The moribund football of last season is already a distant memory. If Peterborough United transfer their summer form into the important matches, the ABAX Stadium could again become the fun capital of the Football League.
Posh lost their first home friendly of pre-season 4-2 to Championship side QPR today (July 15), but there were enough sightings of attacking quality to suggest goals might not be a problem in League One in 2017-18.
Junior Morias may be physically half the man he was last season, but he’s a leaner, meaner scoring machine as a result. He equalised for Posh in the 72nd minute of a two-hour game with a well-taken penalty before shooting Posh in front with a quality finish a few minutes later.
A hat-trick of wins seemed a possibility, but the second tier side finished the game strongly with three goals in the final 35 minutes to round off a most entertaining contest.
The visitors made a bright start and new Posh goalkeeper Jonathan Bond was forced into an excellent early stop, parrying a downward header from the towering Matt Smith around the post after a decent chip to the back post.
Smith then fired over from close-range after another right-wing centre before a well worked Posh move involving summer signing Danny Lloyd and Marcus Maddison produced an opportunity for Michael Doughty against his former club, but his left-footed effort went wide of the target from 25 yards.
QPR took the lead a minute later when Mackie beat Bond with a close-range header in a game that was played over four 30-minute periods. Both teams played different XIs for an hour apiece with Posh featuring striker Tom Nichols even though he is a persistent transfer target of Bristol Rovers, but potential Nuneaton trialist Alex Penney had to settle for a place in the main stand.
Lloyd, Miller and debutant striker Jack Marriott all came close to equalising for Posh for the first-half team, but Bond also had to react well to beat out a shot from Yeni N’Gabakto.
The second-half Posh team did equalise within three minutes when Andrea Borg was upended in the area enabling Morias to show his quality from 12 yards. He showed rather more quality 15 minutes later when accepting a superb pass from Nichols and delivering a stunning, curling strike into the top corner,
But QPR were the stronger side thereafter drawing level when Jack Robinson squeezed a shot home from a tight angle and moving back in front when Ebere Eze converted a low cross from close range.
Matt Philips was denied by a brave Tibbetts stop on 97 minutes as QPR pressed for a fourth goal. That duly arrived on 106 minutes as Charlie Owens lashed home from close-range. Tibbets did well to deny the same player moments later as Posh began to tire.
Posh (1st hour): Bond, Hughes, Baldwin, Edwrds, Miller, Lloyd, Marriott, Maddison, Doughty, Cartwright, Grant.
Posh (2nd hour): Tibbetts, Shephard, Bostwick, Tafazolli, Forrester, Morias, Nichols, Chettle, Anderson, Freestone, Borg.
QPR (1st hour): Smithies, Perch, Onuoha, Lynch, Bidwell, Scowen, Manning, Mackie, Ngbakoto, Washington (sub Wszolek 50min), Smith.
QPR (2nd hour): Ingram, Furlong, Robinson, Sylla, Eze (sub Chair 96min), Owens, Hamalainen, Phillips, Grego-Cox, Borysiuk, Wszolek.
Goals: Posh - Morias (pen, 63 mins & 72 mins)
QPR - Mackie (35 mins), Robinson (86 mins), Eze (88 mins), Owens (106 mins).
Attendance: 2,100 (approx).