Peterborough United fought back from two goals down to earn an entertaining draw against Premier League side West Ham at the ABAX Stadium today (July 11).
Posh got off to the perfect start when Ricardo Santos headed in from close range,but the visitors hit back with two goals from Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho in three minutes to leave Posh with a mountain to climb.
However a superb finish from Jon Taylor just before half-time and a Micheal Bostwick penalty ensured that Dave Robertson’s men earned a deserved draw.
Bostwick and Gabriel Zakuani started the match after missing out on Posh’s midweek trip to Dulwich while new signing Joe Gormley lined up alongside strike partner Conor Washington.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic named a strong first half side that included Kevin Nolan, Aaron Cresswell and Sakho as he looked to begin his Hammers reign with a win.
The first sight of goal for Robbo’s men arrived on three minutes, Nthle won the ball down the left and fed Washington who fired a ball across the face of goal but was unable to pick out a blue shirt.
Five minutes later Posh took the lead, following a neat short corner routine between Taylor and Marcus Maddison, Taylor curled a delicious ball in and man mountain Santos was only too happy to head home.
The Hammers took no time to respond, Posh ‘keeper Ben Alnwick was forced into making a good save from Martin Samuelson’s deflected shot on 11 minutes. but the shot-stopper could do little about Mark Noble’s well drilled shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Just over a minute later Posh were behind, Alnwick’s goal kick hit Sakho who slid the ball into the empty net.
Hammers doubled their advantage on 22 minutes as Aaron Cresswell danced his way down the left before picking out Samuelson who drove the ball into Alnwick’s bottom right hand corner.
A shell-shocked Posh did finally recompose themselves and fashioned a good chance on 34 minutes when Gormley found space on the right of the box before finding Taylor in the centre who fired over.
The home side cut the deficit to one goal on 38 minutes when a superb Bostwick through ball sent Jon Taylor on a clear path to goal. The former Shrewsbury man rounded visiting ‘keeper Adrian and coolly slotted the ball home to make it 3-2.
Five minutes after the break the excitement continued, James Collins had the ball in the net for the visitors after a flick on from Nolan only to be denied by an offside flag.
Maddison broke through the Hammers backline on 56 minutes, but decided to shoot straight at Adrian instead of choosing to lay the ball off to the unmarked Gormley.
The Posh winger did make amends three minutes later when he was the victim of a poor Noble challenge in the West Ham box for a stone-wall penalty.
It was left to skipper Bostwick to take the spot kick and he sent Adrian the wrong way to put Posh back on level terms.
With just under 10 minutes remaining it looked like West Ham would steal the win. Alnwick again got his kick wrong, but former Posh man Janaai Gordon missed the gaping open goal when it seemed harder to miss than score.
New Posh signing Jack Collison was introduced to the ABAX crowd to play out the last few uneventful minute.
Posh will be happy with the 3-3 draw, the fans should be with the entertainment on offer and for the promise of the home side
Posh: Alnwick, Smith (sub Adebayo-Rowling, 60 mins), Ntlhe, J.Anderson (sub, triallist, 60 mins), Zakuani (sub Brisley, 60 mins), Santos (sub Ferdinand, 60 mins), Bostwick (sub Payne, 60 mins), Taylor (sub H. Anderson, 45 mins, sub Collison, 85 mins), Maddison (sub De Lopes, 60 mins), Washington (sub triallist 60 mins), Gormley (sub Edwards, 60 mins),
West Ham: Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Nolan (c), Obiang, Maiga, Samuelsen, Sakho, Noble, Pike, Collins Substitutes: Howes, Hendrie, Parfitt-Williams, Pask, Mavila, Gordon, Makasi, Nasha, Knoyle, Henry
Posh: Santos (8 mins), Taylor (38 mins), Bostwick (59 mins, pen)
West Ham: Noble (11 mins), Sakho (13 mins), Samuelson (22 mins)
Referee: Darren Deadman