Posh stunned by late sucker punch

Harry Anderson in action for Posh against Barnsley. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Harry Anderson in action for Posh against Barnsley. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Peterborough United fought well, but were caught by a late sucker punch in their League One 1-1 draw at Barnsley today (April 18).

Conor Washington’s first-half goal looked set to give Posh their first win in six matches, but the home side equalised from a corner in the final minute of the match. As a result Posh are now 11th in the League One table with two matches to go - if they had held on to their lead they would have been seventh.

Posh boss Dave Robertson, who again tinkered with his formation by handing on-loan defender Alan Sheehan a full debut and playing Harry Anderson up front, was pleased with the effort of his players if not the quality. Posh played the final 20 minutes with 10 men following left-back Kgosi Ntlhe’s second red card of the season.

“The lads had a right go again, but it was a big blow to be caught by a late sucker punch,” Robertson admitted. “It’s very disappointing as that’s the first time in 12 games that we’ve conceded from a set-piece.

“It looked like being a good day for us. Conor proved again that he doesn’t miss one-on-one opportunities and we really could have had a couple more goals in the first half as we created some good chances.

“The thinking behind playing Harry up front was that with his energy we would be able to take advantage of his ability to press defenders and so it proved. It’s just a shame he didn’t take either of the scoring chances he had in the game.

“I was pleased with Harry though and I was pleased with Conor. Conor needs to keep scoring now and take momentum into the final two matches of this season and into next season.

“The travelling support was excellent again and there is no way we are going to let the season drift to a conclusion when we have fans like that. They saw a team give 100 per cent aof everything they had again, but it’s clear quality and bravery in possession are things that we must keep working on.

“We will keep experimenting with next season in mind, but we also want to win games in the short-term

“We stayed positive when we went down to 10 men by keeping two strikers on, but it just wasn’t meant to be today. Kgosi was probably unlucky to pick up the first caution, but having been given it he needed to manage himself better. In the end his youthful enthusiasm got the better of him.

“I will however take a big positive from the way Barnsley celebrated their last-minute goal. This is a club that gets 15, 16, 17 thousands fans in the ground. They are a big club and a good club, but they celebrated an equaliser against Peterborough like they’d won a cup final.

“That tells me a lot about our club.”

Posh striker Luke James was left out of the squad after failing a late fitness test on a slight thigh injury. He is expected to return for the final home game of the League One season against Crawley next Saturday (April 25) when midfielder Jack Payne and winger Jon Taylor could also return.