Patience, hard work and dedication finally paid off for teenage left-back Lewis Freestone as he made his first Peterborough United appearance of the season in yesterday’s (February 24) 1-1 League One draw with AFC Wimbledon at the ABAX Stadium.
Freestone expected to play in the Northants Under 18 Cup semi-final at Peterborough Sports on Thursday evening (February 22), but was pulled out of that match when first-choice Posh full-back Andrew Hughes picked up a hip injury.
It was Freestone’s first outing since the final day of last season and he performed well, especially as he was in direct opposition with Wimbledon top scorer Lyle Taylor for 70 minutes. Taylor scored once he had been moved into a central position, but Marcus Maddison equalised three minutes later to rescue a point for Posh.
“I thought I did okay,” Freestone stated. “The rest of the lads were great with me. They were very supportive and just told me to play my normal game.
“It was a surprise to get the call up as I was getting ready to play for the youth team on Thursday night when I was told to be ready to play for the first team instead. You have to be ready at this club as they do give opportunities to Academy players.
“And I’ve been itching to play all season. It’s what I’ve wanted so I was over the moon to get the call. I train hard every day and I’ve kept myself fit because you have to be ready to step up when needed. I’ve spent a lot of time watching Andrew Hughes and learning from him as he’s a great player
“I’ve had to be patient because there are so many great players here, but now I want to kick on and help the team reach the play-offs.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted against Wimbledon. We didn’t keep the ball well enough to create any chances in the first half. We did well to equalise so soon after falling behind, but we couldn’t quite get on the end of any of our many set-pieces to win the game.
“I wasn’t fazed by playing against Taylor. He’s just another opponent, but I was feeling quite leggy in the last 20 minutes.”
Hughes could be fit to return in Tuesday’s (February 27) home game against Walsall.