Match Report – by Terry Oakley
Peterborough versus Middlesbrough
11th March 2023 at Bushfields Leisure Centre, Peterborough
Anthony Williams (Goalkeeper)
Michael Carter (Captain)
Tyler Salmon (Goalkeeper)
Nick Wood (Goalkeeper)
Luke Pickering (Captain)
Callum Henfrey (Goalkeeper)
Referees:- D.Bell and B.Sosa.
As with all of the Premiership matches played at Peterborough this season the start of play was fast and frantic with both teams hitting hard shots which were well dealt with by both goalkeepers. Jake Reed fastened onto a loose pass across the rink and his interception took him on a one on one situation with Mick Wood in the Middlesbrough goal. Nick held his nerve and made a fine save from the flick shot. It was then Michael Carter’s turn to test the Middlesbrough goalie and his fine slapshot looked in all the way only for the ball to strike the post and deflect away to safety. However, on the next attack it would be Peterborough’s opportunity to open the scoring. Jake Reed hit one of his trademark slapshots which was well saved by the Middlesbrough goalie but the rebound was quickly snapped up by Harry Hillam and he placed his flick shot over the diving Nick Wood in goal.
Peterborough 1 Middlesbrough 0.
The play was fairly even with both teams searching for openings. That opportunity arrived when Josh Aaltonen charged down a Middlesbrough shot in front of his own goal and quickly advanced up the rink, without any challenge being placed on him, and he hit a fine slapshot which was deflected by a Middlesbrough player on it’s way into the net. Peterborough 2 Middlesbrough 0.
Peterborough now had “their tails up” and continued to press forward searching for more goals. It duly came when James Berry made a fast break down the Middlesbrough left which created a two on one situation with one Middlesbrough defender and his timely pass found Michael Carter in space and he calmly placed his flick shot over the diving Middlesbrough keeper. Peterborough 3 Middlesbrough 0.
Half Time Peterborough 3 Middlesbrough 0.
Things certainly started to liven up after the break with seven goals being scored in the second half. Middlesbrough increased the intensity of their game and were rewarded by scoring three goals.
But it would be Peterborough who extended their lead further. Within one minute of the start of the second half Josh Aaltonen was allowed space on the half way line to advance forward and he took full advantage of that freedom to hit an excellent slapshot into the top right hand corner of the Middlesbrough goal. Peterborough 4 Middlesbrough 0.
Middlesbrough refused to capitulate and their passioned play was rewarded when the ever alert Harry Pickering quickly turned on a loose ball in front of the Peterborough goal and even though his shot was not struck with force the ball managed to squirm under the body of Anthony Williams and into the net. Peterborough 4 Middlesbrough 1.
Peterborough’s movement off the ball continued to trouble the Middlesbrough defence. From a move down the right James Berry found himself trapped in the corner of the rink by a Middlesbrough player but somehow he managed to get a pass away to Jake Reed lurking behind the Middlesbrough goal. Amazingly he was allowed to control the ball and advance around the front of the goal and spin quickly to get his shot on target which seemed to catch the goalkeeper unaware at the near post for another Peterborough goal.
Peterborough 5 Middlesbrough 1.
This game was fast and competitive with both teams giving their all. However, the high number of team fouls awarded by the referees was definitely not a reflection of the play from both teams’. So it transpired that the tenth Peterborough team foul was conceded and a direct shot was awarded. Megan Todd stepped forward to take the direct but, unfortunately for her, she missed the goal and the ball was cleared to safety.
That miss proved to be costly as Peterborough took full advantage. Jake Reed won a tackle in front of his own goal and he sprinted forward, unopposed, and hit a fine slapshot past the hapless Middlesbrough goalie. Peterborough 6 Middlesbrough 1.
Middlesbrough were not to be denied another goal and so it proved when George Redpath won a tackle midway inside his own half and he sprinted forward and placed a fine flick shot into the top left hand corner of the Peterborough net. Peterborough 6 Middlesbrough 2.
The seventh Peterborough goal was an unusual one. A deflected shot from Harry Pickering struck the ceiling of the sports hall. This meant that the referee pointed to “two sticks” in the centre circle. Josh Aaltonen contested the two sticks and won the ball from his opponent and advanced unchecked onto the Middlesbrough goal. He placed an accurate flick shot into the top right hand corner of the Middlesbrough goal. Peterborough 7 Middlesbrough 2.
The Middlesbrough number 23, Harry Pickering, was a constant threat to the Peterborough defence all through this match and you could see why he is Middlesbrough’s top goal scorer. Another fast break forward down the right by Harry saw him plant an excellent flick shot, from distance, into the top left hand corner of the Peterborough net. Peterborough 7 Middlesbrough 3.
Full Time:- Peterborough 7 Middlesbrough 3.
Arthur Corr’s (Peterborough’s Coach) Man of the Match:- Anthony Williams - Peterborough. Anthony stood up well to everything that Middlesbrough threw at him. He made crucial saves at important times during this match which allowed his team mates to press forward with confidence knowing that he was in good form behind them.
At the beginning of this season Peterborough took a big gamble by deciding to enter their youngest ever squad into two senior leagues (Premier League and EC1 League). The previous season’s senior squad had all retired from the sport and stopped playing. Half of this new young squad were 16 years of age or under when they took to the rink for their first games this season!
How would they fair, particularly playing in the Premier League, against the best teams and players in the country?
Yes it was a BIG gamble but they did the Club proud! They have now finished in the top six of the Premier League after completing their twelve first phase matches.
Michael Carter (the old head now in this squad at 28 years of age) came back from roller hockey retirement to play again in the last five games of the first phase matches. He added calmness and leadership qualities to this squad and the young players all responded to his on rink guidance during these crucial final matches.
They now can look forward to “crossing swords” again with the top teams in the country (the top six teams now play against one another to decide who will be the Premier League Champions) and hopefully continue their development through the remainder of this season.