The game that no-one wanted in a competition that no-one cares about at least finished with some Peterborough United success.
An early goal from Paul Taylor and a late one from George Moncur delivered a 2-1 win against Barnet at The Hive. A result that earned Posh £10k and some modest congratulations as they waved goodbye to the Checkatrade Trophy, hopefully for ever.
Posh made eight changes to their last starting line-up, Barnet made six and fielded 15 year-old Dwight Pascal, their youngest-ever player, in midfield. They also made a substitution after 10 minutes, although no-one was injured or tactically embarrassed.
The three Posh survivors - the suspicion was they lost the drawing of lots - were central defenders Ryan Tafazolli and Ricardo Santos, and goalkeeper Luke McGee, who just happens to live 10 minutes from The Hive.
The greater experience, and ability, in the Posh side was evident from kick-off and it took just six minutes to prove it in the goals for column.
Both full-backs were involved. Jerom Binnom-Williams pinged a superb crosssfield pass the entire width of the field to right-back Hayden White. He took possession in his giant stride and surged to the byline before crossing to give Taylor a tap-in.
It was Taylor’s first goal since the 5-1 drubbing of Millwall on August 16, 16 personal appearances ago.
Posh retained the midfield diamond with Adil Nabi at the base and Moncur at the tip. The latter was far more impressive than the former and his strong run and lay-off led to Lee Angol firing in a fierce shot that was splendidly saved by Jamie Stephens in the Barnet goal.
Angol’s fitness was more important than his performance level, but he looked far sharper and stronger than in his substitute appearance at the weekend.
Barnet, urged on by their vocal manager Martin ‘Mad Dog’ Allen - he called one assistant referee ‘skinhead’ at one point - played some neat football, but offered no threat in the opening 45 minutes until Gwion Edwards appeared to foul Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro in the area.
Northampton-based referee Andy Woolmer gave a corner instead.
Posh continued to dominate after the break, but also continued to spurn terrific attacking opportunities.
Moncur wasted a fine run by Edwards by shooting weakly at Stephens and Edwards then passed when he should have shot after excellence from Taylor.
Then it became Angol v Stephens for 10 minutes and the Barnet ‘keeper came out on top three occasions in five minutes. First he turned a curling shot wide, then he raced out to save from a one-on-one situation after a Nabi pass and then he got the merest of touches after Moncur’s superb pass had sent Angol through.
Posh almost paid an immediate penalty, but McGee saved Akpa Akpro’s shot with his legs.
Relief was short-lived as substitute Justin Amaluzor turned neatly and equalised with a low shot into the corner in the 68th minute.
Barnet actually finished the game the stronger and McGee saved well from Akpo Akpro and Amaluzor before Posh stole away to win the game.
Seven minutes from time Moncur sent Taylor into the penalty area and the striker bided his time before squaring for Moncur to win the game from close range.
Barnet kept pressing and won numerous late corners before Posh teenager Kasey Douglas almost crowned his three-minute first-team debut with a last-gasp goal.
It was a decent game in front of a crowd of just 393, 111 of them battled terrible travelling conditions to get to the match from Peterborough.
Posh: Luke McGee, Hayden White, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Ryan Tafazolli, Ricardo Santos, Callum Chettle, Adil Nabi (sub Mathew Stevens, 71 mins), Gwion Edwards (sub Nathan Oduwa, 61 mins), George Moncur, Paul Taylor (sub Kasey Douglas, 87 mins), Lee Angol. Unused substitutes: Mark Tyler, Lewis Freestone, James Goode, Morgan Penfold.
Barnet: Jamie Stephens, Bira Dembele, Alie Sesay, Sam Muggleton (sub Joe Payne, 10 mins), Nana Kyei, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Ben Tomlinson, Alex Nicholls, Fumnaya Shomotun (sub Justin Amaluzor, 53 mins), Wesley Fonguck (sub Ephron Mason-Clark, 59 mins), Dwight Pascal. Unused substitutes: Kai Mckenzie-Lyle, Rio Connell, Tyler Brown, Tobi Coker.
Goals: Posh - Taylor (6 mins), Moncur (83 mins).
Barnet - Amaluzor (68 mins).
Referee: Andy Woolmer 7
Attendance: 393 (111 Posh).