Peterborough United 0-0 Bournemouth- Posh keep promotion-chasing Bournemouth at bay but... are back in the bottom three
Peterborough United collected another precious Championship point following a goalless draw against unbeaten Bournemouth tonight (September 29).
It was a result that did neither side any favours immediately with Posh plunging back into the drop-zone while the Cherries missed out on a return to the summit (albeit both on goal difference) but one suspects it might prove to be a rather more valuable gain for Darren Ferguson’s men in the long-term as their battle to remain in the second tier unfolds.
The game followed an increasingly common pattern at this level with Posh spending much of the second period under pressure after a relatively even and short-on-chances opening half, but unlike in previous home outings against Cardiff and West Brom, there were no late stings in the tail despite them being pushed back deep into their own territory.
That was more down to luck than judgement in a couple of cases with leading Bournemouth scorer Dominic Solanke making a meal of two excellent late chances, but Posh deserved any breaks that came their way for their sheer effort and endeavour alone with a second clean sheet of the season a fitting reward.
Solanke fired wildly over after Posh captain Nathan Thompson inadvertently cleared a Jaidon Anthony cross against Frankie Kent and then headed an Anthony corner over from eight yards as the clock ticked into six minutes of stoppage time.
Given recent history that felt like an eternity and included an exquisite piece of Thompson positioning to prevent a Jefferson Lerma cross from reaching Philip Billing for a tap-in and another punch to the Posh gut.
Thompson, Kent, young Ronnie Edwards and Dan Butler were excellent as a back four with Ollie Norburn running through walls to provide protection in front on a night of graft.
Ferguson made one change to a Posh team which suffered the club’s latest away collapse at Coventry on Friday night.
Joe Ward, who was withdrawn from the action due to illness before the damage was done in that fixture, had to settle for a place on the bench with Harrison Burrows drafted into the starting line-up.
Burrows was looked for on a regular basis on the Posh right during the opening period and one terrific cross looked set to provide Jorge Grant with a breakthrough only for ex-England international Gary Cahill to have other ideas.
Burrows was a poor Jack Taylor pass away from another moment of potential danger while Taylor unleashed an ultra-ambitious 35-yard blast late in the half which was close enough to worry Cherries keeper Mark Travers into a full-stretch dive.
A failure to register a single shot on target could be seen as a poor effort from Posh, but limiting the unbeaten visitors to only a couple of moments of concern – with Morgan Rogers and Ryan Christie efforts dealt with fairly comfortably by Dai Cornell – was undoubtedly a major positive.
An increased level of Bournemouth pressure in the second half was almost inevitable and a flurry of early corners provided all the necessary proof that it was on the way. The last of those flag-kicks from Morgan Rogers was glanced into the side-netting by Solanke who then fired straight at Cornell from a promising position.
A double substitution apiece just after the hour was followed by a further change from each side soon afterwards. Conor Coventry, Joe Ward and Sammie Szmodics were the Posh men to enter the fray with extra zest with Taylor, Dembele and Grant making early exits.
The changes in personnel did nothing to change the flow of the game with Bournemouth in the ascendancy but Posh resolute and well-organised.
A harmless Jonson Clarke-Harris free-kick provided Travers’ only save of the night during a rare spell of respite which was soon broken as one of the Cherries arrivals from the bench, Anthony, saw a shot well blocked by Posh replacement Coventry.
At that point there was plenty more defending still to be done, but Posh completed the mission with success – and that is exactly what this result should be seen as.
POSH: Dai Cornell, Nathan Thompson, Ronnie Edwards, Frankie Kent, Dan Butler; Ollie Norburn, Jack Taylor (sub Conor Coventry, 62); Harrison Burrows, Jorge Grant (sub Sammie Szmodics, 67), Siriki Dembele (sub Joe Ward, 62); Jonson Clarke-Harris. Unused subs: Josh Knight, Kwame Poku, Joe Tomlinson, Will Blackmore.
BOURNEMOUTH: Mark Travers, Jack Stacey, Lloyd Kelly, Gary Cahill, Jordan Zemura; David Brooks (sub Jamal Lowe, 69), Ryan Christie (sub Jaidon Anthony, 62), Jefferson Lerma, Philip Billing, Morgan Rogers (sub Ben Pearson, 62); Dominic Solanke. Unused subs: Chris Mepham, Emiliano Marcondes, Adam Smith.
REFEREE: Andy Woolmer.
ATTENDANCE: 8,971 (741 away).