Back-up Peterborough United striker Mathew Stevens is knocking hard on the first-team door.
The 21 year-old did his chances of a rare appearance no harm with a hat-trick in a 4-3 win for Posh Under 23s in a Central League fixture at Wimbledon on Tuesday (February 19).
Stevens, a free transfer recruit from Barnet in July 2016, has made just four substituite appearances for Posh despite scoring regularly for the club’s reserve and junior sides and while on loan at Kettering Town and Slough Town.
Stevens signed a new two-and-a-half year contract at the ABAX Stadium in December, but he’s been an unused substitute since Darren Ferguson replaced Steve Evans as first-team boss on January 26.
Stevens took to Twitter after his hat-trick helped Posh to recover from 3-1 down to win 4-3 at Wimbledon.
He said: “So pleased to get 90 minutes. I can’t remember the last time that happened and it’s also very satisfying to grab a hat-trick.
“Top scorer in pre-season, top scorer in the reserves and top scorer in the under 23s. I want that chance badly.
“I know I am not the quickest. I know I am not the most skilful. I know not the prettiest player on the eye ‘football wise’. I know I’ve got loads to learn, but put that ball in the box and I’ll be there to stick it in the net, ‘fact’.”
Posh are determined not to rush the former national boxing champion into the heat of a League One promotion battle.
Posh chairman Darragh MacAntony said: “We are often hammered for rushing younger players into the first team and then hyping them.
“Matty has a great future with us and if keeps going he will be a prolific league goal scorer in time. It’s why we gave him a new contract. He is part of the squad now.”