MATCH REPORT: Peterborough United 0, Scunthorpe 2: Leaders too good for Posh
League One leaders Scunthorpe were too good for Peterborough United at the ABAX Stadium tonight (November 22).
The visitors won 2-0 with goals on 21 minutes from Kevin van Veen and Neal Bishop eight minutes from time.
It was a fair reflection of the play as Posh only threatened for a 20-minute spell in the second-half after making two substitutions at the interval.
Beforehand it looked the toughest assignment of the season. Hosting a team with just four defeats in their last 38 League One matches spread over the last eight months was never going to be easy even for a team chasing a sixth straight win in all competitions.
And so it proved. Scunthorpe didn’t exactly race through the gears or thrill with fast-paced football, but they were in complete control for the opening 45 minutes, simply by pressing Posh high up the pitch and forcing hurried passes forward which were gobbled up by the visiting defenders.
Posh found it hard to string one pass together never mind a sequence so spent most of the half defending, with predictable results against the best side in the division.
Scunthorpe won a succession of free kicks and corners, but only managed to find one goal as van Veen headed home a right wing cross from Stephen Dawson. Dawson was given far to much time to find his big striker, one who was a constant irritation to the Posh defence, and to Jack Baldwin in particular.
van Veen had shown both Posh centre-backs a clean pair of heels in the second minute before forcing Luke McGee to beat away his shot.
Posh barely mustered a shot in reponse. Tom Nichols, after a 1-2 with Chris Forrester, gave visiting ‘keeper Luke Daniels his only work of the first period and it wasn’t exactly a tough task.
Posh manager Grant McCann’s reaction was to replace striker Shaq Coulthirst and midfielder Leo da Silva Lopes at the break with Lee Angol and Gwion Edwards and their impact was obvious and immediate.
Angol held the ball up under pressure and set Forrester up for a shooting chance that was wasted, while Edwards delivered two fine crosses, the second of which was eventually poked wide by Michael Smith from inside the area.
Maddison also sent a couple of set pieces into dangerous areas, but Tafazolli and Andrew Hughes couldn’t get a strong enough connection. Another deep cross from Maddison was volleyed back across goal by Nichols, just out of Edwards’ reach.
And 20 minutes from time Posh had their chance. A fine pass from Edwards released Maddison, his first time shot was well saved and Nichols, darting in at pace, headed over the bar.
It was far from a sitter, but it proved crucial as Scunthorpe weathered the storm and finished the game the stronger.
They won 9-0 on corners and scored from the ninth as Neal Bishop bundled the ball over the line after McGee had made a decent save from the initial header.
Substitute Sam Mantom and the lively Duane Holmes could have added further goals after the break.
Posh: Luke McGee, Michael Smith, Andrew Hughes, Jack Baldwin, Ryan Tafazolli, Michael Bostwick (sub George Moncur, 68 mins), Chris Forrester, Leo Da Silva Lopes (sub Gwion Edwards, 46 mins), Marcus Maddison, Tom Nichols, Shaquile Coulthirst (sub Lee Angol, 46 mins). Unused substitutes: Paul Taylor, Mark Tyler, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Hayden White.
Scunthorpe: Luke Daniels, Scott Wiseman, Murray Wallace, Charlie Goode, Stephen Dawson (substitute Richard Smallwood, 53 mins), Josh Morris, Neal Bishop, Holmes, Kevin van Veen (sub Sam Mantom, 76 mins), Tom Hopper (sub Luke Williams, 89 mins). Unused substitutes: Joe Anyon, Jordan Clarke, Hakeeb Adelakun, Paddy Madden.
Goals: Scunthorpe - van Veen (21 mins), Bishop (82 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Baldwin (unsporting behaviour), Coulthirst (foul), Edwards (foul),
Scunthorpe - van Veen (foul).
Referee: Charles Breakspear 5.
Attendance: 5,222 (395 Scunthorpe).