MATCH REPORT: St Albans 1, Posh 4: Peterborough United debutants are quick to impress
Only a fool would be too concerned about results in friendlies, particularly the first one of the summer, especially when played in silly temperatures on an uneven playing surface.
Add in a new Peterborough United formation, the 3-5-2 system was indeed in use, and several new players, all of them bar striker Jack Marriott, and it’s a recipe for disjointed football.
And so it proved for 45 minutes when Posh relied on a fine strike from Junior Morias to reach the interval on level terms against National South League side St Albans City.
However it was a different story after the break when a completely-changed side ran rings round toiling part-timers. Debutants Ricky Miller (2) and Danny Lloyd scored in the opening 13 minutes of the half to seal a most satisfactory 4-1 win for Posh.
Leo Da Silva Lopes and Gwion Edwards occupied the wing-back positions in the first half with the latter far more of a threat going forward and the former far more of a liability when defending.
Indeed Edwards forced a fine save from St Albans’ keeper Dean Snedeker in the first 10 minutes, the only part of the first period when Posh were truly on top.
And on 26 minutes Da Silva Lopes’ clumsy trip conceded a penalty which was expertly converted by Shaun Lucien to give the home side a lead they threatened to extend on a couple of occasions.
Slimline Posh striker Junior Morias was afforded a fine reception on his return to Clarence Park. He even received a smattering of applause from home fans when firing hard into the roof of the net to draw Posh level two minutes before the break. Trialist full-back Liam Shephard, playing as one of three centre-backs here, set the goal up with a terrific pass.
Michael Doughty’s ability to ping accurate long passes was a Posh highlight of the first 45 minutes as was the odd surging run forward by Edwards.
But Posh exploded into life in the second-half with a splendid three-goal burst in quick time.
It took three minutes for Lloyd to announce his arrival at Posh with a 25 yard free kick which which bounced into the net and a few minutes longer for Miller to do the same with another free kick from a wider angle that looked like it wasn’t defended properly.
Miller scored a much better goal 90 seconds later with a precision lob over the ‘keeper after a fine Lloyd pass. Miller was denied a hat-trick by a fine Snedeker save moments later.
Lloyd should have claimed a second after Chris Forrester sent him through, but a poor shot was saved and a much better struck follow-up was well blocked on the goal-line.
Posh cruised through the rest of the game, although Tom Nichols should have scored following a Miller-inspired break, but he blazed well over the crossbar.
Lewis Freestone was denied a first Posh goal by a fingertip save.
The link-up play between Miller and Lloyd was impressive at times. It’s just a shame it will be September before it’s seen in a more meaningful game.
Posh: (first half) Josh Tibbetts, Liam Shephard, Andrew Hughes, Jack Baldwin, Leo Da Silva Lopes, Michael Doughty, Callum Chettle, Gwion Edwards, Marcus Maddison, Junior Morias, Morgan Penfold.
Posh: (second half) Jonathan Bond, Lewis Freestone, Ryan Tafazolli, Sam Cartwright, Anthony Grant, Michael Bostwick, Chris Forrester (sub Carl Barker, 80 mins), Danny Lloyd, Andrea Borg, Tom Nichols, Ricky Miller.
Goals: Posh - Morias (43 mins), Lloyd (48 mins), Miller (56 mins & 57 mins).
St Albans - Lucien (28 mins, pen).
Attendance: 500 (approx).