Jack Marriott returned to action today (July 21) and proved he hasn’t lost the scoring knack.
Marriott, whose attitude in training has been first-class considering he’s well aware of keen interest in his services from Championship side Derby County, scored 33 times for Posh last season. He struck twice in his first outing of the summer, once from a free-kick and once from the penalty spot as Posh saw off Portuguese Third Division side Louletano 5-2.
Just as importantly in the grand scheme of things, fellow striker Matt Godden bagged his first goal for the club as did impressive new midfielder Louis Reed. George Cooper completed the scoring in a game so one-side Posh could have scored 10,
After a scrappy start, Marriott opened the deadlock on 17 minutes when he found the bottom corner from a free kick following a foul on Mark O’Hara on the edge of the penalty area.
Louletano equalised from a hoof over the hop and a lob over Posh ‘keeper Conor O’Malley within 60 seconds, but the tourists were back on top on 26 minutes when a low Joe Ward cross somehow reached Godden who swept the ball home from close range.
Marriott came close twice to extending that lead before he struck again from the penalty spot two minutes before the break. The man who fancies a move to the Championship picked himself up after a foul tackle to score.
Posh came close to making it 4-1 three minutes into the second half as Godden’s cross was met by Tyler Denton, but his left-foot volley cracked the post before rebounding to safety.
Marriott fired wide of the near post from 20-yards on 51 minutes after cutting inside onto his right-foot after O’Hara showed good pace and power to burst from midfield.
Louletano pulled a goal back on 56 minutes as a huge throw into the box was misjudged and headed into the back of the Posh net. Marriott wasn’t far away from guiding a fine Freestone cross into the far corner moments later, his run got him in front of the defender, but it was a tight angle to score from.
Steve Evans made mass changes on the hour mark and the new front two of Jason Cummings and Mathew Stevens combined to give a chance to the latter, but his shot went over the top.
Sub goalkeeper Aaron Chapman was well placed to make a routine stop moments later as the hosts made good progress down the left. Cummings was denied by the substitute keeper on 65 minutes after Colin Daniel’s volley fell into his path.
A fine pass from Reed picked out Naismith midway through the half and the Scotsman took a good first touch, but his left foot shot didn’t curl and went wide of the target.
Stevens was denied by the keeper after intercepting a poor defensive clearance and then fired wide five minutes later after a fine bit of skill and pass from the lively Siriki Dembele.
Posh finally made it 4-2 in the final 10 minutes as Reed intercepted a clearance and coolly slotted the ball past the keeper.
It was 5-2 three minutes later as Cooper fired home with his left-foot after unselfish play from Cummings.
Posh: O’Malley (sub Chapman 60min), Yorwerth (sub Tafazolli 60min), Freestone (sub Daniel 60min), Baldwin (sub Bennett 60min), Ward (sub Naismith 60min), O’Hara (sub Reed 60min), Denton (sub Demble 60min), Rodgers (sub Woodyard 60min), Buckley-Ricketts (sub Cooper 60min), Marriott (sub Cummings 60min), Godden (sub Stevens 60min).