POSH REPORT: Oldham 1 Peterborough United 5: Can we do it? Yes we McCann

Souleymane Coulibaly celebrates a goal at Oldham with his trademark somersault: Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Souleymane Coulibaly celebrates a goal at Oldham with his trademark somersault: Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

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This managerial lark must seem easy to Grant McCann.

In his first match as Peterborough United’s caretaker-manager he hands striker Lee Angol his debut and brings midfield play-maker Erhun Oztumer in from the cold for his first appearance of the season.

Posh captain  Ben Alnwick is thrilled with a first away of the season. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh captain Ben Alnwick is thrilled with a first away of the season. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Oztumer starts a move which sees Angol score, then Angol sets up Oztumer to make it 2-0.

Angol’s strike partner Souleymane Coulibaly is brought back into the side and scores twice.

Angol then scores again.

If McCann was not smoking a fat cigar at the end of the match it might have been out of respect for opposite number Darren Kelly, a friend from their Northern Ireland under-21 days.

Lee Angol has just opened the scoring for Posh at Oldham on his Football League debut. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Lee Angol has just opened the scoring for Posh at Oldham on his Football League debut. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

But if this was part one of a job interview, McCann must have delivered a near-perfect impression. Goals, entertaining football and victories are chairman Darragh MacAnthony’s desires whether he’s in the stands or watching his live feed at home in the United States. McCann’s much-changed team and formation - he employed the midfield diamond that he himself excelled in - provided all three as Posh ended their 100 per cent losing record away from home this season.

On this evidence one wonders whether McCann had any influence on tactics or selection in his role as assistant manager in the previous regime.

True, Oldham were there for the taking. Defensively disorganised and with a rookie manager under pressure for his job , bizarrely after losing just one of his opening six League One matches, the home side were at times made to look so shambolic it came as little surprise that Kelly was dismissed an hour after the fianl whistle.

None of that matters to Posh. After a poor start to the season characterised by a limp front-line, the first 45 minutes at the SportsDirect.com Park stadium (yes, really) must have been sweet relief for the small contingent of Posh fans who had put up with a long, wet journey up north.

Angol’s performance in particular will have pleased them. He was energetic and ran the channels well, and he was in the right place to open the scoring after Coulibaly squared the ball to him in front of goal in the 14th minute.

Oztumer had played a big role in the goal with a dinked through ball over the static Oldham defence, and the man rescued from the cold by a change of manager took advantage of some more slack defending as Angol broke down the left before teeing him up to sidefoot the ball into the net with his weaker right foot, possibly via a slight deflection.

Posh were rewarded for a positive opening to the match, something that could not have been said in recent weeks.

McCann’s diamond formation featured Chris Forrester at the base and Marcus Maddison at the top, behind Angol and the returning Coulibaly.

Central defender Gabriel Zakuani was back from international duty and suspesnion, while Jermaine Anderson returned from England duty to replace the suspended Michael Bostwick in midfield.

The new-look team and formation also gave way to a more possession-based approach with Posh passing their way out of defence and almost never going long.

But a deep-lying midfield often looked lightweight against the likes of David Dunn and Mark Yeates who created space and tested Ben Alnwick out in goal.

Oztumer’s strike to make it 2-0 came after a good spell for the home side who went off to boos at half-time.

However, the Latics responded well after the break. Carl Winchester curled a shot from 20 yards against the outside of the post before moments later Murphy was given far too much space to curl it past Alnwick from the edge of the area.

Posh seemed unable to keep hold of the ball, but they broke Oldham’s resistance as Anderson made an interception and played in Coulibaly who with the outside of the right-foot appeared to scuff it past Coleman.

Oztumer had a free-kick tipped over, but the corner was taken short to Maddison jinked prettily past a defender and chipped for Coulibaly to head home at the far post.

To call Oldham’s defending haphazard would be kind. In the first-half two players ran into each other, allowing Anderson to run most of the length of the pitch before shooting into the side-netting.

A simple ball over the top from Elder then saw Angol move in on goal but his shot was saved.

Oldham still carried a threat, and Alnwick had to make a great a save onto his post from substitute Dominic Poleon.

The Posh goalkeeper was kept busy for the next few minutes as to their credit Oldham kept pressing.

But he would have enjoyed it when Michael Smith had room down the right to pick out Angol who took a touch and buried it low in the corner from 12 yards to spark boos from the home side and almost double Posh’s league goal tally for the season.

The celebrations led by back-flipping Coulibaly and chest-thumping McCann were justifiably excessive at the end of the match. Mind you they were when Dave Robertson won his first game as manager seven months ago.

The moment should be enjoyeed, but beware the new-manager bounce in form.

Posh: Ben Alnwick, Michael Smith, Gabriel Zakuani, Ricardo Almeida Santos, Callum Elder, Jermaine Anderson, Marcus Maddison (sub Jon Taylor, 77 mins), Christopher Forrester (sub Jack Collison, 71 mins), Erhun Oztumer (sub Leonardo Da Silva Lopes, 84 mins), Lee Angol, Souleymane Coulibaly.

Unused substitutes: Dion-Curtis Henry, Conor Washington, Alex Davey, Harry Anderson.

Oldham Athletic: Joel Coleman, Connor Brown (sub Timothee Dieng, 48 mins), James Wilson, Eoghan O’Connell, Joe Mills, Daniel Philliskirk, Carl Winchester, Mark Yeates (sub Mike Jones, 71 mins), David Dunn, Rhys Murphy, Simonas Stankevicius (sub Dominic Poleon, 64 mins).

Unused substitutes: Lee Croft, David Cornell, Jonathan Burn, Rhys Turner.

Goals: Oldham (Murphy 48 mins).

Posh - Angol (14, 78 mins), Oztumer (38 mins), Coulibaly (62, 65 mins).

Cautions: Oldham - Winchester (foul), Dunn (foul).

Posh - Coulibaly (foul), Anderson (dissent), Elder (foul)

Referee: Seb Stockbridge 7

Attendance: 3,566 (220 Posh).