Peterborough United manager Steve Evans was happy enough despite watching his side lose for the first time this summer today (July 18).
Posh went down 1-0 to Portuguese Premiera Liga side CS Maritimo, but bossed a lot of the game against a side who have pushed Championship teams Hull City and Sheffield United close this summer.
“The Maritimo coach said afterwards that they dominated the ball against those two teams, but not against us,” Evans stated. “That was comforting although it’s still disappointing to lose.
“We were so strong offensively in the first half we should have been two or three goals ahead,” Evans stated. “We weren’t so fluent in the second half, but we still controlled a lot of the ball.
“It was a good workout though and how great to see so many Posh fans at the game. Ask them if we have improved since last season and to a man they would say we have.”
Posh may have been beaten, but there was still plenty to admire about their performance.
Evans’ men took a huge leap up in class from playing lowly non-league English sides to a battle with the team that finished seventh in the Portuguese top-flight last season.
But Posh still managed to dominate large chunks of a match that attracted many visiting supporters.
Maritimo won the match with a strike from 20 yards six minutes into the second-half, but before then the home ‘keeper had saved well from Matt Godden and in-form Mathew Stevens.
Ryan Tafazolli should have scored from a first-half corner, but blazed over the bar, while full-back Jason Naismith shot just over the bar from distance.
And after the goal Posh continued to press with George Cooper forcing another decent save as did midfielder Mark O’Hara with a shot from the edge of the area that took a wicked deflection.
Posh made four changes at half-time and six more just before the hour mark with new striker Jason Cummings the only player to be involved for the entire 90 minutes.
Latest signing Isaac Buckley-Ricketts made his Posh debut as a second-half substitute and delivered a glimpse of his attacking pace.
Trialist midfielder Anton Rodgers remains with Posh.
Striker Jack Marriott was again left out of the side to protect the possibility of a big-money move, even though he is with the squad in Portugal.
Posh are in action again in Portugal on Saturday (July 21) against Division Three side Louletano.
Posh: Chapman (sub O’Malley 57min), Naismith (sub Ward 57min), Tafazolli (sub Yorwerth 46min), Bennett (sub Baldwin 57min), Daniel (sub Denton 46min), Woodyard (sub Rodgers 57min), Reed (sub O’Hara 46min), Cooper (sub Freestone 57min), Dembele (sub Buckley-Ricketts 57min), Stevens (sub Godden 46min), Cummings.