Peterborough United manager Graham Westley was delighted with his side’s second-half showing as they claimed a second successive League One win tonight (March 25).
Posh beat promotion-chasing Coventry 3-1 at the ABAX Stadium to move up two places to 14th in the League One table. They are now eight points off the play-off places with eight games remaining.
Posh were indebted to a superb display from goal-keeper Ben Alnwick in a first-half completely dominated by the visitors. He collected the man-of-the-match award on the pitch straight after a game screened live by Sky television.
Crucially Michael Bostwick headed Posh in front against the run of play on the stroke of half-time. The second-half was more even with Posh adding further goals from substitute Lee Angol and midfielder Harry Beautyman either side of a Coventry goal from former England star Joe Cole.
It was a first League One home win since Boxing Day for Posh. A defeat would have set a club record of six home League defeats in a row.
Westley said: “To coin a cliche it was a game of two halves. In the first-half we were far from our best and allowed a very good team with very good players to carve out too many chances.
“We played on the back foot. We didn’t hunt them down and Ben Alnwick had to make far too many saves. Luckily he is in fantastic form.
“The goal we scored just before half-time was crucial. It gave us a real boost and they must have been gutted as it was a very undeserved lead.
“But in the second-half we showed what a good footballing side we can be. Our work ethic was better and we played with a lot more intensity. You tend to get what you deserve in football so we can claim we deserved to win based on the second-half performance.
“They didn’t show clinicality in front of goal. We did and that got us three points.
“It’s a big win for us. We had become a little bit inhibited because of our disastrous run. Before this game there was a lot of talk about a club record run of six home defeats in a row and that sort of thing probably affects young players.
“But we came through it and the win should do us a lot of good. We hope we have come through the bad run and that we can now play some good football between now and the end of the season.
“There are 24 points to play for and we will try and win as many of them as we can. The chairman’s edict is very clear. We have to win football matches and we have to entertain the fans. We did it tonight and we must keep doing it.”
Westley made just two forced changes to his starting line-up tonight as international call-ups Michael Smith and Gaby Zakuani were replaced by Jack Baldwin and Andrew Fox. The Posh boss was delighted by the impact substitutes Angol, Shaquile Coulthirst and Simon Gillett made on the match.
“Lee Angol is a massive asset,” Westley added. “He holds the ball up, he forces defenders backwards and it was great to see him back on the scoresheet. Shaquile delivered a display ful of energy and commitment, while Simon’s knowhow in the final 15 minutes was invaluable.
“It’s been a very good night for us.”
Posh midfielder Erhun Oztumer limped out of tonight’s game, but only with a ‘little niggle’ according to Westley.