Peterborough Matches - Tournament Report – by Terry Oakley
Eastern Counties Under 20’s
1st Match - Letchworth versus Peterborough
After an even first half Peterborough just edged possession and at half time it was 0-0. Peterborough stepped up their play in the second half and dominated ball possession but could not find a way past the well drilled diamond defensive formation that was Letchworth’s game plan. The deadlock was finally broken with two minutes remaining when Declan Lander hit a fine reverse slapshot into the Letchworth net. Letchworth 0 Peterborough 1.
So it proved again that Peterborough switch off their concentration after scoring a goal and a mistake on the half way line allowed two Letchworth players to advance on the Peterborough goal and, with one minute remaining on the clock, Sasha Aitken swept the ball home for the equaliser. Letchworth 1 Peterborough 1 – Full Time Score.
This was a spirited performance by Letchworth who stuck to their game plan and were rewarded right at the end of the match. Their delight, as a Team, for gaining this result was plain to see as they celebrated loudly and jubilantly.
2nd Match – Cottenham versus Peterborough.
Two equally matched sides started this game at fast pace. After 3 minutes Jenson Richards found himself in space and duly despatched his shot into the Peterborough net. Cottenham 1 Peterborough 0.
Peterborough quickly replied with a fast break down the left but Luca Oakley’s shot struck the Cottenham cross bar and was cleared to safety. The next action saw Connor Adams strike a hard slapshot that appeared to strike Harry Hillam on the head. All of the Peterborough players stopped expecting a referee’s whistle to be blown but that did not include Jensen Richards who calmly tapped home the stationary ball for Cottenham’s second goal. Cottenham 2 Peterborough 0.
A fine move involving Harry Hillam and Declan Lander resulted in Declan’s reverse slapshot finding the corner of the Cottenham net. Cottenham 2 Peterborough 1.
A fast sweeping move forward by Cottenham resulted in Declan Lander being penalised for a kicking infringement in the Peterborough penalty area resulting in a penalty being awarded. Connor Adams duly struck home a fine penalty shot just before half time. Cottenham 3 Peterborough 1.
Peterborough started the second half with a lot more purpose than they showed in the first period. A fine run by Josh Aaltonen resulted in him hitting an excellent reverse slapshot into the Cottenham goal. Cottenham 3 Peterborough 2.
Almost immediately after that last action Peterborough drew level. An amazing run by Declan Lander down the left of the Cottenham defence culminated in him juggling the ball on his elevated stick four times before cleverly planting the ball into the net over the Cottenham goalie’s head....a wonderful goal to see! Cottenham 3 Peterborough 3.
At this stage of the match Peterborough clearly held the momentum. However, the next Peterborough attack proved to be the turning point in this match. Luca Oakley made a fine run down the Cottenham left sided defence and after beating two players hit a fine flick shot into the net. The goal was disallowed by the referee who claimed that Peterborough had gone past the 45 seconds time restriction on making a goal attempt. However, on checking the video evidence on this incident it was clearly seen that Peterborough had taken possession of the ball for 30 seconds before the goal was scored rather than 45 seconds as the referee has stipulated or so we believed. After consultation with the Referee days after the incident it has been established that the 45 second count was started at the point, we collected the ball at 4.17 to go in the game and even though there was an incident in the corner and a free hit being awarded the clock would not be reset as Peterborough still had possession of the ball. Our understanding was that the clock would restart at this incident with 3.50 on the clock so that is why in the report we thought we had sufficient evidence that the goal should have stood.
This moment clearly deflated the Peterborough players and two minutes later Jensen Richards was taken down in the penalty area and a penalty was awarded. Connor Adams stepped forward and struck a fine shot into the Peterborough net. Cottenham 4 Peterborough 3 – Full Time Score.
3rd Match – Middlesbrough versus Peterborough.
Within the first minute of this match a mistake by Peterborough allowed Zak Osborne to sweep home his shot for Middlesbrough to take the lead. Middlesbrough 1 Peterborough 0.
Another good break by Declan Lander into the heart of the Middlesbrough defence resulted in him placing a delicate flick shot into the top corner of the net. Middlesbrough 1 Peterborough 1.
The next action was a blue card incident when Milo Carter was hooked by the Middlesbrough player, Sammy Johnson. Josh Aaltonen stepped forward to carefully place the direct shot beyond the diving goalkeeper. Middlesbrough 1 Peterborough 2.
Again, Peterborough fatally switched off their concentration after scoring a goal and in quick succession they allowed Middlesbrough players, twice, to be free and unmarked in front of the Peterborough goal for goals from Zak Osborne and William Czifra. Middlesbrough 3 Peterborough 2.
Clearly frustrated with how the game had now swung towards Middlesbrough, Peterborough adopted a couple of “strong arm” tactics and from one of those Josh Aaltonen body checked Sammy Johnson for a blue card. Luke Donovan cleverly tucked away the resultant direct shot. Middlesbrough 4 Peterborough 2 – Full Time Score.
Well, these Peterborough matches were such a “far cry” away from the Peterborough matches we have watched them play recently in the Premier League! Competing in this Under 20’s competition will mean that they need to stop the silly mistakes that repeatedly get punished by their opponents. They also need to refocus their concentration after scoring goals themselves as they allow their opponents to immediately hit back at them. They need to regroup and consider their performances in readiness for a tricky Premier League match against Plymouth next Saturday.