Date:Tuesday July 16 2013
Peterborough United kicked off their home pre-season with a win over Championship side QPR. What did the fans think about the match though?
Peterborough United 1 - 0 Queens Park Rangers
Location: London Road
Date: 13th July, 2013
It has to be said that this was a typical pre-season match between two sides still finding their feet.
Posh had only two matches under their belt before this match while QPR had only played their first match of pre-season at Exeter on the Thursday before!
Results-wise, pre-season matches don`t count for much other than pride and to build a bit of confidence but it gives teams a chance to build up players match fitness and to try out their tactics. Posh looked like they were ahead of QPR in their preparations and there were some good displays from the likes of Grant McCann, Kgosi Ntlhe and the transfer listed Danny Kearns, who earned the sponsors man of the match accolade.
Posh had plenty of the ball and kept their visitors very quiet which must`ve been worrying for manager Harry Redknapp, who was watching from the stand, and Steve McLaren. QPR had former England forwards Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora paired up front but the Posh back four of Ntlhe, Knight-Percival, Bostwick and Alcock easily coped with whatever they tried. In fact, the Posh defensive unit were so effective that goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik had very little to do…I can`t even remember him having to make a save!! That can`t be said of Joe Day who replaced Olejnik at half time.
After the mass of changes by Posh on the hour mark, QPR started to press more which isn`t too surprising as three of the Posh back four were teenagers, but they coped really well.
Michael Richens [pictured below] looks to be a very capable under-study to Alcock and could even start challenging him for the right-back position if he can get a few games under his belt.
Peter Grant was out injured for virtually all of last season but he stood up to the task well. He played a number of long balls to the front men with differing results.
Kgosi Ntlhe was the only player for Posh who played the whole 90 minutes and he certainly looks to have gotten over his injury from last season. On the odd occasion he was caught out, his speed allowed him to regain position and make the tackle. It should be a very promising season ahead for the teenage South African.
Now back to Joe Day [pictured below]. Many fans around me were worried that any time the ball was fired goal wards, it would cause panic and possibly result in a goal for the opposition. Despite the nervousness amongst the fans, Day coped admirably and in fact produced two stunning saves! Maybe we won`t have to worry if Day has to replace Olejnik at any point in the season.
If we can be critical of anything, it would be that Posh lacked a cutting edge up front. Lee Tomlin was mysteriously missing from the line-up which caused wild-fire worry that he was next to be leaving London Road, but he was sat behind the bench during the match after he picked up an injury late last week. Shaun Brisley was another injury victim who was sat alongside him. With Tomlin`s absence from the side combined with the sale of star striker Dwight Gayle it meant Posh had to rely on a French trialist (who has mainly played on the wing or in midfield throughout his career!!) and three transfer listed forwards.
Tyrone Barnett was given the nod to play alongside trialist Lasimant and in truth, he did put in a certain amount of effort and won numerous headers. Lasimant on the otherhand is not what we are looking for as he couldn`t grasp the concept of how to play as a forward and I doubt he will be at London Road for much longer (that`s if he`s still there!).
Nicky Ajose and Emile Sinclair came on for the final 30 minutes of the match and while Ajose was constantly looking for the ball as he kept dropping into midfield or making runs further forward, Sinclair was a total waste of space. He even had the cheek to claim the goal which I`m sure had crossed the line before he got a touch on it! The sooner we can get rid of Sinclair the better!
Posh need to step up their search for Gayle`s replacement as we certainly don`t have anyone (of the senior members of the squad) who can fill Gayle`s boots. Whether the likes of Shaq McDonald or Jaanai Gordon-Hutton can eventually become a permanent fixture, only time will tell, but we need to find someone who can hit the ground running…and put the ball in the back of the net.
We should get another glimpse of these young forwards as they are expected to get a good run out against Mansfield on Wednesday.
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Date:Tuesday July 16 2013
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