nolan then had a shot deflected wide of the goal after 37 minutes.
On the stroke of half time, Posh should`ve been awarded a penalty when Tommy Rowe was fouled in the area but Nolan`s puppet waved away Posh`s appeals. Posh came desperately close to opening the scoring after that when both Lee Tomlin and George Boyd had golden opportunities to score but their efforts were cleared to safety.
Half-time: Peterborough United 0 - 0 West Ham United
Two changes were made by the visitors at half time with defenders O`Neil and Faye making way for Julian Faubert and James Collins.
The second half started in much the same way as the first half had been played out with both teams going toe-to-toe with each other. However, as we have seen so many times at Posh this season, having failed to score when they have been on top, they then concede a goal and against a team as strong as West Ham, meant it was always going to be difficult.
After 52 minutes, West Ham broke the deadlock after some poor closing down of men on the ball by Posh allowed Matt Taylor to put a ball high towards the back post. Ricardo VAZ TE rose above Rowe to head the ball downwards from a very tight angle towards the opposite corner of the net. Amazingly Jones failed to get anything on the ball and only watched as the ball went past him and into the back of the net.
As soon as the ball had gone in, you could visibly see a number of Posh players deflate as they lost belief in themselves and the team. This then led to a second goal when Grant McCann was unable to control a poor throw from Craig Alcock and Gary O`NEIL snatched the ball away and with all the time in the world and with no Posh player closing him down, he had a dink at goal from 25-yards which should`ve been bread and butter stuff for Jones in goal, but as we`ve seen plenty of times this season, Jones rarely saves shots from distance!
That second goal was a killer for Posh as it signalled a white flag being shown by all the Posh players. Posh reverted to wildly hoofing the ball forwards at times while other times we just couldn`t put any passes together.
West Ham were now full of confidence and with a two goal advantage were relaxed on the ball which saw them play keep ball for long periods.
A major disaster for Posh saw Zakuani go off injured with a back spasm which could mean he misses the forthcoming match against Leicester at the weekend! I bet Fergie is now regretting not getting any cover for centre-back!!
Mark Little came on for Zakuani and went to right back while Alcock moved to centre back. At the same time, Emile Sinclair came on for the disappointing Lee Tomlin.
In a rare attack by Posh, Sinclair played in Frecklington but his shot was somehow diverted for a corner by Green.
The Hammers easily controlled the rest of the game and created a few chances with the most notable being Nolan`s back-flick from the edge of the area which saw the ball crash against the bar with Jones beaten.
In the end, it was a comfortable win for West Ham and an experience that Posh must learn from.
Darren Ferguson should also learn as he replaced Frecklington, who apart from one shot mid-way through the second half, was anonymous for major parts of the half and it was crying out for him to be replaced. But replacing him after 88 minutes of the clock gone! What`s the point??!?
Full-time: Peterborough United 0 - 2 West Ham United
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