Peterborough United were outclassed by an impressive Barnsley side at the ABAX Stadium today (October 6), falling to a 4-0 defeat.
The Tykes dominated from the start and were well worth their margin of victory, although Posh will rue missing a penalty when the score was goalless.
Barnsley arrived with the reputation of being the best team in League One, despite a position four points and four places behind Posh.
And nothing they did in the opening 45 minutes damaged that reputation. The Tykes were slick and quick in possession, playing at a tempo Posh hadn’t seen before in League One this season.
And yet Posh should have scored first. Joe Ward was upended in the penalty in the 12th minute giving Posh a spot-kick with the responsibility rather surprisingly given to Ivan Toney over Marcus Maddison. First-choice penalty taker Jason Cummings was sat on the substitutes’ bench along with top scorer Matt Godden.
Toney’s spot-kick was weak, but still well saved by home ‘keeper Adam Davies. Within 90 seconds Barnsley were at the other end taking the lead, and boy did goalscorer George Moncur enjoy the moment.
Moncur found it hard to break into a pretty average Posh starting line-up when on loan from Barnsley a few seasons ago. That might have explained why a simple close range finish after Mark O’Hara had been caught flatfooted in his own penalty area was celebrated with animated gusto in front of the Posh fans in the main stand.
It was almost 2-0 on 20 minutes when Kieffer Moore saw a superb strike brilliantly saved by Aaron Chapman. It was Moore’s last contribution as he limped off soon afterwards.
Posh boss Steve Evans responded to his own side’s troubles by hauling Jamie Walker off midway through the first half and replacing him with Godden. Walker had started behind sole striker Toney in a 4-4-1-1 formation, but struggled to gain or keep possession.
Godden’s first contribution was to glance Marcus Maddison’s free kick wide from a decent position. Another Maddison set-piece was headed goalwards, but too straight by Jason Naismith as Posh settled.
But Maddison was less impressive just before the break when hauling fast-breaking Alex Mowatt to the ground 25 yards from goal. The punishment was severe as Brad Potts blasted the ball home after the ball was touched to him with no Posh player bothering to try and charge the shot down.
Barnsley started the second half brightly and should have made it 3-0 within minutes as right-back Dimitri Cavare was played clean through, but skied his shot well over the bar.
Evans then handed a Posh debut to right-back Darren Lyon as Posh switched to a three centre-back system with 35 minutes to go.
But the change made no difference to pattern of play and a third goal promptly arrived on the hour.
Lyon lost possession, Moncur fed Potts and he scored his second goal of the game from the edge of the area.
Barnsley coasted through the rest of the game while Posh struggled to create a single clearcut chance until Godden’s six yard header from a corner was chested off the line.
Posh kept plugging away, but on this day they more than met their match, fact emphasised by substitute Jacob Brown’s fine finish in the final minute.
The one consolation for Posh was hanging onto second place for another week at least.
Peterborough United: Aaron Chapman, Jason Naismith, Colin Daniel (sub Darren Lyon, 56 mins), Rhys Bennett, Ryan Tafazolli, Alex Woodyard, Mark O’Hara, Marcus Maddison (sub Louis Reed, 65 mins)., Joe Ward, Ivan Toney, Jamie Walker (sub Matt Godden, 25 mins).
Unused substitutes: Jason Cummings, Siriki Dembele, Mark Tyler, Callum Cooke.
Barnsley: Adam Davies, Kenny Dougall, Ethan Pinnock, Liam Lindsay, Alex Mowatt, Ben Williams, Brad Potts (sub Ryan Hedges, 77 mins), Dimitri Cavare, George Moncur, Kieffer Moore (sub Jacob Brown, 35 mins), Mike Bahre (sub Mamado Thiam, 90 mins).
Unused substitutes: Jack Walton, Cameron McGeehan, Adam Jackson, Victor Adeboyejo.
Goals: Barnsley - Moncur (14 mins), Potts (45 mins & 60 mins), Brown (90 + 3 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Toney (foul), Bennett (foul), Reed (foul).
Barnsley - Cavare (foul), Lindsay (foul).
Referee: Darren Drysdale 8
Attendance: 7,683 (1,583 Barnsley).