Posh 2-0 Crawley Town - Harry Anderson haunts former side in League Cup first round

Peterborough United's Harry Anderson in action with Crawley's Josh Simpson the last time the teams met in April 2015'Photo by-line: Joe Dent/JMP EMN-150430-122147002
Peterborough United's Harry Anderson in action with Crawley's Josh Simpson the last time the teams met in April 2015'Photo by-line: Joe Dent/JMP EMN-150430-122147002
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Harry Anderson stole the show as Posh comfortably saw off League Two Crawley in the first round of the League Cup.

An Anderson assist early in each half set up Conor Washington and Marcus Maddison for Posh’s first two goals of the season and put aside memories of the opening day defeat to Rochdale.

Anderson, who was part of the Crawley academy which folded at the end of the 2013/14 season before he signed for Posh, was one of two changes to the side from the defeat to Rochdale as he started alongside Jack Collison, with Jon Taylor and Jermaine Anderson relegated to the bench.

And it just took 80 seconds for Anderson to make his mark.

Joe Gormley spread the play nicely to the 18-year-old who beat his man and squared it to Washington to finish at the near post from inside the area.

If the crowd thought this was to be the catalyst for a dominant performance against a side Posh scored eight times against last season, then they would have been disappointed by the rest of the first-half performance.

There were a few minor openings - Michael Bostwick had a shot blocked for a corner, while Washington had a toe-poke blocked and an acrobatic volley from the edge of the area tipped over by goalkeeper Freddie Woodman - but otherwise Posh did not look like adding to their goal tally.

In fact, the biggest cheers from the crowd came from the odd well-timed sliding tackle, although referee Rob Lewis was quick to punish any late challenge as he brandished four yellow cards in what was not a dirty match.

Crawley did settle into the half and were inches away from an equaliser as Luke Rooney crossed from the right deep to the back post where Matt Harrold headed across goal but on to the post before Alex Davey cleared for a corner.

Both goalkeepers were forced into further action before the end of the half as Woodman saved from Maddison and Alnwick tipped over Lewis Young’s effort, both from at least 20 yards, but they were brief sparks in an otherwise flat 45 minutes.

The crowd, though, did become more vocal in the second-half and it was down to Anderson again.

Twice he shrugged off challenges, the second a cynical sliding challenge from Rooney, as he surged down the right before pulling the ball back to Maddison who took a touch and from the edge of the area hit it low to the right of Woodman.

Anderson’s excellence finally brought some life to the contest. A clearance over the top of the Crawley defence saw Gormley speed past McNerney who appeared to get his foot to the ball, only to divert it on to the post, although it was not clear whose boot it actually came off.

The next chance definitely fell to Gormley, but just like at Rochdale he missed a golden opportunity to break his duck for his new side.

Anderson was again the architect crossing from the right and Ntlhe, who won several headers during the match, nodded this one back across goal only for Gormley to put his header wide from six yards.

Ntlhe was next to have a good chance as Woodman spilled Maddison’s long-range free-kick, but the left-back could only put the rebound wide from close range.

Posh switched both their strikers, with Washington and Gormley coming off for Kyle Vassell and Souleymane Coulibaly.

McNerney hit the side netting after a Harrold flick-on, but his defensive partner Sonny Bradley avoided a red card after fouling Coulibaly as last man with referee Rob Lewis deciding that Woodman would have got to the ball first.

In the end it did not matter as Posh comfortably saw out the match and delivered manager Dave Robertson his first win as permanent boss of the club.

Robertson, who was previously the club’s academy manager, would have enjoyed the chants for Anderson which saw out the match.

They were well deserved.

Posh: Ben Alnwick, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Alex Davey, Gabriel Zakuani, Kgosi Ntlhe, Harry Anderson, Michael Bostwick, Jack Collison, Marcus Maddison, Conor Washington (sub Souleymane Coulibaly, 74 mins), Joe Gormley (sub Kyle Vassell, 74 mins).

Substitutes not used: Dion-Curtis Henry, Shaun Brisley, Jon Taylor, Ricardo Almeida-Santos, Jermaine Anderson.

Crawley Town: Freddie Woodman, Liam Donnelly, Joe McNerny, Sonny Bradley, Bryan Van Den Bogaert, Jimmy Smith, Luke Rooney, Roarie Deacon (sub Lee Barnard, 58mins), Lewis Young(substitute Bobson Bawling, 81 mins) , Shamir Fennelon (sub Gwion Edwards, 62 mins ), Matt Harrold.

Substitutes not used: Callum Preston, Jon Ashton.

Goals: Posh - Washington (2), Maddison (49)

Cautions: Posh - Bostwick (foul), Zakuani (foul), Maddison (foul)

Crawley - Young (foul), Van Den Bogaert (foul), Harrold (foul)

Referee: Rob Lewis 5

Attendance: 2,500 (55 Crawley)