Injury mars first pre-season win for Posh
Peterborough United left-back Tommy Rowe suffered a serious looking shoulder injury in last nights friendly win over St Neots.
Going into their second pre-season game of the season, Peterborough United were looking for an improvement on their performance following Saturdays narrow 1-0 defeat to Crawley Town.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson had again lined up a different side to play each half with the exception of goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik. Youngster Dan Lawlor was also given 90 minutes in which he impressed onlookers.
The game started off slowly once again with both sides creating half chances but it was the hosts who should`ve taken the lead in the first half. A foul by Nat Knight-Percival gave the Saints the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot but Stefan Moore, a player who was offered to one time Posh boss Steve Bleasdale in the infamous Big Ron series, tried to do a Pirlo-style chip but saw the ball sail over the bar!
Moments later, Posh had taken the lead with a pull back from Paul Taylor to Lee FRECKLINGTON, which allowed the midfielder to curl his effort into the net.
Frecklington had a number of efforts in the first half as did striker Paul Taylor and the impressive youngster Lawlor.
Half-time: St Neots 0 - 1 Peterborough United
Posh introduced nine players at the start of the second half which turned out to be a much livelier affair.
Danny Swanson combined really well with George Boyd and Tyrone Barnett throughout the second half as Posh upped the tempo.
Young right-back Michael Richens also demonstrated his massive prospects by having a storming game.
However, just ten minutes into the second half, Tommy Rowe fell awkwardly on his shoulder. A makeshift sling assisted Rowe who may have suffered a suspected broken collar bone. More will be known later today after he has a scan on his injury but it is expected he will be out for six weeks!
The injury to Rowe will be a massive blow to Posh as Rowe was seen as the main left-back for the forthcoming season. Posh only have rookie youngster Kgosi Ntlhe, who played in the first half, as the only other recognised left-back at the club. It was another youngster who came on for his debut in place of Rowe. James Sage only signed his first professional contract at the back-end of April agreeing a two-year deal.
Despite the injury to Rowe which meant two rookies were now playing in the back four, Posh kicked on and finally showed their superiority.
The impressive Swanson, provided a pinpoint cross for Tyrone BARNETT to head in goal number two for Posh.
With the upped tempo and that second goal, Posh started to dominate and soon afterwards, Posh claimed goal number 3 which was the pick of the bunch. Dan Lawlor found George Boyd with a neat pass before another inch-perfect cross found BARNETT for his 2nd goal of the night.
Goal number four nearly came from the foot of Swanson but his shot from the edge of the area cannoned off the underside of the bar. Kearns was also showing good skill and provided some very good crosses.
When the fourth goal came, it was from the unlikely source of youngster Michael RICHENS! The right-back tricked his way into the box before unleashing a shot that went just inside the post. With regular right-back Craig Alcock looking on from the stands as he recovers from a slight knock, he could only have been impressed by the youngster.
Poshs million pound striker Tyrone BARNETT claimed his hattrick following another quality cross from Swanson before wrapping up the scoring as he converted a Boyd cross.
Peterborough referee Kevin Wright blew the final whistle moments later bringing the game to an end.
Full-time: St Neots 0 - 6 Peterborough United
St Neots: Jack Giddins, Ricky Bryan, Declan Rogers, Adrian Sear, Jordan Gent, Nathan Perschte, Lewis Hilliard, Charlie Dove, Stefan Moore, Jack Werdley, Kyle Accente, Callum Stewart, Chae Simons, Chris Manangu, Kaine Felix, Layne Eadie.
Posh 1st Half: Olejnik, Little, Zakuani, Knight-Percival, Nthle, Lawlor, Frecklington, McCann, Newell, Tomlin, Taylor.
Posh 2nd Half: Olejnik, Richens, Brisley, Grant, Rowe (sub Sage), Kearns, Lawlor, Bostwick, Boyd, Swanson, Barnett.
Goals: Posh - Frecklington (43 mins), Barnett (51 mins, 67 mins, 86 mins & 89 mins), Richens (79 mins),
This was another match where fitness was the main aim and despite the disappointing first half performance, the second half performance showed the gulf in class between these two sides.
With four youngsters all playing plus Joe Newell who is also still a teenager, the future of Posh looks rosy. If they can progress as many at the club expect and pick up vital first team experience, we could be looking at five potential former Posh academy players playing regularly for Posh in the forthcoming seasons. Add to the likes of Jaanai Gordon-Hutton, Levi Wright and Charlie Coulson, we could end up with nearly a whole team!
Looking at the present though, Posh look to have picked up a bargain in Danny Swanson. His passing and crossing will be vital for Posh this season. Of course there are still doubts over the futures of George Boyd and Paul Taylor, but the incoming players have shown they have the ability to take Posh to the next stage.
We shouldn`t get carried away over this result though. We have seen plenty of times in the past where Posh have done well in pre-season only to have a disastrous season.
St Neots are a club on the up, but they are a long way off the standard Posh will play against week in week out. Saturday`s game against Premiership Norwich City should give us a better idea as to how our pre-season preparations are going but whatever the outcome, it is a "work in progress" with the aim of being ready for the opening game of the season.
UP THE POSH!
Follow me on Twitter: @mwl1967
Photos courtesy of www.theposhpics.com
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