MATCH REACTION: Practice made perfect for the Peterborough United free-kick specialists
Peterborough United manager Grant McCann praised his goal-scoring debutants Ricky Miller and Danny Lloyd after a 4-1 win at St Albans today (July 8) in the opening friendly of the summer.
Both scored direct from free kicks within minutes of coming onto the pitch at Clarence Park as half-time substitutes. Miller also completed the scoring with an exquisite lob as Posh came from behind to beat opponents from three divisions lower in the Football League pyramid.
McCann fielded two separate 11s for 45 minutes apiece. Transfer-listed Michael Bostwick played despite missing some pre-season training sessions, but new striker Jack Marriott and right-sided player Harry Anderson missed out with knocks.
“I’ve been pleased with Danny and Ricky since they arrived at the club,” McCann stated. “They both work hard and the rewards for that were obvious today.
“Scoring direct from free-kicks is a dying art. To become good at it you need to practice 50 a day in training and that’s what Ricky and Danny have been doing.
“Ricky’s second goal came right out of the blue and was a great finish. He could have had a hat-trick, but he looked sharp throughout. The movement of Danny and of Tom Nichols helped Ricky get into great positions.
“The second-half team did better than the first-half team, but to be honest the scoreline didn’t matter to me. This was about getting fitness into legs and we managed that.
“The tempo wasn’t quite there in the first-half and we kept getting caught on the break, but it’s difficult when you are mixing and matching players searching for the right combinations. It’s a team game and we won the game so it’s all good.”
McCann looked at trialist full-back Liam Shephard in a right-sided centre-back role and was pleased with his contribution.
McCann was also pleased with the efforts of second-half wing-backs Lewis Freestone and Andrea Borg, as well as teenager Sam Cartwright who played the second half as a central defender on his 17th birthday.
The manager also felt Junior Morias, who equalised just before half-time against his former club with a fine strike, looked sharp.
Posh are next in friendly action at National North League Nuneaton on Tuesday (July 11) when Marriott and Harry Anderson could take part.
Posh midfielder Chris Forrester left the action 10 minutes from time because of a slight concussion, but is expected to be fit for Tuesday.