MATCH REPORT: Fleetwood 2, Peterborough United 0: No Maddison, no chance for dismal Posh
Marcus Maddison boosted his reputation at Fleetwood today (October 15), the rest of Peterborough United not so much.
Maddison dropped out of the game 30 minutes before kick-off because of illness. Without him Posh were devoid of attacking ideas and deservedly lost 2-0 at the Highbury Stadium.
Not that Maddison would have been able to stop a third-minute goal for Jack Sowerby which was an embarrassment for those in charge of man-marking details.
Or the match-clinching goal on 66 minutes which started with a dismal short pass from Andrew Hughes in the opposition half, continued with substitute Devante Cole humbling Ryan Tafazolli on the by-line and finished with Bobby Grant’s first-time finish which appeared to be going wide until Posh defender Jack Baldwin arrived to turn the ball into his own net.
But surely Maddison’s presence would have improved the chances of a Posh goal in reply? Replacement George Moncur, who was asked at the last minute to deputise, offered little and to be fair he wasn’t alone as Posh again failed to register back-to-back league wins this season.
The bad news started before kick-off with Maddison’s 2.30pm withdrawal.
Michael Bostwick was already an absentee because of a virus and Posh started the game as though a few others were also struggling health-wise.
By 3.03pm Posh were a goal down as Ashley Hunter’s pass somehow found midfielder Sowerby bearing down on goal with no Posh player with 20 yards. His finish was emphatic.
Posh looked sluggish and ‘leggy’ in those opening stages, but graduallly settled down to dominate possession against a home side who were happy to drag everyone behind the ball at their cramped stadium
It worked, while Posh laboured in possession, Fleetwood broke with speed and looked as likely to score the next goal.
Former Posh striker David Ball was denied by a smart Luke McGee save from a 20-yard free-kick, while central defender Ashley Eastham missed the ball completely at the near post following a corner.
Most of Posh’s attacking threat centred around right-back Hayden White who again played high up the pitch. He created a chance for Shaquile Coulthirst who fired over with his left foot with a fine run and pass.
Strike partner Tom Nichols twice sent weak shots straight at the ‘keeper, the second from the best Posh passing move of the half, but central defender Tafazolli missed the best opportunity when heading a smart Chris Forrester chip straight at ‘keeper Chris Neal.
In short Posh needed some magic from Maddison. Without him Posh lacked a spark as Moncur was swallowed up in the crowded areas around the Fleetwood penalty area.
Posh were in the game at the break though, but their performance dipped alarmingly after it.
Coulthirst missed a great chance to equalise, but fired straight at Neal before the home side took complete charge.
Eastham missed another chance when smacking a corner straight at Nichols on the goal-line - it was the striker’s sole meaningful contribution to the game - and Cole smashed a fierce shot against the crossbar.
Posh sent on teenage striker Matty Stevens for his debut, but it was far too late as Posh maintained their poor record at this venue.
Posh: Luke McGee, Hayden White (sub Nathan Oduwa, 75 mins), Andrew Hughes, Jack Baldwin, Ryan Tafazolli, Chris Forrester, Leo Da Silva Lopes, Gwion Edwards, George Moncur (sub Paul Taylor, 57 mins), Shaquile Coulthirst, Tom Nichols (sub Matty Stevens, 81 mins)
Unused substitutes: Michael Smith, Callum Chettle, Ricardo Santos, Mark Tyler.
Fleetwood: Chris Neal, Conor McLaughlin, Amari Bell, Nathan Pond, Ashley Eastham, Jimmy Ryan, Kyle Dempsey, Jack Sowerby (sub Victor Nirennold, 75 mins), Bobby Grant (sub Martyn Woolford, 87 mins), David Ball. Ashley Hunter (sub Devante Cole, 50 mins).
Unused substitutes: Eggert Jonsson, Alex Cairns, Alex Jakubiak, Cian Bolger, .
Goals: Fleetwood - Sowerby ( 3 mins), Baldwin (og, 66 mins).
Cautions: Fleetwood - Grant (foul), Ryan (foul).
Referee: Nigel Miller.
Attendance: 2,711 (332 Posh).
Alan Swann is at the game for the Peterborough Telegraph so follow all the team news, LIVE commentary, match report and match reaction here click here