UPDATED REPORT: Peterborough United 0-1 AFC Wimbledon: Chairman unimpressed with Posh players

Callum Chettle of Peterborough United in action against AFC Wimbledon. Picture: Joe Dent
Callum Chettle of Peterborough United in action against AFC Wimbledon. Picture: Joe Dent
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Never mind a game of two halves, this was a week of two extremes.

Tuesday night saw joy with a 3-0 home win against rivals Northampton in front of a large crowd.

Saturday afternoon (October 22) saw anger at a 1-0 home loss against AFC Wimbledon in front of a large crowd.

But so it is with Posh at the moment - very good one match, terrible the next.

Halloween is just over a week away but mark this match in the horror category. Grant McCann, the Posh boss, reckons it was his side’s worst performance of the season, especially in the first-half, and he thought the opposition dressing room would be fuming to only be a goal up at the break.

McCann’s day would not have got any better if he checked his chairman’s Twitter account after the full-time whistle.

Darragh MacAnthony has largely kept his opinions to himself straight after matches this season, avoiding some of the rants after poor performances which we are well accustomed to.

But this time he could not help himself. Directly in his firing line was forward Paul Taylor, a McCann signing who he suggested he did not rate and regretted signing.

Judge Tom Nichols when he has a proper strike partner, said MacAnthony, in a series of critical tweets about Taylor.

“Tom’s on his own, is the second highest scorer & assister. Taylor was brought in to do the same not play Roy of Rovers football that’s ineffective,” he tweeted.

“I have an addiction to wanting to see see front players & goal action pal not any formation. But unfortunately one of them is allergic to the box!” he replied to another person.

The rest of the team was not spared either: “The talent & skill is there but the heart doesn’t show up enough at moment,” he added.

So often MacAnthony bemoans the poor crowds Posh get, so to get a healthy 6,642 - the largest Saturday attendance of the season - and to put up that display will have hurt. If you had paid to watch that performance, would you go back?

The questions McCann will have to answer is why was it so bad? Why was Tom Elliott, a striker with an uninspiring record with Cambridge in League Two, and who had scored just twice in 16 appearances this season, able to terrorise his defence?

Why did his team fail to create a single clear cut chance in 90 minutes? Why did his team look so easy to play against without Michael Bostwick?

Why are so many early goals being conceded?

Fans seem to be blaming the diamond formation, and it did seem odd to have Leo Da Silva Lopes at the base, and often competing with Elliott in the air.

But that cannot explain away why Wimbledon were so dominant in the first-half. The only goal of the game came after just 10 minutes - a hanging corner to the back-post, an unchallenged Jonathan Meades heading it loopily back across goal, and Elliott nodding it in from close range.

Things did not get better from there. Next came Elliott holding off the challenges of centre-backs Ryan Tafazolli and Jack Baldwin before hitting a low shot which Luke McGee saved.

From the resulting corner Chris Whelpdale headed at goal and McGee saved.

At times the defending was comical. Runners glided past markers, possession was gifted away close to goal, clearances were bungled.

A ball over the top saw Elliott bear down on goal and hit a shot which McGee saved. From the rebound he hit the post.

The striker must have been wondering how he didn’t score more than once. Later in the match, when Posh had improved, another simple ball left him one-on-one with McGee.

The goalkeeper had rushed out for the ball then stopped. Elliott sent over an excellent lob from 25 yards, but somehow the ball bounced off the post and not over the line.

In between there was little of a Posh fightback. The maligned Taylor turned past his marker and passed the ball into Callum Chettle whose low shot from 20 yards drew a comfortable save from James Shea, drawing hugely ironic cheers from the home fans.

Chettle was making his full league debut but struggled and was hooked at half-time as McCann decided to play 4-4-2.

He came in for Bostwick, while up front Tom Nichols came in for Shaquile Coulthirst.

Both replaced players are struggling with minor injuries and could be back for Bristol Rovers away.

How Bostwick’s return is needed. Coulthirst as well might add more tooth to the Posh frontline. The closest the home side came to an equaliser was from an Andrew Hughes header which was comfortably tipped over.

At no stage did it look like an equaliser was coming. Did the players believe their own hype, as McCann suggested?

Who knows, but Posh are still only three points off the play-offs. If they can put together two good performances in a row - and finally register back-to-back league wins - this group of players still has the ability to push for the top six. And keep their chairman off Twitter.

Posh: Luke McGee, Michael Smith, Ryan Tafazolli, Jack Baldwin, Andrew Hughes, Chris Forrester (sub George Moncur, 72 mins), Leo Da Silva Lopes, Callum Chettle (sub Gwion Edwards, 45 mins), Marcus Maddison, Paul Taylor, Tom Nichols.

Unused substitutes: Mark Tyler, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Hayden White, Nathan Oduwa, Matthew Stevens.

Wimbledon: James Shea, Barry Fuller, Will Nightingale, Chris Robertson, Jon Meades, George Francomb (sub, Dannie Bulman, 91 mins), Jake Reeves, Tom Beere (sub Dean Parrett, 71 mins), Chris Whelpdale (sub Lyle Taylor, 58 mins), Tom Elliott, Andy Barcham.

Unused substitutes: Joe McDonnell, Tyrone Barnett, Alfie Egan.

Goals: Wimbledon - Elliott (10 mins)

Cautions: Posh - Edwards (foul), Taylor (foul).

Dons - Fuller (foul)

Referee: Brett Huxtable 6

Attendance: 6,642 (701 Wimbledon)