MATCH COMMENT: Peterborough United 3, Bury 0: Put the lot of them on the transfer list
If this was a typical response from Danny Lloyd, maybe the entire Peterborough United squad ought to be put on the transfer list before Boxing Day.
You never know Jermaine Anderson might start moving across the ground like Mo Farah, or Leo Da Silva Lopes will start passing the ball like Michel Platini, as, since discovering he was being used as transfer bait earlier this month, Lloyd has scored three goals which have helped Posh win back-to-back League One matches for the first time since August.
Attitude counts for plenty in professional sport. There will be more naturally talented players in this Posh squad than Lloyd, but his desire and will-to-win means he should have a longer stay at London Road than many. Those attributes enabled him to score with an early header yesterday (December 23) even though he’s a pint-sized predator, but he also had the ability, and the self confidence, to thrash the ball into the top corner of the net from 30 yards 20 minutes from time to give the final scoreline a rather flattering look.
Indeed it’s best not to get carried away with this result as Bury looked the more likely team to score the second goal of the game until their centre-back Eoghan O’Connell was despatched after collecting two yellow cards in two second half minutes just before the hour mark.
Only then did Posh push forward with any purpose. Inevitably Marcus Maddison, who had delivered the corner for Lloyd’s third-minute goal, provided the pomp with an outrageous chip straight onto Jack Marriott’s head for goal number two seven minutes after Bury had been reduced in numbers.
Bury boss Chris Lucketti felt his side dominated until O’Connell’s misfortune - the cautions for a deliberate handball and a slightly mistimed jump into Maddison hardly combined to seem worthy of a red card - and he had a point. Posh should be grateful Bury’s sole striker was a distinctly average Nicky Ajose as the visitors carved out numerous shooting opportunities that were either sent horribly off target or were splendidly kept out of harm’s way by Posh ‘keeper Jonathan Bond. Bond saved well at full stretch to keep out Danny Mayor’s 20-yard effort and displayed splendid athleticism to tip Rohan Ince’s excellent 35 yarder over the crossbar.
Bury midfielder Jay O’Shea struck the base of the post seven minutes into the second-half, but O’Connell’s indiscretions changed the flow of the game. Posh didn’t exactly threaten to run riot, but Chris Forrester’s introduction at the break for Anderson at least ensured passes were hit more accurately.
One senses the January transfer window will not come a minute too soon for Posh if they are realistic in their ambitions of Championship football. Alex Penny’s enthusiasm and commitment at right-back didn’t alter the fact he is surely one for the future, while the efforts of Anderson and Michael Doughty in midfield areas highlighted the need for power and speed in that area, if only to give Anthony Grant a breather.
And Marriott, anonymous for the most part here, would appreciate it if someone other than the mercurial Maddison was creating chances for him. The sight of Junior Morias sitting on the substitutes’ bench was also a gladdening sight for the Posh fans as well as Marriott.
Maddison, who became the first player in the top four divisions to reach 10 assists for the season, was compared to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard by Posh boss Grant McCann after the game for his ability to impact a game despite floating in and out of the action.
The reality is Gerrard would have loved to have possessed Maddison’s vision and crossing ability.
Incidentally in 1976 the late, great Noel Cantwell once transfer listed his entire Posh squad, albeit after a 3-0 home defeat to Chesterfield, in an attenpt to provoke some improvement.
Posh won their next match, but then won just two of their next 12.
Posh: Jonathan Bond, Alex Penny, Andrew Hughes, Ryan Tafazolli, Steven Taylor, Anthony Grant (sub Idris Kanu, 80 mins), Michael Doughty (sub Leo Da Silva Lopes, 64 mins), Jermaine Anderson (sub Chris Forrester, 46 mins), Marcus Maddison, Danny Lloyd, Jack Marriott.
Unused substitutes: Conor O’Malley, Liam Shephard, Lewis Freestone, Junior Morias.
Bury: Leonardo Fasan, Greg Leigh, Eoghan O’Connell, Phil Edwards. Josh Laurent, Nathan Cameron, Chris Maguire, Danny Mayor (sub Harry Bunn, 69 mins), Rohan Ince (sub Stephen Dawson, 69 mins), Jay O’Shea, Nicky Ajose.
Unused substitutes: Scott Moloney, Jordan Williams, Callum Reilly, Tom Aldred, Michael Smith.
Goals: Posh - Lloyd (3 mins & 71 mins), Marriott (63 mins).
Sending off: Bury - O’Connell (second yellow, foul).
Cautions: Posh - Maddison (foul).
Bury - O’Connell (deliberate handball).
Referee: Andy Woolmer 5
Attendance: 4,640 (184 Bury).