Peterborough United fans had a taste of the club’s potential as a young team saw off local rivals Cambridge United 2-1 in the Leasing.com Trophy at the Weston Homes Stadium tonight (November 12).
Manager Darren Ferguson was delighted with his players as a sublime free-kick from Joe Ward and a goal on his full debut from 17 year-old Ricky-Jade Jones ensured Posh won all three of their group matches. They are now guaranteed a home tie in the first knockout round when the draw is made live on Sky Sports on Saturday (November 16, 2pm).
Ferguson gave three other teenagers - Bobby Copping, Benjamin Mensah and Archie Jones - their first team debuts in the second-half, but a fine night was tinged with disappointment as Ward limped off with a damaged foot at the interval.
“I was delighted with the players,” Ferguson enthused. “We were comfortable until they pulled a goal back towards the end and by then we had a very young side on the pitch, but we saw it through.
“It was important we won as we hadn’t won any of the previous four matches and the manner of it pleased me especially in the first-half. Joe has scored a fantastic free-kick and Ricky showed what a good finisher he is.
“We played some good football in the first-half. We dropped off it a bit in the second-half when we didn’t get our first passs away quickly enough, but overall it was very pleasing.
“We obviously have a lot of potential at the club and it’s up to me and the coaches to develop it.
“I wanted to get some of the younger players on and being 2-0 up at half-time meant I could do it. I was always going to bring Bobby Copping on at half-time, but I had to send young Benji Mensah on as Joe got injured and for a 16 year-old he did well.
“Joe’s injury looks a bad one. The top of his foot was very swollen at the end of the game.”
Ferguson doesn’t expect George Boyd to have recovered from a knee injury in time to face his old club Stevenage in a first round FA Cup replay next Tuesday (November 19).
Posh have no fixture this weekend as they were scheduled to face Bury who were expelled from the Football League before the start of the season.