MATCH REPORT: Posh 0, Wolves 1: Will Peterborough United be successful in 2017-18? This match didn’t tell us much

A flare-up between Posh and Wolves players after a poor Gwion Edwards challenge. Photo: David Lowndes.
A flare-up between Posh and Wolves players after a poor Gwion Edwards challenge. Photo: David Lowndes.
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As far as predictions of Peterborough United success or otherwise in 2017-18 is concerned, very little has been learnt from pre-season results.

Posh have beaten all the teams ranked below them and lost to all the teams from higher divisions. This was the first time this summer that Grant McCann’s men have been kept goalless though.

Craig Mackail-Smith in action for Posh against Wolves. Photo: David Lowndes.

Craig Mackail-Smith in action for Posh against Wolves. Photo: David Lowndes.

A solitary goal 20 minutes from time from Austin Samuels delivered the victory the visitors deserved. Posh didn’t even deliver a single shot on target and that’s a disappointing statistic no matter who is providing the opposition.

The first half was so poor a game of identify the trialist took place (Coventry youngster Jodi Jones was the most popular choice which turned out to be inaccurate), while speculation on why Craig Mackail-Smith (sentimentality, probably) was on the Posh substitutes’ bench was also a useful time-filler.

Certainly there was more force and precision in the fouling than the passing with both sides guilty of some rash, and rather unnecessary, lunges into opponents. Gwion Edwards and Anthony Grant were the main Posh offenders.

Posh, again employing their Chelsea formation, tried to build patiently from the back, but failed to gain any forward momentum, while Wolves occasionally looked threatening through midfield runners, but a slow pitch (the grass was long) often frustrated their ambition.

Jack Marriott on the ball for Posh against Wolves. Photo: David Lowndes.

Jack Marriott on the ball for Posh against Wolves. Photo: David Lowndes.

Two long shots from Ivan Cavaliero was the sum total of the efforts on goal from either side.

As promised Posh changed their entire team at the break with Wolves replacing everyone bar striker Joe Mason.

Posh switched to 4-4-2 with Andy Triallist in the hole behind Craig Mackail-Smith and Ricky Miller. Triallist (apparently a man with a foreign-sounding name) showed his quick feet at times, but received precious little support from team-mates or an otherwise whistle-happy referee.

The changes unsettled Posh more than Wolves and goalkeeper Josh Tibbetts was soon forced into a fine save to thwart Mason after Alex Penny had missed an interception opportunity.

New Posh signing Steven Taylor watches the match against Wolves. Photo: David Lowndes.

New Posh signing Steven Taylor watches the match against Wolves. Photo: David Lowndes.

The quality didn’t improve on the first period mind, until Wolves claimed the lead 20 minutes from time. Ironically they scored following a Posh corner after Andrea Borg muffed a shooting chance and Callum Chettle fluffed a chance to gain possession on the halfway line.

Two quick passes and one fine cross enabled Samuels to convert with a first-time prod from close range.

Tibbetts again came to the rescue five minutes from time after Lewis Freestone was caught on the dribble.

Posh (first half): Jonathan Bond, Andrew Hughes, Ryan Tafazolli, Jack Baldwin, Leo Da Silva Lopes, Gwion Edwards, Michael Doughty, Anthony Grant, Marcus Maddison, Jack Marriott, Junior Morias.

Posh (second half): Josh Tibbetts, Liam Shephard, Lewis Freestone, Sam Cartwright, Alex Penny, Chris Forrester, A. Trialist, Andrea Borg, Callum Chettle, Ricky Miller, Craig Mackail-Smith.

Wolves (first half): John Ruddy, Matt Doherty, Ruben Vinagre, Roderick Miranda, Sylvain Deslandes, Danny Batth, Ivan Cavaleiro, Jack Price, Joe Mason, Connor Ronan, Michal Zyro.

Wolves (second half): Harry Burgoyne, Ryan Bennett, Dave Edwards, Willy Boly, Conor Coady, Jordan Graham, Diogo Jota, Bright Enobakhare, Romain Saiss, Barry Douglas, Joe Mason (sub Austin Samuels, 63 mins).

Goal: Wolves - Samuels (71 mins).

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 1,500 (300 Wolves) approx.