Disappointing loss can't cloud a great start to the season for Peterborough United
Peterborough United blew their big game against Portsmouth, but manager Steve Evans was quick to put a 2-1 home defeat into perspective.
Posh lost their unbeaten record and top spot in League One after conceding second-half goals to Oliver Hawkins and Jamal Lowe last Saturday (September 15). Top scorer Matt Godden’s reply came too late to make a difference.
But initial frustration and irritation soon gave way to renewed confidence and enthusiasm from Evans as he looked back on a most satisfactory start to the season.
“If I’d told every Posh fan in the summer that after eight games we’d be second, one point behind the leaders, and four points clear of third, 100% per cent of them would have been delighted,” Evans stated. “It wouldn’t be 90% it would be all of them.
“Of course we were disappointed to lose such a big game and we were disappointed with how we played, but we have 19 points from eight games and we are comfortably the top scorers in the league.
“In fact if Matt Godden’s goal had meant something it would have been replayed all weekend as it was that good. It was a brilliant move that showed what we can do.
“Sometimes perspective is needed. We have enjoyed a terrific start that only one other team has beaten.
“I expect Portsmouth to be challenging for promotion all season and if that is the case than I expect us to be up there as well because there was very little between the sides at the weekend. We cancelled each other out for an hour. Kenny Jackett is a top manager who gets his side well-organised and tough to beat. He’s also had five transfer windows to get his squad together and I have had just one.
“They defended very well against us and when they made a mistake we didn’t take advantage. When we made mistakes they were punished which is why we lost.
“Ivan Toney’s missed a good chance 10 minutes from time and if that goes in we probably get a draw.
“It is a little bit worrying that we’ve played poorly in our last two home matches as a strong home record is vital if you want to get promoted.
“But our away form has been outstanding so we remain in great shape after a fantastic start to the season.
“There is also so much more to come from some players.”
Godden’s goal against Portsmouth was his eighth of the season, two more than Jack Marriott had at this stage last term and he went on to score 33 times. Godden, who was signed for a modest fee from Stevenage in the summer, is League One’s top scorer with seven goals, one more than his regular Posh strike partner Jason Cummings, Barnsley’s Kieffer Moore and Ian Henderson of Rochdale.