A dramatic day at Peterborough United ended with a much-needed boost to the club’s League One play-off hopes (February 27).
The 2-1 win over Walsall at the ABAX Stadium - a success that pushes Posh up two places to eighth and within three points of a play-off place - was watched from the director’s box by Steve Evans and Paul Raynor, the men expected to become the new Posh management team before the tough trip to high-flying Shrewsbury on Saturday (March 3). The pair had resigned their posts at Mansfield a couple of hours before kick off.
The match was completed despite heavy snowfall forcing a break towards the end of the match to enable the pitch markings to be swept. Posh players Steven Taylor and Junior Morias were among those to pick up a broom and help the groundstaff.
David Oldfield, the assistant to sacked manager Grant McCann, was in charge of the team tonight and was delighted with the response of his players to a difficult few days as they ground out a first win in six League One matches.
Posh fell behind early on and then saw a Marcus Maddison penalty saved, but the mercurial winger then had a hand in goals scored by Omar Bogle, his first for the club, and centre-back Steven Taylor who diverted Jack Baldwin’s goalbound shot into the net.
“The lads showed a lot of character and togetherness,” Oldfield enthused. “We deserved to win and to come back after conceding a goal and then missing a penalty was a terrific effort by all of them. The attitude of those in and out of the side was spot on.
“We have come close to winning games under Grant recently, but this time we managed to get ourselves over the line. I would hope the players dedicate the performance to Grant. It’s frustrating what’s happened, but this is what happens in football. The chairman does what he thinks he has to do and the rest if us have to carry on and be completely professional.
“We did that tonight. The spirit was great. The players really showed their mettle. We have been guilty of not having enough guile and determination this season, but it was there tonight.
“It was a game of great excitement. There were twists, turn and thrills galore with both teams having plenty of chances to score.
“We are a work in progress still, but we have a great opportunity to achieve something this season. We are in a great position in the league, just three points outside the play-offs and if we keep this level of togetherness we will have a chance.
“I was delighted with Bogle’s first goal, Jack Marriott’s workrate and with what Marcus Maddison brings to the team, but I’m reluctant to single players out as this was a team effort.
“Even when the snow fell really heavily and the referee gave us five minutes to clear the lines, everyone mucked in to help. The players and the office staff as well as the groundstaff all grabbed brushes and brooms so well done to all of them!”
Oldfield, who has won both his matches a caretaker-manager at Posh despite a seven-year gap between them, is unsure of his future. Evans and Rayner travel everywhere as a team, but might have a place on their staff for a well-respected figure who knows Posh well.
Centre-back Ryan Tafazolli and midfielder Anthony Grant missed the match because of injury.