Peterborough United finish the Championship with a bang thanks to a dazzling attacking display

Peterborough United at least ended the Championship season with a bang rather than a whimper as they hammered Blackpool 5-0 at the Weston Homes Stadium today (May 7).

By Alan Swann
Saturday, 7th May 2022, 5:18 pm
Sammie Szmodics of Peterborough United (left) celebrates scoring with team-mate Ricky-Jade Jones. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com
Sammie Szmodics of Peterborough United (left) celebrates scoring with team-mate Ricky-Jade Jones. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com

It was a stunning display from Grant McCann’s men as they produced some dazzling attacking football to send their fans into the summer break in a happy mood.

Obviously the pressure was off and the visitors fielded a side to reflect how little was on the game for them, but that’s not a Posh problem.

After the toughest of seasons they’ve stayed together and played with plenty of spirit even though relegation has looked a certainty for several weeks, if not months.

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Jack Taylor of Peterborough United shoots at goal against Blackpool. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com

This result and performance – it was comfortably the biggest win of the season – would suggest Posh will have plenty to look forward to next season in League One.

Sammie Szmodics scored twice with Jonson Clarke-Harris, substitute Jack Marriott and Jack Taylor – with a last-minute screamer – also on target. There were some quality moves and excellent finishes for the highlights reel.

Manager Grant McCann's hint that he's use some younger players meant substitute bench appearances for youth team right-back Janos Bodnar and Under 23 forward Andrew Oluwabori. Frankie Kent was also relegated to the bench as Posh switched to a flat back four.

And Posh started the game well with Chris Maxwell in the visiting goal far busier than his opposite number.

Maxwell saved well from Taylor and Ricky-Jade Jones in the opening 10 minutes and again from a Taylor header following a precise cross from Jones on the half hour.

Weak headed efforts from Clarke-Harris and Jake Beesley followed before Maxwell thwarted the lively Szmodics at his near post. Kwame Poke created that half-chance and then supplied the perfect through ball for Clarke-Harris to bag his 12th goal of the season 10 minute before the break. Clarke-Harris showed poise and confidence to go past Maxwell and sit substitute Marvin Ekpiete on his backside before scoring.

Owen Dale missed a couple of chances to equalise in the final 10 minutes of the half, but Posh deserved their lead at the break, although losing tough midfielder Jeando Fuchs to injury in the latters stages was a concern. Jorge Grant came on for a rare appearance under McCann.

But there was no need to worry as Posh went to deliver one of their best attacking displays of the season. It was just a shame it didn’t matter in the grandest of schemes.

Jack Taylor was pinging passes about for fun, Poku continued his excellent afternoon and Jones was a constant nuisance with his pace.

Blackpool saw plenty of the ball, but only Joe Ward’s terrible pass across his own goal caused any concern and the visitors made a hash of that opportunity.

Within 60 seconds Poku had breezed past his marker and shot over the bar to the disappointment of better placed teammaes.

But it didn’t matter as Szmodics popped up with two goals in nine second-half minutes. He had help as a delicious pass from Jones set him free to expertly beat the approaching Maxwell with his left foot on 63 minutes.

And Poku had a hand in the third Posh goal after drifting across the Blackpool defence and freeing Harrison Burrows down the left wing. The youngster’s cross was perfect for a Szmodics tap in.

Burrows was again the supplier for Marriott’s 85th minute volley and Taylor’s superb 22 yarder into the top corner was a fitting finale to a top display.

Roll on next season when this one can firmly be put to bed.

Posh: Dai Cornell, Harrison Burrows, Josh Knight, Ronnie Edwards, Joe Ward, Jack Taylor, Jeando Fuchs (sub Jorge Grant, 45 mins), Kwame Poku, Sammie Szmodics, Ricky-Jade Jones (sub Joel Randall, 75 mins), Jonson Clarke-Harris (sub Jack Marriott, 75 mins).

Unused subs: Will Lakin, Frankie Kent, Andrew Oluwabori, Janos Bodnar.

Blackpool: Chris Maxwell, Callum Connolly, Oliver Casey, Richard Keogh (sub Marvin Ekpiteta, 35 mins), Luke Garbutt, Kevin Stewart , Sonny Carey (sub Luke Mariette, 69 mins), CJ Hamilton, Owen Dale, Jake Beesley, Jerry Yates (sub Jake Daniels, 81 mins).Unused subs: Dan Grimshaw, Jack Moore, Joe Strawn, Rob Apter.

Goals:Posh – Clarke-Harris (35 mins), Szmodics (63 mins & 71 mins), Marriott (85 mins), Taylor (90 mins).

Caution: Posh – Ward (foul).

Referee: Andy Woolmer 5.

Attendance: 9,118 (1,105 Blackpool).