The Peterborough United pre-season juggernaut rolled on today (July 14).
Steve Evans’ new cast continued their summer winning streak with a 4-0 victory at St Neots Town.
The Posh chief opted to field an entirely different 11 for each half at the Premier Plus Stadium and it was his second set of selections who provided the goals.
An own goal, a Morgan Penfold effort and a Matty Stevens brace took the club’s tally to 22 in four workouts against non-league opposition. Saints, who play at Step 3, were the strongest rivals yet following clashes against Stamford AFC, Bedford Town and Peterborough Sports, who all play a level lower.
Nine new Posh signings featured in a largely low-key opening 45 minutes when they could find no way past locally-based St Neots goalkeeper Dan Swan. ‘Laborious’ was an appropriate description of their display from Evans.
Swan made smart stops to deny Siriki Dembele and Matty Godden during the same early Posh raids before Godden steered another effort wide after a burst down the right from Jason Naismith.
Swan comfortably handled a snap-shot from latest signing Jason Cummings and dealt with a deflected George Cooper curler but needed his crossbar to come to the rescue when Ryan Tafazolli thundered in a shot from the corner which followed.
While the first-half XI drew a blank, Posh’s second-half side showed them how to find the net.
They went ahead two minutes into the second half as Stevens’ shot was half-stopped by the diving Swan only for the ball to deflect into the net off Saints defender Taylor Parr. It was an effort that would more than likely go down as an own goal were the dubious goal panel to be required in pre-season.
Two goals in three minutes then followed to confirm their superiority by the hour mark. Penfold doubled the advantage before Stevens tapped in moments later.
Stevens saw another effort ruled out for offside, but there were no such issues when he delivered a smart header to a Joe Ward cross to provide Posh’s fourth goal.
Neither Posh goalkeeper – Aaron Chapman in the first half; Connor O’Malley after the break – had a save to make on an afternoon when Adam King and Jermaine Anderson took no part due to injury. They won’t make the club’s trip to Portugal either.
The summer absences of Anthony Grant, Marcus Maddison and Jack Marriott continued although the latter was present and took part in the warm-up.
Marriott is the likeliest of that trio to board the early-morning flight from East Midlands Airport to the Algarve for the seven-day training camp.
The temperatures will probably be similar over there, but the standard of opposition should be stronger when they take on Portuguese top-flight side Maritimo on Wednesday (July 18) morning.
POSH (first half): Aaron Chapman, Jason Naismith, Tyler Denton, Josh Yorweth, Ryan Tafazolli, George Cooper, Alex Woodyard, Mark O’Hara, Siriki Dembele, Matt Godden, Jason Cummings.
POSH (second half): Connor O’Malley, Sam Cartwright, Jack Baldwin, Rhys Bennett, Colin Daniel, Joe Ward, Louis Reed, Anton Rodgers, Danny Lloyd, Matty Stevens, Morgan Penfold.
Goals: Posh - Parr (og 47 mins), Penfold (55 mins), Stevens (58 mins & 75 mins).
Referee: Josh Smith