Three players made their debuts for Peterborough United today (January 23) and all played pretty well.
Left-back Harry Toffolo and striker Shaquile Coulthirst were outstanding in a dominant first-half display, while attacking midfielder Adail Nabi rattled the crossbar early into his stint as a second-half substitute.
Ben Alnwick: Beaten by a smart finish and a deflection. Otherwise just a lot of routine saves to make. Distrubition became iffy in the second-half after Gillingham stopped the short pass out from the back 6
Michael Smith: He was a useful attacking full-back before the break, but he was hampered defensively by the collection of an early yellow card. Busy and bright, but his crossing wasn’t as accurate as it usually is 7
Harry Toffolo; Looked a class apart in the first half when he revelled in the attacking style of his new team-mates. Seen more near the oppoonent’s penalty area than his own in the first 45 minutes and his speed, skill and use of the ball were impressive. Couldn’t get forward as much after the break, but defended soundly 8
Ricardo Santos: The usual mix of good and bad from a young defender who really needs to start making the most of his physical attributes. He really ought to command both penalty areas at set-pieces, but doesn’t. Some hairy moments in possession and some wayward attempted clearances 5
Jack Baldwin: His poor pass eventually led to the second Gillingham goal, but his brilliant Beckenbauer-style run from the back in the first-half helped create the Posh goal. Mis-judged a couple of headed clearances but made some great blocks and some terrific interceptions. He and Toffolo will work well together 7
Chris Forrester: It’s been a tough couple of games for this consistent midfielder. Saw a penalty saved last week and appeared to trip on the ball (he may also have been tripped) and hand Gillingham their winning goal in this match. He’d done so well to get back and bail out his defence, but he needs to realise an effective clearance is never a bad thing in one’s own area. Lost his passing rhythm in the second-half, like most of the team 6
Jon Taylor: He doesn’t have the passing vision of some of his team-mates, but he adds speed and a direct running style which can be effective. Played his part in a terrific set-piece goal, but might have equalised late on with a far-post free header 6
Erhun Oztumer: Wonderfully-taken goal at the end of a very creative set-piece and played a key part in the Posh domination of the opening 30 minutes with his movement and vision. Started to get knocked about a bit physically after the break which is presumably why he was substituted. His departure caused great surprise 7
Martin Samuelsen: Played stylishly before the break when Posh were given plenty of opportunity to weave their pretty patterns. Midfield became too congested and too rugged for his tastes after the break and he faded badly. Plenty of long-range shooting, but little accuracy. There’s also a tendency to hang onto the ball for a second too long 6
Shaquile Coulthirst: Outstanding first-half when his pace, athleticism and energy caused many problems for the home defence. Saw one early, deflected shot well-saved and came close to scoring twice more before the interval. One good strike saved after the break when he was less involved befeore cramp forced him off 7
Souleymane Coulibaly: Offered very little when Posh were dominant and his failure to hold the ball up when Posh came under pressure was frustrating. Offside far too often. No surprise when he was taken off early in the second-half 5
Lee Angol: (for Coulibaly, 57 mins): Worked hard and should have won Posh a penalty after he was blatantly bundled over in the box. One late header over the bar 6
Adil Nabi : (for Oztumer, 57 mins). Looks very composed on the ball. Hit the bar with a thunderous strike with his first touch of the ball 7
Marcus Maddison: (for Coulthirst, 74 mins). Not given long enough. Played three lovely balls into the Gillingham area during his 15 minutes or so on the pitch.
Lawrie Wilson: (not used).
Dion-Curtis Henry: (not used).
Harry Beautyman: (not used).
Shaun Brisley: (not used).