PLAYER VERDICTS: Ton-up Mackail-Smith’s new lease of life

Posh striker Tom Nichols celebrates his well-taken goal at Chesterfield. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Posh striker Tom Nichols celebrates his well-taken goal at Chesterfield. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Finally grabbing that 100th goal for Peterborough United appears to have given Craig Mackail-Smith a new lease of life.

The 33 year-old striker was the best player on the pitch in last night’s (March 14) 3-3 League One draw at Chesterfield when he scored twice and was unlucky not to claim a hat-trick.

Posh star Paul Taylor charges forward at Chesterfield. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh star Paul Taylor charges forward at Chesterfield. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Luke McGee: Beaten by three finishes that flew into the corner of his net. Doesn’t always appear to be on the same wavelength as his central defenders when balls are played over the top. Kicking wasn’t great either 6

Michael Smith: Enjoyed himself going forward into wide open spaces and one deep cross should have led to a first-half goal for Forrester. Not so convincing defensively when he occasionally struggled to get tight enough to his man 5.5

Jack Baldwin: Made one brilliant defensive block just after Chesterfield had made it 3-3. Set up the goal that was wrongly disallowed late on when he also hit the top of the bar with a header from a free kick. That defensive axis with Tafazolli and Bostwick isn’t anywhere near as rock solid as it was before Xmas though 6

Andrew Hughes: Most of Chesterfield’s attacking threat came down the other flank to Hughes who was solid. Didn’t get forward a great deal 6

Posh man-of-the-match Craig Mackail-Smith in action at Chesterfield. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh man-of-the-match Craig Mackail-Smith in action at Chesterfield. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Ryan Tafazolli: Calm to the point of looking very casual on the ball. Few alarms defensively 6

Michael Bostwick: He seemed to be pulled out of position far too often for comfort and his passing was erratic to say the least. He’s more of a central defender than midfielder these days 5

Chris Forrester: An improvement, particularly during a lively first-half display when he smacked a great shot against the crossbar from distance. faded a little in the second-half, but his workrate was good 6.5

Brad Inman: A smooth runner on and off the ball. A fine cross led to the controversially disallowed late goal and a neat pass created Mackail-Smith’s second goal. Worked hard to track runners, but much more to come from this midfielder 6.5

Paul Taylor: Didn’t reach last Saturday’s dazzling heights, but he was still very good. Some great breaks forward, some great close control and an assist for Nichols’ goal. Set up a good chance for Morias which was wasted 8

Tom Nichols: Very good in the first-half when he took his scoring chance very well to make it four goals for Posh against this opposition in three outings. Set up Mackail-Smith’s opening goal with a great cross. Not so effective after the break and substituted 7

Craig Mackail-Smith: A terrific all-round display when his usual high workrate levels were rewarded with two goals. Also hit the bar and was denied a hat-trick by a poor decision late on. Very impressive though 9

Substitutes

Junior Morias: (for Nichols, 69 mins) pepped Posh up, but missed two late chances and one was a sitter 5

Martin Samuelsen: (not used).

Harry Anderson: (not used).

Jerome Binnom-Williams: (not used).

Morgan Penfold: (not used).

Mark Tyler: (not used).

Anthony Grant: (not used).