Peterborough United youngster ready for more after making fine Football League debut against Bristol Rovers

James Dornelly goes up against Scott Sinclair. Photo: Joe Dent.James Dornelly goes up against Scott Sinclair. Photo: Joe Dent.
James Dornelly goes up against Scott Sinclair. Photo: Joe Dent.
Peterborough United defender James Dornelly is ready to get stuck into the men’s game after making his league debut on Saturday.

Right-back debut was handed a start away at Bristol Rovers as Posh ran out 2-0 victors thanks to goals from Joel Randall and Ricky-Jade Jones.

It was Dornelly’s sixth appearance of the season after previously appearing in EFL Trophy, FA Cup and Carabao Cup ties for the club this season. He converted his penalty in Posh’s shootout victory over Salford in the FA Cup first round in November.

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It was also first appearance since December, however, after spending a number of months out with injury.

The 19-year-old lined up facing former Premier League man Scott Sinclair but defended well as Posh kept just a second clean sheet in 12 games.

He lasted just over an hour before appearing to cramp up and was replaced by Jadel Katongo.

Reflecting on his league debut, he said: “It was a really good experience. Thank you to the gaffer and all the management staff for giving me the opportunity. I really enjoyed it and thought I did alright!

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“There was a few butterflies at the start but this is what I’ve been training for my whole life.

“I just felt comfortable. I’ve been with this group for a while now and we worked well today.

“I have to thank the gaffer for giving me a few tactical insights into Scott Sinclair. It was just like playing any other player though, it doesn’t really bother me who I’m up against. I just want to play.

“Me and Dave played a few 21s game with each other last year and then we played at Portsmouth together so we’re on a good wavelength with each other.

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“It was really pleasing to control the game for long periods. Towards the end, they had a lot of the ball but we worked on our shape before the game, we got our distances right and we did well.

“Hopefully I can get through more games before the end of the season and help the boys during the play-offs.

“I had a few chances to get a goal but no conviction. I’ll leave that one down to nerves I think.

“I need to find consistency now and get fit- these are a lot different to 21s games, they’re a lot quicker and I need to get my body used to this sort of tempo.”

Posh boss Darren Ferguson confirmed that he would field a vastly changed side away at Cheltenham on Tuesday night but that Dornelly would keep his place.

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