Peterborough United could have found a lethal attacking partnership in Lee Tomlin and Marcus Maddison.
They were the standout performers in a 2-1 League One win over Rochdale at the ABAX Stadium with Maddison just pinching the Peterborough Telegraph’s man-of-the-match award for his excellence over 90 minutes.
Midfielder Kyle Dempsey also enjoyed a fine debut and goalkeeper Aaron Chapman made some excellent saves as Posh clambered back into a play-off spot.
Key: 10-Perfect, 9-Outstanding, 8-Very good, 7-Good, 6-Average, 5-Poor, 4-Stinker
Aaron Chapman: Made a couple of terrific saves when Rochdale stirred into action late on which shows good concentration. Beaten by a 30-yard screamer although there is a suggestion he should have saved it 7
Joe Ward: It’s a tricky call playing this winger at right-back. He loves running into space, and he showed a thrilling turn of foot on one breakaway in the second-half, but he can be exposed defensively. Great commitment as always though 6.5
Daniel Lafferty: This left-back looks a class act, particularly in possession as he’s happy to fizz passes into feet. A solid defender also 7
Jason Naismith: Pressed into service as a centre-back again and coped well defensively. His long straight passes out of defence towards Toney must be a tactic as they happened so often in the first-half 7
Ryan Tafazolli: Sponsors man-of-the-match and he did win some key headers in the second half. Should have scored in the first-half after a superb Marcus Maddison free kick left him with a free header 6.5
Kyle Dempsey: A very encouraging first game. Covered a lot of ground, was willing to burst forward in support of attacks and was denied a debut goal by a great save. Easy assist for Tomlin’s goal 7
Callum Cooke: Preferred to Reed and Woodyard after a long time away from the League One side. He was steady enough, but he lost runners rather too easily on a couple of occasions 6
Siriki Dembele: Things didn’t come off for the little winger for most of the game. Lost possession too easily, too often 5.5
Marcus Maddison: A threat for 90 minutes and there are signs that he and Lee Tomlin will enjoy each other’s company on the pitch. An assist for the second goal, should have had one more assist from the first half and he struck the inside of a post after a terrific run and shot 8
Lee Tomlin: A classy first-half of clever flicks, excellent vision and a well-taken goal. He’s a player who can be trusted with the ball in any position on the field and he would rarely lose it. Tired after the break which was understandable, but he is too good for League One 7.5
Ivan Toney: One had to admire the striker’s battling qualities and his ability to control the ball under pressure. He had an off day with his finishing, but his workrate never drops 6.5
George Cooper: (for Tomlin, 70 mins).
Alex Woodyard: (for Dempsey, 81 mins).
Ben White: (for Ward, 88 mins).
Matt Godden: (not used).
Louis Reed: (not used).
Conor O’Malley: (not used).
Matt Stevens: (not used).