REPORT: SHEFFIELD UNITED 6, PETERBOROUGH UNITED 2: Blades were far too sharp for pitiful Posh

Peterborough United were crushed by a rampant Sheffield United at Bramall Lane today (September 11), losing 6-2 on a Championship afternoon to forget.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th September 2021, 4:39 pm
Harrison Burrows of Peterborough United in action against Sheffield United. Photo: Joe Dent/

The Blades had scored one goal and picked up just two points before today’s game and, although they had strengthened on transfer deadline day, only one new signing started this game.

But they were a class apart from Posh who, although showing moments of promise going forward, were a shambles defensively, barely winning a challenge of note.

Amazingly, given how the game played out, Posh reached the break level after Jack Marriott’s excellent finish and the same player really should have fired his side in front soon after the restart, but was defied by an excellent double save.

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Within four minutes the Blades were 3-1 up and they stormed 5-1 ahead with still 20 minutes to go before substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris converted a 78th minute penalty after he’d fallen to the ground rather softly. A pity penalty perhaps from referee Stephen Martin whose foul count against the Blades was precisely one at that point.

Posh were without injury victim Nathan Thompson and left Clarke-Harris on the substitutes’ bench, preferring instead the pace of Marriott up front. Josh Knight stepped in for Thompson on the right of the back three with Frankie Kent assuming the captaincy.

The Blades were without classy midfielder Sander Berge because of Covid. New signing Morgan Gibbs-White started, but another newboy Conor Hourihane was left on the bench. The hosts still fielded a side with huge experience in the Premier League as well as the Championship.

And for half an hour it was one-way traffic towards the Posh goal. The home side were slick on the ball and wing-backs pushed high up the pitch enjoyed the freedom of Bramall Lane.

The movement of veteran Billy Sharp and young Iliman Ndaiye was also a problem and pressure told after 14 minutes, ironically straight after the first Posh corner of the game, a woeful one obviously.

The Blades won a free-kick, took it quickly, and Gibbs-White was soon pulling the ball back for Ndaiye to convert first-time from the edge of the area.

Sharp then shot wide after a quick turn and a cross from the veteran was just missed by Ndiaye. Posh ‘keeper Christy Pym then did well to get down and save at Pym’s feet after some poor defending by Josh Knight. Appeals for a penalty from a follow-up challenge were rejected by referee Martin.

The Blades appeared to win every header in the Posh box. Knight and Dan Butler were both tackled inside their own penalty away without punishment and high balls and offside flags stopped any Posh attacks.

But a couple of terrific pieces of football lead to corners and provided hope. Ollie Norburn, Sammie Szmodics and Siriki Dembele were all involved with the latter playing the unmarked Knight - from his centre-back position - into the area. Unfortunately his cross was cleared.

But Posh then struck against the run of play. Pym’s huge clearance was miscontrolled by Jack Robinson and Marriott pounced, robbing the defender and streaking clear to drill the ball home five minutes before the break.

Two minutes later Marriott again robbed a defender on halfway, was taken down, but referee Martin didn’t even give a free kick, much to Posh boss Darren Ferguson’s annoyance as he raced onto the pitch in complaint.

The equaliser woke the home side up and following another poorly defended corner Coventry and Butler delivered excellent blocks to keep Posh on level terms at the break.

And Marriott should have fired Posh in front soon after the restart. Good penalty area penetration by Harrison Burrows led to a shot from Dembele being deflected straight to Marriott with just goalkeeper Wes Foderingham to beat. His first shot was saved as was his follow-up before Burrows was cautioned for simulation.

And punishment soon arrived and it was self-inflicted. Kent’s straight pass out of defence was picked up by John Fleck who exchanged passes with Sharp before scoring neatly.

And two minutes later Posh again lost possession in their own half. Sharp wriggled down the right and crossed perfectly for Ben Osborn to convert from close range.

Ndaiye then raced clear only for Pym to save as Posh continued to struggle defensively.

It was 4-1 on 68 minutes when Gibbs-White smashed a shot into the top corner and 5-1 a couple of minutes later thanks to a close-range header from Ndiaye.

That Clarke-Harris penalty appeared to give Posh the last word, but Osborn cruised into the penalty area unchallenged to make it six on the stroke of full-time, by which time Posh had reverted to a midfield diamond.

Match details:

Posh: Christy Pym, Josh Knight, Frankie Kent, Dan Butler, Harrison Burrows, Joe Ward, Oliver Norburn (sub Jack Taylor, 63 mins), Conor Coventry, Sammie Szmodics (sub Jorge Grant. 72 mins), Siriki Dembele, Jack Marriott (sub Jonson Clarke-Harris, 72 mins).

Unused subs: Dai Cornell, Ronnie Edwards, Joe Tomlinson, Joel Randall,

Sheffield United: Wes Foderingham, Rhys Norrington-Davies, John Egan, Morgan Gibbs-White (sub Oli McBurnie, 76 mins), George Baldock, Jack Robinson, Oliver Norwood (sub Conor Hourihane, 71 mins), Ben Osborn, John Fleck, Iliman Ndiaye (sub, Luke Freeman, 72 mins), Billy Sharp

Unused subs: Michael Verrips, Chris Basham, Rhian Brewster, Jayden Bogle.

Goals: Posh - Marriott (40 mins), Clarke-Harris (pen, 78 mins).

Sheffield United - Ndiaye (14 mins & 70), Fleck (52 mins), Osborn (54 mins & 90 + 3 mins), Gibbs-White (68 mins),

Cautions; Posh - Burrows (simulation), Butler (foul).

Referee: Stephen Martin 6.

Attendance: 27,395 (1.995 Posh).

LIVE BLOG: Sheffield United vs Posh

Last updated: Thursday, 16 September, 2021, 16:54

  • 6-2 Sheffield United FT
  • Posh thumped by rampant Sheffield United side
  • Before today, Sheffield United had just one goal and two points in the league
  • Posh went in level at the break after Marriott’s first goal in a year
  • Posh conceded two goals in three minutes twice in the second half
  • Late JCH penalty was nothing more than a consolation
  • Posh slip to 23rd in the league

It’s over.

So easy. Billy Sharp turns away from Knight, mid way into the Posh half, passes to McBurnie, who spins and rolls it into the path of the onrushing Osburn as he breezes past Ward. Buries it past Pym into the left hand side of the net.


Marcy from the officials

Not sure there’s going to be enough time for a sensational comeback as Freeman sees another shot blocked, he’s been the centre of everything since he came on, blocked. From the resulting corner, Baldock is just ignored as he wiats for the short pass, fortunately his ball in is well over everyone.

As the game might be finally settling down, it’s a good time to say that the penalty was the foul was the first one the referee has given Posh in the entire match. He’s had plenty of opportunities aswell.

As the game might be finally settling down, it’s a good time to say that the penalty was the foul was the first one the referee has given Posh in the entire match. He’s had plenty of opportunities aswell.

As the game might be finally settling down, it’s a good time to say that the penalty was the foul was the first one the referee has given Posh in the entire match. He’s had plenty of opportunities aswell.

It’s nearly 6-2. Butler and Kent do their best to hold up Baldock and Freeman and Baldock on the edge of the box, they get drawn to the ball and Baldock knocks it off Freeman who has a free go at the top right corner from the edge of the box, however, he puts is over. He’ll think he should have scored that.

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