MATCH COMMENT: Peterborough United are too kind and too generous

It's official. Peterborough United are the most generous and kind club in League One.

Sunday, 22nd October 2017, 8:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 8:29 am
Andrew Hughes volleys home the Posh goal at Scunthorpe. Photo: Joe Dent/

On a bad run? No problem come and play Posh, they’ll help you back on your feet. Lost your manager? Never mind, it’s Posh next, they’ll help ease the pain. Can’t score a goal? Don’t worry about it, Posh will put one on a plate for you.

One point from 15 is a bad enough run, but when the opposition has generally either been a) rudderless b) completely out of form or c) both, it’s rather quite worrying.

Oldham started it. They were bottom of the table having won just one of 11 matches all season and didn’t have a manager when they beat Posh at Boundary Park. And they did it with 10 men.

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Josh Morris scores the winning penalty for Scunthorpe against Posh. Photo: Joe Dent/

Then Oxford arrived at the ABAX on the back of three straight defeats. They scored four unanswered goals in the second half to romp away with the three points.

Gillingham, another team without a permanent manager, were next-to-bottom with a Tom Nichols-sized goalscoring problem when they cruised to victory at Posh last weekend and injury-plagued Southend had lost two on the spin by an aggregate of 7-1 before they drew with Posh earlier this week (October 17).

Noting Scunthorpe had failed to win any of their previous five League One matches before hosting Posh yesterday (October 21) inspired no confidence whatsoever then. And justifiably so as Posh managed to get beaten even though they led 1-0 against shotshy opposition with just 10 minutes to go.

This run isn’t sheer misfortune. It’s sheer carelessness, especially when factoring in the disasters accompanying key goals conceded this week. Jack Baldwin’s blunder effectively cost Posh a win at Roots Hall, while today it was Andrew Hughes with the hopeless backpass two minutes from time which led to a winning penalty kick for the home side conceded by ‘keeper Jonathan Bond and converted by Josh Morris.

Anthony Grant of Posh battles for possession with Scunthorpe's Funso Ojo. Photo: Joe Dent/

The mishap spoilt Hughes’ day as he’d volleyed in Marcus Maddison’s 52nd minute corner from close range to give Posh the lead, totally against the run of play at that point, but it had the effect of weakening Scunthorpe until a fine cross from substitute Hakeeb Adelakun was powerfully headed home by Lee Novak from close range in the 80th minute.

McCann blamed lapses of concentration for the individual errors, but one suspects his language was fruitier in the dressing room. He also claimed Posh should have been three up and out of sight at the interval which was somewhat less easier to back up with facts. Scunthorpe created the clearest chance, but Liam Shephard was on on hand to block Rory McArdle’s close-range header on the line.

Posh started brightly with Gwion Edwards in dazzling form, but they created no clearcut chances in the entire game, apart from a couple of Maddison set pieces, one which was spooned over the bar by persons unknown in the first half and one that was crashed into the net by Hughes.

There were some neat passages of play, but Posh were hindered by the weakness in Edwards’ left foot and by potential Arsenal target Leo Da Silva Lopes passing the ball like Martin Keown rather than Alexis Sanchez. Jermaine Anderson was also a peripheral figure for the most part, while Liam Shephard, who did win the corner for the Posh goal, is still coming to terms with the intricacies of wing-back play. He was pressed into action today by Ryan Tafazolli’s absence through injury.

Josh Morris scores the winning penalty for Scunthorpe against Posh. Photo: Joe Dent/

There was little sign of a strike partnership between Maddison and Jack Marriott either. Tellingly they combined well just once and that was after Maddison had been withdrawn to a slightly deeper role, as his sliderule pass was chased willingly by Marriott in the final seconds before the Posh top scorer became angry a challenge from behind that stopped him in tracks was deemed legal by a referee almost half the length of a pitch away.

Heywood presumably had to guess. He was far more obviously wrong when failing to send home clogger Neal Bishop off for hacking Anthony Grant down when already on a caution on the hour mark.

For most of the second-half, at least after Morris and Paddy Madden had missed sitters in the opening five minutes, Posh contained Scunthorpe rather easily. Steven Taylor and was excellent, Baldwin wasn’t far behind, while Grant was exceptional in front of them and Bond was enjoying an easy afternoon, once Jordan Clarke had fired a presentable chance into the side netting.

But that Posh self-destruct button is pressed at least once a game these days with fatal consequences.

Anthony Grant of Posh battles for possession with Scunthorpe's Funso Ojo. Photo: Joe Dent/

Next up is unbeaten League One leaders Shrewsbury at the ABAX (October 28). This is probably a good thing. They are already in great form so Posh can do the rest of the division yet another favour by beating them.

Posh: Jonathan Bond, Liam Shephard, Steven Taylor, Jack Baldwin, Andrew Hughes, Gwion Edwards, Anthony Grant, Jermaine Anderson (sub Callum Chettle, 69 mins), Leo Da Silva Lopes (sub Ricky Miller, 85 mins), Jack Marriott, Marcus Maddison.

Unused substitutes: Conor O’Malley, Michael Doughty, Idris Kanu, Danny Lloyd, Alex Penny.

Scunthorpe: Matt Gilks, Jordan Clarke, Murray Wallace, Rory McArdle, Lewis Butroid (sub Simon Church, 77 mins), Funso Ojo, Neal Bishop, Duane Holmes, Josh Morris (sub Hakeeb Adelukan, 46 mins), Lee Novak, Paddy Madden (sub Kevin van Veen, 60 mins).

Unused substitutes: Rory Watson, Tom Hopper, Clayton Lewis, Cameron Burgess.

Goals: Posh - Hughes (52 mins).

Scunny - Novak (80 mins), Morris (pen, 88 mins).

Cautions: Posh - Bond (foul), Shephard (foul).

Scunny - Holmes (foul), Bishop (foul).

Referee: Mark Heywood 6.

Attendance: 4,275 (560 Posh)

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