POSH REPORT: Crewe 1, Peterborough United 5: A shivering sub confirms how good Westley’s team has become

Jon Taylor of Peterborough United (right) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the opening goal. Picture: Joe Dent
Jon Taylor of Peterborough United (right) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the opening goal. Picture: Joe Dent
Have your say

The sight of Marcus Maddison shivering unused on the substitutes’ bench as his team-mates romped to a 5-1 away win speaks volumes about Graham Westley’s Peterborough United.

Maddison is by common consent the most naturally gifted player in the Posh squad - although Erhun Oztumer is currently running him close - so when he first picked up his latest injury the doom merchants had a field day. No Maddison, no goals was a prediction based on good sense as well as recent history.

Jermaine Anderson of Peterborough United (left) celebrates scoring his first goal of the game with team-mate Erhun Oztumer. Picture: Joe Dent

Jermaine Anderson of Peterborough United (left) celebrates scoring his first goal of the game with team-mate Erhun Oztumer. Picture: Joe Dent

Now? Maddison barely warrants a mention in pre and post-match analysis. That’s not a slight on the player, rather a huge compliment to the likes of Oztumer, Jon Taylor and Jermaine Anderson who have all blossomed under a manager who arrived at the club with a reputation for playing a style of football which left midfielders with neck ache.

The quality of the Posh attacking play at Crewe was outstanding for the opening 15 minutes and for the entire second half. They have good, imaginative passers in the side and players capable of dribbling forward at high speed. They have hard-working strikers and full-backs who bomb on intelligently and deliver great crosses. If they ever put a 90-minute performance together during their forthcoming meetings with lowly League One sides, Rachel Riley might have to be hired just to keep score.

Of course Crewe are a poor side. They entered this match bottom of the table and with the worst goal-scoring record in the division. They were facts easy to understand after this game, but Crewe also beat Sheffield United in their last League One match at Gresty Road so attempts to belittle this Posh performance and the scoreline should be resisted.

Posh are also racking up stats that are becoming difficult to ignore. They are the top scorers in the top four divisions of English football, they have scored 30 goals in 11 matches under Westley. Any chance of arriving in the promotion race under the radar have been well and truly scuppered.

Westley spoke with his usual speed and eloquence after the game, talking about the strong bond between fans and players which is a natural consequence of exciting and winning football. He also relished the opportunity to talk up 19 year-old midfielder Jermaine Anderson which a cyncic might suggest was done with the January transfer window in mind.

If Anderson was a cyclist or a sprinter, his rapid improvement this season would be treated with suspicion, but five goals in four matches - he scored twice in this game - has been achieved by top quality coaching and the freedom the Posh management team have given all their forward-thinking players. The teenager is also confident enough these days to stop Lee Angol taking his first goal away from him after a big deflection off the striker’s torso took Anderson’s second-half piledriver into the corner of the Crewe net.

That was the middle goal of three in the opening nine minutes of the second half which effectively put this game to bed. Conor Washington had already pulled Oztumer’s terrific ball out of the air to make it 2-0 and Oztumer was again the provider for Angol’s high-class sidefoot finish for 4-0.

Posh could also have scored three times in the first 10 minutes of the match. Washington barged his way through the home defence in the third minute only to see Crewe ‘keeper Ben Garratt save with his legs and Taylor, minutes after opening the scoring in the seventh minute following Anderson’s excellent approach play, was also denied by Garratt after a fine Oztumer pass.

Angol flicked Callum Elder’s precise cross over the bar during that dominant start, but for reasons that weren’t obvious Posh slowed the tempo of their game down and enabled the home side to harbour hopes of a comeback. They lacked the attacking threat to do so, but Posh ‘keeper Ben Alnwick made two smart stops from Brad Inman and another from Ryan Colclough to keep Posh in front at the break.

Colclough also ruined a fine dribble into the Posh area with a weak shot, but by the time he scored a superb consolation from the edge of the area just after the hour mark, the three points were already tucked away. Westley’s half-time team talk had revolved around a desire for more urgency and his players delivered with Anderson adding a fifth goal with a superb strike from 20 yards eight minutes from time before missing the chance of a hat-trick by heading over when well-placed during added time.

Posh crashed 27 shots on goal during the game and won 17 corners. Taylor might have scored again following a brilliant break from Oztumer, Angol and Washington, while Michael Bostwick headed one set-piece weakly at goal from an unmarked position.

There are concerns on the horizon though. A fifth caution of the season for central defender Ricardo Santos means he will miss the home match with Barnsley on Tuesday (November 24) with no obvious replacement in sight as Gaby Zakuani will not be fit and Alex Davey has disappeared from view.

That won’t help Posh try and end their midweek jinx at the ABAX Stadium. Posh haven’t won a home match in League One on a Tuesday since April 8, 2014.

Posh: Ben Alnwick, Michael Smith, Callum Elder, Ricardo Santos, Michael Bostwick, Chris Forrester (sub Andrew Fox, 85 mins), Jermaine Anderson, Erhun Oztumer (sub Harry Beautyman, 75 mins), Jon Taylor, Conor Washington (sub Souleymane Coulibaly, 79 mins), Lee Angol. Unused substitutes: Dion-Curtis Henry, Marcus Maddison, Harry Anderson, Leo Da Silva Lopes.

Crewe: Ben Garrett, Oliver Turton, George Roy, Ben Nugent, Callum Saunders, Billy Bingham, Marcus Haber (sub Adam King, 57 mins), James Jones, Ryan Colcough (sub Ryan Wintle, 83 mins), Stephen Kingsley, Brad Inman (sub, Harry Wilson, 76 mins). Unused substitutes: Daniel Nizic, Jon Guthrie, George Cooper, James Baillie.

Goals: Posh - Taylor (7 mins), Washington (47 mins), J. Anderson (48 mins & 82 mins), Angol (54 mins).

Crewe: Colclough (64 mins).

Cautions: Posh - Santos (foul), Bostwick (foul), Forrester (foul), Angol (delaying the re-start).

Crewe - Saunders (foul), King (foul).

Referee: Charles Breakspear 7

Attendance: 4.094 (318 Posh)

Follow all the build up, team news and live coverage here {http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/live/event?1214533= click here|live event}