Peterborough United talking points: The soft underbelly is still there, a new forward line, a defiant goalkeeper, an impressive away run, tricky cup selections and should expectations start to rise?

Ephron Mason-Clark of Peterborough United attempts an overhead kick during the Saturday's 4-2 win over Blackpool. Photo: Joe Dent.Ephron Mason-Clark of Peterborough United attempts an overhead kick during the Saturday's 4-2 win over Blackpool. Photo: Joe Dent.
Ephron Mason-Clark of Peterborough United attempts an overhead kick during the Saturday's 4-2 win over Blackpool. Photo: Joe Dent.
For all of Peterborough United’s good work, they almost let it all go to waste at Blackpool on Saturday.

The most prominent emotion when Ephron Mason-Clark’s 94th minute strike hit the back of the net on Saturday was relief.

This in a game where for 60 minutes Posh had arguably put in their most complete performance of the season and they still came out with perhaps their most impressive victory of the campaign.

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Why was that so? Well, despite racing into a 3-0 lead and fans rejoicing that they could finally relax while watching their side, Posh contrived to gift two goals in six minutes - just two minutes after going three up - with sloppy defending and it was back to the nail biting for the Posh faithful.

A 10-man Blackpool had Posh penned in while chasing a goal, just as a toothless Port Vale did and just as a poor Carlisle side did immediately after going behind in recent weeks.

It seems flicking the switch and putting Posh on the backfoot is a task even the weakest in the division are capable of doing with ease and it is perhaps credit to Posh’s grit they have still amassed 28 points in 15 games albeit it could have been a lot more.

Coming through these periods more often than has been worthy of praise but feels unsustainable,and the habit of getting into that situation needs to be eradicated before too much longer otherwise the fear is they will begin to go the other way more often than not over the course of a 46-game season.


  • Ricky-Jade Jones appears to have earned himself a run in the side. He put in one of his strongest performances in a Posh shirt on Saturday, certainly as a striker. Listeners of the Hard Truth podcast may well remember Darragh MacAnthony saying he will score goals and cause defenders to get red cards if given a regular run down the middle, well there’s your case in point. Even without this strong performance, the argument to recall Clarke-Harris is not compelling. He will be gone in January so starting him will do Posh no long-term good.
  • Nicholas Bilokapic provided an answer to his critics on Saturday. Even in a game where Posh scored four times, I considered naming the Posh goalkeeper as man of the match. He made two big saves at 2-0 and his command of his area/assertiveness coming off the line is rare in a young goalkeeper; it’s also something Posh have not had for a while. There were almost no moments of concern with his passing and there remains that unshakable confidence he has in himself to play of from the back; despite that being the aspect of his game most criticised by fans. The argument to drop him considering his shot-stopping has been as good as ever was nonsensical and he showed why on Saturday.
  • Posh are now in fourth, just a point off second place, which is currently occupied by Oxford, but Bolton are also level with them on 29 points. Given how easy it is to reel off instances Posh have dropped points they should not have done this season, it seems incredible to say. This just further illustrates the state of League One this season, but Posh can only beat what is in front of them and so far they are doing that a good amount of the time. Blackpool were another much-fancied team with high profile players, such as Jordan Rhodes and CJ Hamilton in their team, that looked nothing special. Talk about raising expectations could soon start.
  • Posh have now played Blackpool, Bolton, Barnsley and Portsmouth away from home and come out with two wins and a draw - which really should have been a win - and just one defeat. All four you would expect to be at the sharp end of League One this season. Being able to compete and come out on top more often than not against these sides on the road will stand Posh in good stead, perhaps for a tilt at promotion not expected at the start of the campaign.
  • Posh did not miss Archie Collins and there is even an argument that Jadel Katongo should keep his place in the side after such an outstanding performance. Saturday was only Katongo’s second career league start and the first time he has started as a midfielder. Credit to Darren Ferguson for recognising his ability to play there. Katongo’s Manchester City pedigree is obvious and it’s highly likely that playing as a full-back for a side with Pep Guardiola’s philosophy means that he has spent plenty of time in midfield!
  • A new issue arose with Jonson Clarke-Harris out of the team. Ephron Mason-Clark stepped up to take Posh’s penalty and took a poor spot kick. The chances are that he will still take the next one, but there does not appear to be an obvious candidate in the current XI.
  • With things going so well in the league, having two cups games in the next two isn’t ideal. Posh need to be sensible with selection in the upcoming EFL Trophy game against Tottenham U21s on Tuesday night and next Saturday’s FA Cup meeting with Salford. Not losing momentum is important but the likes of Zak Sturge, Ryan De Havilland and Jacob Wakeling all need a game. I’d be tempted to keep Katongo and Jones going to build momentum after such strong performances on Saturday, which could complicate things for Tuesday, which has been billed as the arrival of Malik Mothersille.
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