Peterborough United manager Grant McCann reckons his side were ‘very good from start to finish’ of their Checkatrade Trophy tie against local rivals Northampton tonight (October 3).
A much-changed Posh drew the game 1-1 at the ABAX Stadium after conceding an equaliser 10 minutes from time, but that means a penalty shoot out in this competition which Cobblers won 4-2.
Posh and Cobblers now share top spot in the group with four points, but a point in the final group game at Cambridge United, who are bottom, is likely to see McCann’s men progress into the knockout stages. Cobblers host Southampton Under 21s on the same night (Tuesday, November 7).
Danny Lloyd, one of five changes to the starting line-up, fired Posh in front just before the break. An unfortunate own goal from Jack Baldwin earned Cobblers a draw.
“We were very good from the start to the finish,” McCann stated. “It was a bit harsh on us to come out on the wrong side of a penalty shoot out.
“We had more of an attacking threat in the first-half, but the workrate was impressive throughout, particularly from the two central midfielders, and we were comfortable defensively, restricting them to long shots for the most part.
“It was just disappointing to concede so late from a corner. It’s all about doing your jobs at a corner and that means staying with your man until the ball is dead. Instead we reacted too slowly to the danger.
“But defensively our units stayed together which was encouraging.
“We gave a chance to some players who have been knocking on the door and they took advantage. Danny Lloyd was very good until he became a bit weary by the end. He always looked the most likely to score or create for us and that’s exactly why we brought him to the club. He gets shots at goal off, he takes good set-pieces ands he made the goalkeeper make two pretty good saves from free kicks tonight.
“Goalkeeper Conor O’Malley also did well. He is a confident, composed young man with good delivery from his left foot which he showed when helping to set up our goal. You could see why we brought him to the club tonight.”
Posh now have a 10-day break until hosting Gillingham in a League One fixture on Saturday, October 14. McCann will give his players some time off to recharge the batteries.
“It’s a good opportunity to refresh the group,” McCann added after watching a third game without a win for his side. “We are fourth in League One and we are top of our Checkatrade Trophy group so it’s hardly been a disaster. Our recent results need putting into perspective. It’s a long old season and we’ve made a good start to it.
“The players will be in for the next few days and then they will get some time off away from the club. It will do them good.
“We need something from the Cambridge game to get through which gives that game something of an edge, but we will be ready to give a real Peterborough performance against Gillingham. That’s our priority now.”