Peterborough United suffered a 10th League One home defeat of the season as play-off chasing Scunthorpe eased to a 2-0 win at the ABAX Stadium today (April 23).
An own goal six minutes into the second half by Ricardo Santos and a firm close-range header from substitute Tom Hooper 14 minutes from time delivered a win the visitors deserved.
It was a stroll in the park once they’d taken the lead, 60 seconds after Posh substitute Aaron Williams had seen a shot superbly saved by Scunthorpe ‘keeper Luke Daniels
With nothing to play for, but pride and, more importantly, to win increasingly sceptical fans over, Posh boss Graham Westley took the sensible decision to experiment with his starting line-up.
In came 17 year-old Leo Da Silva Lopes and forgotten January signing Adil Nabi, as well as 39 year-old goalkeeper Mark Tyler and striker Lee Angol.
It was Tyler’s first appearance in a Posh shirt for over eight years, but he was over-shadowed in the opening 45 minutes by the promise of Da Silva Lopes.
The teenager played on the right of the midfield diamond and impressed both in attack and defence.
He tracked back willingly, tackled strongly and found time to force the only first-half save from visiting goalkeeper Luke Daniels with a flick from a Marcus Maddison cross.
Posh started the half brightly and finished it well with a Jon Taylor header from a Maddison corner that flew just over the crossbar.
But Scunthorpe, outsiders for a play-off place, had a greater need for victory and they looked the more likely side to score as crosses and corners rained into the Posh penalty area.
Kyle Wootton should have scored when out-jumping stand-in Posh right-back Harry Beautyman, but he sent his header wide. Tyler was tested just once by a Luke Williams snapshot from 20 yards which the veteran held comfortably.
Posh continued their selection experiment in the second-half as Jon Taylor and Erhun Oztumer were replaced by former Nuneaton players Callum Chettle and Aaron Williams.
Maddison was asked to play a little deeper and Posh almost earned an immediate reward when his pass to Williams sent the substitute through on goal. His shot was well-struck and low, but superbly saved by Daniels with Angol unable to force home the rebound.
But a minute later Posh were behind. Two accurate passes enabled Jordan Clarke to race into the left-hand side and his cross was turned into his own net by a stretching Santos.
Hakeeb Adelakun and Paddy Madden had chances to score a second goal and the visitors should have had a penalty when Harry Beautyman tripped Stephen Dawson in the area, only for the referee to award the free kick three yards outside.
But the visitors were not to be denied for much longer as substitute Tom Hopper headed home Paddy Madden’s cross from close range.
Posh had long fizzled out before then as they even failed to pounce when Daniels made a hash of a Shaquile Coulthirst cross. Andrew Fox and Williams both failed to get the ball over the line from close range.
At least there are only two more matches to go before the curtain can be drawn on a miserable season.
Posh: Mark Tyler, Harry Beautyman, Andrew Fox, Jack Baldwin, Ricardo Santos, Leo Da Silva Lopes, Adil Nabi, Jon Taylor (sub Callum Chettle, 46 mins), Erhun Oztumer (sub Aaron Williams, 46 mins), Lee Angol (sub Shaquile Coulthirst, 69 mins), Marcus Maddison. Unused substitutes: Ben Alnwick, Gaby Zakuani, Kgosi Ntlhe, Simon Gillett.
Scunthorpe (to be confirmed): Luke Daniels, David Mirfin, Conor Townsend, Murray Wallace, Jordan Clarke, Neil Bishop, Stephen Dawson, Kyle Wootton (sub Tom Hopper, 61 mins), Luke Williams, Paddy Madden, Hakeeb Adelukan (sub Jack King, 89 mins). Unused substitutes: Joe Anyon, Scott Laird, Dominic Vose, Levi Sutton, Noel Burdett.
Goals: Scunthorpe - Santos (og, 51 mins), Hopper (76 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Angol (foul).
Scunthorpe - Dawson (foul), Townsend (foul), Wallace (foul)
Referee: Phil Gibbs 5
Attendance: 5,065 (477 Scunthorpe).
Alan Swann is at the ABAX Stadium for the Peterborough Telegraph so follow all the team news, LIVE commentary, match report and match reaction here click here.
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