Peterborough United are top of League One after a second successive win which featured two debut goals

Peterborough United eased to the top of the League One table after a 3-0 win over Morecambe at the Weston Homes Stadium.

By Alan Swann
Saturday, 6th August 2022, 4:58 pm
Posh midfielder Hector Kyprianou is fouled during the game against Morecambe. Photo: Paul Marriott/theposh.com.
Posh midfielder Hector Kyprianou is fouled during the game against Morecambe. Photo: Paul Marriott/theposh.com.

An eary goal from Joe Ward followed by goals on their full club debuts from Ben Thompson and Hector Kyprianou (it was the first Football League goal of his career) made it six goals in two matches for the free-scoring home team. There will be tougher challenges to come than two teams fancied for relegation, but there was still much to admire about a Posh side who are playing with great energy.

Posh stuck with the 3-4-1-2 formation that helped turn the Cheltenham game around last weekend. Kyprianou was given the nod over Jeando Fuchs in midfield as Posh presumably expected to see a lot of the ball and wanted someone able to keep hold of it.

Ben Thompson was handed the task of replacing Sammie Szmodics. Nathan Thompson was back in the squad, but only on the substitutes bench where Joe Taylor rather than Ricky-Jade Jones also sat.

Ben Tompson scores the second Posh goal 2-0 v Morecambe. Photo: Paul Marriott.

Morecambe were expected to sit deep and try and release star striker Cole Stockton on the break.

Posh were first to threaten when one of many Josh Knight bursts from the back led to a Jack Marriott cross and a shot from Thompson from eight yards that was well blocked.

But a minute later Posh were in front, albeit with a helping hand from visiting goalkeeper Connor Ripley. Posh switched the ball neatly through midfield with first-time passes from Jack Taylor and Ben Thompson finally reaching Ward whose 20 yard shot was accurate, but shouldn’t have been able to slip through Ripley’s hands.

Any thought of the floodgates opening were rudely interrupted as the visitors started to pass the ball neatly in midfield. They soon created a golden chance for main man Stockton after a pass from Ronnie Edwards had been intercepted in midfield. One pass later and Stockton was bearing down on goal, but Lucas Bergstrom stuck out one of his long legs to save superbly.

Morecambe continued to see plenty of the ball, but Posh always carried the greater threat and they dominated the final 15 minutes of the half. Ben Thompson saw a low skidder saved by Ripley and Marriott missed a great opportunity for 2-0 when wriggling free in the penalty area before firing straight at Ripley with the goal at his mercy.

Marriott, who was lively throughout the first-half, also curled over from 20 yards, before Posh claimed their second goal two minutes before the interval.

A foul on Ward led to Jonson Clarke-Harris hammering a 20-yard free kick which Ripley could only block. Jack Taylor kept the ball alive before Ben Thompson was on hand to scuff home his first goal for the club with the aid of a deflection.

Another lung-bursting run from Knight almost led to a third goal with Harrison Burrows sidefooting wide after a desperate clearance.

Morecambe started the second half on top, but again failed to penetrate and it took a controversial non-penalty award to Posh to wake them up. Referee Dean Whitestone, who was unconvincing throughout, initially awarded a penalty after Ripley took out Clarke-Harris, but an assistant referee’s flag forced a change of mind, which didn’t go down well in the home camp who claimed the skipper had intercepted a backpass. VAR pictures would have been interesting.

No matter, Posh were alive again and started to batter their plucky, but outclassed opponents.

Ben Thompson inexplicably took the ball inside and into traffic when Clarke-Harris appeared to have played him through. Marriott was then thwarted by Ripley after Knight had nodded a corner into his path.

Clarke-Harris shoud have scored with a six yard header from Jack Taylor’s precision cross, but Ripley saved well.

Bergstrom again saved well from Hunter from a rare visiting attack before Posh made the game completely safe with a classy goal. Kyrpianou strode classily forward and exchanged passes with Marriott before slotting home in the 72nd minute.

Multiple substitutions from both sides followed as the game petered out. Former Posh loanee should have scored Morecambe’s first goal of the season, but volleyed badly over from close range.

Posh debutant David Ajoboye also forced Ripley into an injury time save before a home crowd, including some stafe standers for the first time in the club’s history could celebrate.

Posh: Lucas Bergstrom, Harrison Burrows (sub Joe Tomlinson, 81 mins), Frankie Kent, Ronnie Edwards, Josh Knight (sub David Ajiboye, 75 mins), Joe Ward (sub Nathan Thompson, 81 mins), Hector Kyprianou, Ben Thompson (sub Joel Randall, 76 mins), Jack Taylor, Jack Marriott (sub Joe Taylor, 76 mins), Jonson Clarke-Harris

Unused subs: Will Lakin, Jeando Fuchs.

Morecambe: Connor Ripley, Donald Love, Max Melbourne (sub Caleb Watts, 69 mins), Liam Gibson, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Delaney, Jake Taylor (sub Shane McLaughlin, 76 mins), Ousmane Fane, Ash Hunter (sub Dylan Connolly, 76 mins), Jensen Weir, Cole Stockton (Jonathon Obika, 76 mins).

Unused subs: Adam Smith, Arthur Gnahoua, Anthony O’Connor.

Goals: Posh – Ward (9 mins), B. Thompson (43 mins), Kyprianou (72 mins).

Cautions: Posh – Marriott (foul).

Morecambe – Melbourne (foul).

Referee: Dean Whitestone 5

Attendance: 7,691.