There was some great defensive work from Peterborough United as they edged a 1-0 League One win at Chesterfield despite finishing the game with nine men.
Michael Smith and Ricardo Santos were the men to see red cards, but central defender Michael The Boss’ Bostwick and co made sure Posh held onto a goal scored by debutant Tom Nichols.
Ben Alnwick: Left the field a hero to the Posh fans, but a villan as far as the Chesterfield supporters were concerned. He caught well in difficult conditions, he made good decisions to punch, he made a top save in each half and he almost scored with a wind-asssisted punt. He tested the referee’s patience (as well as that of the home fans) by slowing the game down at every opportunity 8
Michael Smith: He had played okay until his dismissal just before the hour mark. Both cautions were correct. His second one interrupted a promising surge into the penalty area. He’d earlier made some decent runs that went unappreciated by team-mates 6
Harry Toffolo: A stout defensive effort and he only really struggled when lively substitute Ariyibi was introduced. Little seen of him going forward, but it was an awful day for attacking football 7
Michael Bostwick: What a warrior this central defender has become. Caught in possession early on which led to a Chesterfield scoring opportunity, but he more than made up for that with some expert positioning, great tackling and one amazing block late on when the home side looked odds on to score 9
Ricardo Santos: He did well defensively in the first-half, most notably with one header from under his own crossbar after a set-piece had defeated Alnwick. His first caution here was silly as he delayed a re-start deep into the opposition half. His second caution 15 minutes later might have been a tad unfortunate 6
Chris Forrester: The Irish midfielder put a great shift in. He tried hard to get the Posh passing going in the first-half, but he really shone when Posh came under the cosh towards the end. Often seen throwing himself in the way of shots. Took up some very intelligent defensive positions 7
Jon Taylor: Absolutely brilliant in that frantic last 20 minutes or so. His energy levels were very high. He made some telling clearances and interceptions. Didn’t contribute a great deal to the team’s attacking play 7
Erhun Oztumer: Hit and miss before the break. Curled one superb shot onto the crossbar, but lost possession far too often. Failed to take into account the strong swirling wind with some of his passing attemnpts 6
Tom Nichols: A largely anonymous debut as the horrible conditions tended to force the ball up in the air a lot. But he pounced to claim the match-winning goal from close range and that’s one big part of his job 6
Lee Angol: Played at the tip of the midfield diamond and enjoyed some positive moments including a strong run and pass that could have led to Coulthirst shooting Posh in front before the break. Sacrificed after the first red card 6
Shaquile Coulthirst: He’s a lively sort who puts defenders under pressure with his pace and willingness to chase. Still not completely in tune with his team-mates, but that will come. Some good defensive work in the final moments 7
Martin Samuelsen: (for Oztumer, 59 mins). Hardly saw the ball, but played with defensive discipline 6
Harry Beautyman: (for Angol, 59 mins). Valiant effort as an emergency right-back. Made some key interceptions and tackles 7
Gaby Zakuani: (for Nichols, 80 mins) Awesome 15-minute effort 7
Souleymane Coulibaly: (not used).
Andrew Fox: (not used).
Dion-Curtis Henry: (not used).
Adil Nabi: (not used).