Cliftonville 0, Posh 6: The great entertainers are back

Joe Gormley pictured after scoring for Posh against Cliftonville. Picture: Joe Dent
Joe Gormley pictured after scoring for Posh against Cliftonville. Picture: Joe Dent
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Are the great entertainers back? Posh beat Cliftonville 6-0 in Belfast tonight (July 15) to make it 12 goals in three pre-season friendlies so far.

The three goals stuck past a Premier League defence on Saturday (July 11) suggests that Posh can score against quality as well as cannon fodder which is what Cliftonville turned out to be, particularly in the second-half when the probable first-team took to the field.

Posh boss Dave Robertson will be pleased that six different players scored. He will be delighted that a strike force of Conor Washington and Joe Gormley that he reckons will terrorise League One this season were among them as were Kieran Sadlier (or Triallist A to give him his club name), Kyle Vassell, Jon Taylor and Michael Bostwick.

Taylor has now scored in each of the club’s three friendlies this summer while Posh also kept a pleasing clean sheet for the first time, no mean feat when the personnel are chopped and changed, at half-time in this match with goalkeeper Ben Alnwick the only man to return after the break.

Three triallists started the match for Posh. They are believed to be regular anonymous performers Andrew Fox and Kieran Sadlier plus former Spurs striker Souleymane Coulibaly, a player searching for a Football League club after an unsuccessful stint in Italy. A fourth, as yet unidentified triallist, appeared as a late second-half substitute.

Left-sided midfielder Sadlier fired Posh in front just before the half hour mark with a crisp finish from just inside the penalty area before Vassell defeated the offside trap to add a second just over five minutes later.

Joe Gormley’s arrival at half-time and departure just before the end were greeted with standing ovations from his former fanbase in Cliftonville although they were probably cursing him when he netted with his first touch of the ball on 49 minutes. Gormley stabbed home an excellent Marcus Maddison cross from close range.

Washington slid home another cross to make it 4-0 before passing to Taylor to make it five with a superb finish to the top corner. A Bostwick curler from 16 yards finished the scoring in the final moments.

Maddison, Vassell and Taylor were stopped from scoring further goals by good goalkeeping, while Maddison also struck the crossbar.

Alwnick had little to do, but made two fine saves when called into action on a 3G surface that clearly aided the superior footballers.

Posh (first-half): Alnwick, Adebayo-Rowling, Maslen-Jones, Brisley, Fox, H. Anderson, J.Anderson, Newell Sadlier, Vassell, Souleymane Coulibaly,

Posh: (second-half): Alnwick (sub Ravas 78min), Ntlhe, Zakuani, Santos, Smith, Maddison, Bostwick, Taylor, Newell (sub Trialist 78min), Gormley (sub Edwards, 85 mins), Vassell (sub Washington 55min).

Goals: Posh - Sadlier (28 mins), Vassell (34 mins), Gormley (59 mins), Washington (64 mins), Taylor (86 mins), Bostwick (89 mins).