Joe ‘the Goal’ Gormley stole the show as Peterborough United opened their summer friendly programme with a 3-2 win at non-league Dulwich Hamlet tonight (July 8).
The Northern Irishman with a prolific scoring record in his homeland transferred that form to South London by scoring within three minutes of his appearance as a second-half substitute. He was denied other goals in a blistering 30-minute cameo by home goalkeeper Phil Wilson as well as the woodwork.
Posh actually hit the woodwork four times, but only really took charge of the game after nine substitutions on the hour mark were accompanied by the Dulwich players visibly tiring.
But it was Gormley who will claim the headlines. The new recruit has outstanding form against opposition of a lower quality than he will find in League One, but as the saying goes ‘you can only beat what’s put in front of you’ and the Irishman was certainly sharp against the Ryman League part-timers.
He was denied a goal with virtually his first touch by an outstanding save, but had scored within two minutes when converting Marcus Maddison’s low cross to draw Posh level. Gormley also hit the woodwork with a rasping drive and was thwarted by two more fine saves before creating the late winner for Jon Taylor with a chip to the far post. It was an impressive debut even considering the status of the home side.
Posh were rampant in the final third of the game and could have scored more goals. Maddison saw his fierce drive tipped onto the crossbar and several goalmouth skirmishes came to nothing. Taylor also deflected a Gormley header from a corner onto an upright.
It was different story for the first hour as Dulwich twice took the lead. The home side were in front in the sixth minute through Nyron Clunis after some defensive hesitation at the far post and back in front with a towering header from Matt Drahe 10 minutes after the re-start.
The impressive Harry Anderson equalised for Posh in the first half - just two minutes after Dulwich had taken the lead - when drilling a shot into the bottom corner after a well-worked short corner.
Erhun Oztumer’s return to Dulwich lacked personal thrills, but he almost scored early on when taking the ball around the goalkeeper before failing to convert from a tight angle.
Posh fielded two triallists, both of whom did enough to earn places on the trip to Ireland next week without suggesting they had ever been on the books of Real Madrid, but senior players, goalkeeper Ben Alnwick, midfielders Jermaine Anderson and Jack Collison, plus centre-back Gaby Zakuani, were among those who didn’t take part last night.
They can all expect to see some action on Saturday (July 11) when Premier League side West Ham visit the ABAX Stadium.
Posh (first 60 mins): Ravas, Adebayo-Rowling, Brisley, Maslen-Jones, Trialist 1, H. Anderson, Ferdinand, Payne, Oztumer, Friend, Edwards.
Posh (last 30 mins) Ravas, Robinson, Ntlhe, Santos, Smith, Taylor, Trialist 1 (sub H. Anderson 80min), Trialist 2, Maddison, Washington, Gormley.
Dulwich Hamlet: Wilson, Nelson, Campbell, Wardry, Drage, Pinnott, Clunis, Carew, Erskine, Scannel, Jarrett. Subs: Hibbert, James, Mason, Coker, Cavalho.
Goals: Posh: Anderson (8 mins), Gormley (63 mins), Taylor (88 mins).
Dulwich Hamlet: Clunis (6 mins), Drage (55 mins).