The Peterborough United Development XI have given first-team manager Dave Robertson a selection headache.
Robertson was delighted with his team’s attitude, commitment and skill-level today (March 31) in horrible windy conditions as they beat Bournemouth Under 21s at the Posh training base on Oundle Road.
Goals from Aaron Mclean, Harry Anderson and David Norris secured a 3-2 win against quality opposition.
“The lads played very well,” Robertson said. “And just as importantly they showed the right sort of attitude in awful conditions. Aaron Mclean and Harry Anderson scored excellent goals and other things pleased me as well.
“It was important that we got a good 65 minutes out of Ricardo Santos to make sure he is match-fit and ready to return to the first team for a start.”
Santos missed last Saturday’s (March 28) League One home defeat at the hands of Coventry because of suspension. His regular centre-back partner Gaby Zakuani was also absent because of international commitments, although he sat on the substitutes’ bench as DR Congo lost their friendly game 1-0 to Iraq in Dubai.
“Gaby is due back today and I’ll speak to him on Thursday to see how he feels,” Robertson added. “Providing he’s fit and raring to go he will be in contention for a starting place at Scunthorpe on Friday (April 3). Some others did themselves no harm today as well.”
On-loan full-backs James Pearson and Alan Sheehan played the full 90 minutes against Bournemouth. On-loan striker Luke Williams didn’t take part which might mean he is in line for a start at Scunthorpe.
Pearson created the opening Posh goal in the second minute when crossing for Mclean to nod the ball home from the edge of the penalty area. It was a classy finish by the veteran forward.
Posh ‘keeper Dion-Curtis Henry immediately denied Ben Whitfield an equaliser, but was powerless to stop Sam Mathews from levelling with a precise 12-yard shot 10 minutes later.
Norris slotted Posh back in front on the stroke of half-time after exchanging passes with Marcus Maddison and it was 3-1 on the hour thanks to a brilliant volley from a tight angle from Anderson.
Harry Cornick had struck the inside of the post in between the second and third goals, but he did drag Bournemouth back into the game with a fierce drive 15 minutes from time.
Alan Sheehan kicked a late Bournemouth opportunity off the line, after Harry Beautyman (twice) and Erhun Oztumer had gone close to scoring a fourth Posh goal.
Posh: Henry, Pearson, Sheehan, Norris, Santos (sub Maslen-Jones 65min), Norris, Marshall, Anderson (sub Adebayo-Rowling 65min), Beautyman, Oztumer, Maddison, Mclean (sub Friend 65min).
Bournemouth: Holmes, Muluba, Buckley, Lee, Simpson, Butcher, Mathews, Carmichael, Cornick (sub Surridge 76min), Whitfield, Coulibaly (sub Neale 86min)
Posh dropped down a place to ninth in League One following Chesterfield’s 1-0 win at Bradford last night. Posh are now a point outside the play-off places.