REPORT: Peterborough United 0, Nottingham Forest 1: Posh fought to the end, but they have been relegated

Peterborough United have been relegated back to League One.

By Alan Swann
Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 5:43 pm
Peterborough United players cut dejected figures after Nottingham Forest score the opening goal of the game.
Peterborough United players cut dejected figures after Nottingham Forest score the opening goal of the game.

They went down fighting by matching promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest at the Weston Homes Stadium today (April 23), but the one flash of quality in 90 messy minutes ensured the visitors went home with the points.Sam Surridge's close range header from Brennan Johnson's superb left-wing cross in the final minute of the first half proved decisive.Posh huffed and puffed. They made attacking substitutions, but they didn't come close to scoring after an early chance fell the way of Ricky-Jade Jones.The players couldn't have given much more than they did, but they lacked the quality to break open a Forest side who played well below their reputation. They were pretty boring for the most part, happy to take advantage of a referee who was largely oblivious to some rather obvious timewasting and gamesmanship.Much was on the game for both sides. Optimistic Posh fans still held out hope of a miracle, while Forest are not yet out of the race for automatic promotion.Posh fielded a flat back four with Josh Knight filling in at right-back. Jones was a surprise inclusion ahead of in-form Jack Marriott, but it was close to becoming an inspired decision after just eight minutes.Jones rolled a cumbersome centre-back rather easily to break clean through on goal, but Forest 'keeper Brice Samba was off his line quickly to save.Posh were the better side for the first quarter of the game. Forest were made to look pedestrian, and rather dull to be frank.But chances didn't arrive at either end. It was a poor game full of fouls, misplaced passing and what appeared to be regular guesswork from referee Michael Salisbury before the man in the middle settled down, showing far more leniency to Forest players than the home ones.There could be no doubting Harrison Burrows deserved his first half yellow card, but Jack Taylor was cautioned for winning the ball and only after visiting players made their opinions known. Surridge shoved Ronnie Edwards over a barrier at one point without any punishment.The game was drifting to a 0-0 half-time scoreline, but then Forest pounced. Knight lost possession 25 yards from the visiting goal and didn't make a strong enough effort to win the next tackle.Johnson was soon bursting away down the left-wing and his cross was perfection for Surridge waiting unmarked six yards from goal.Posh sent on Marriott for Jones at the break and they delivered another committed 45 minutes without really threatening an equaliser.Kent did head an early corner wide, but shots from Szmodics and Marriott were easy for Samba. A stinger from Harrison Burrows 10 minutes from time following a neat pass from was more of a problem, but the angle was too acute.Posh made attacking substitutes, but unbalanced the team in pursuit of the two goals that would extended the season for another week.Indeed Forest often looked more likely to score. Posh goalkeeper Dai Cornell saved well from Jack Colback, while substitute Lewis Grabban missed two glorious chances before he was himself taken off, possibly with an injury, or possibly through embarrassment.Ronnie Edwards, who was excellent throughout, made a great tackle to thwart Johnson before Posh accepted their fate of an immediate return to League One.Today, or even the last couple of months, wasn't the problem. This relegation was created last summer and Posh didn't know how to rescue it.

Posh: Dai Cornell, Harrison Burrows, Frankie Kent, Ronnie Edwards, Josh Knight, Sammie Szmodics, Jack Taylor, Jeando Fuchs (sub Joel Randall, 66 mins), Kwame Poku, Ricky-Jade Jones (sub, Jack Marriott, 46 mins), Jonson Clarke-Harris.Unused subs: Will Blackmore, Mark Beevers, Bali Mumba, Reece Brown, Jorge Grant.Forest: Brice Samba, Djed Spence, Tobias Figueiredo, Joe Worrall, Scott McKenna, Jack Colback, Ryan Yates, James Garner, Philip Zinckernagel (sub Joe Lolley, 61 mins), Brennan Johnson, Sam Surridge (Sub Lewis Grabban, 73 mins, sub Carlos Miguel Ribeiro Dias 88 mins).Unused subs: Ethan Hovarth, Steve Cook, Richie Laryea, Alex Mighten.Goal: Forest - Surridge (45 mins).Cautions: Posh - Burrows (foul), Taylor (foul), Szmodics (foul).Forest - Surridge (foul), Colback (foul), Samba (time wasting).Referee: Michael Salisbury 5Attendance: 12,817 (3,599 Forest).