Peterborough United’s fifth win in six League One matches has been built on a strong defence. Centre-back Gaby Zakuani and goalkeeper Ben Alnwick were outstanding in today’s (March 21) 1-0 League One win over Chesterfield at the ABAX Stadium, according to Peterborough Telegraph Posh writer Alan Swann.
Ben Alnwick: The save he made to tip away a Gary Roberts’ blockbuster was one of the best of the season at the ABAX Stadium. He stood strong to beat away several other on-target shots as well and his handling of numerous Chesterfield corners was immaculate. Impressive all-round display 8
Michael Smith: Did well when confronted by the tricky Roberts and tried hard to get up and support the Posh attacks. Sacrificed when Posh went down to 10 men, but it was a tactical substitution rather than one made for reasons of form 7
Kgosi Nthle: The left-back wasn’t great in possession and he was pulled all over the place in the opening 25 minutes when Chesterfield were the dominant team, but he rose to the occasion throughout the second-half, winning headers and bravely blocking shots 7
Ricardo Santos: He had a niggly contest with Sam Clucas for the hour he spent on the pitch and two clumsy tackles on the gangly striker in the space of three minutes earned him a deserved red card. He’d been a boss in the air and strong in the tackle before his dismissal 6
Gaby Zakuani: He’s made a mockery of the previous manager’s team selection with five commanding displays in succession. The timing of his prodigious defensive leaps is spot-on and he’s winning virtually every tackle he has to make. Rock-solid and will be badly missed next weekend when he’s on international duty 9
Jack Payne: He avoided the caution that would lead to a two-game ban which was crucial as he’s a vital player in this team. He wasn’t great on the ball today, but he covered lots of ground and his partnership with Bostwick in the centre of the park is strong. It took them a while to get to grips with slick-passing opponents, but they competed well enough in the end 6
Michael Bostwick: I swear opponents are shirking 50/50 tackles with a man who looks even more fearsome thanks to a long, bushy beard. His goal had more than a touch of good fortune about it, but he was in the right place to take advantage. He’s earned the right to be a match-winner with a series of barnstorming displays 7
Joe Newell: Quiet for the most part, but took on the responsibility of a more defensive role when Santos was dismissed and performed okay. He is playing with good discipline even when he’s starved of possession 6
Jon Taylor: Another strong shift from the right-winger. Almost created a first-half goal for Luke James with a fine cross and his set-pieces only don’t cause much panic because Posh lack a presence in the penalty area 6
Conor Washington: Good assist for the goal and only the Chesterfield ‘keeper stopped him scoring a couple himself. Excellent attitude and workrate as he never let the visiting defenders settle 7
Luke James: Denied by a fine save in the first-half when he also planted a header just wide. Strong right-wing runs are becoming a trademark for James and he performed another thrilling one after the break which almost enabled Washington to score 7.
Shaun Brisley: (for Smith, 64 mins).
Dion-Curtis Henry: (not used).
Kyle Vassell: (not used).
Aaron Mclean: (not used).
Harry Anderson: (not used).
Harry Beautyman: (not used).
David Norris: (not used).