STRIKER STATS: Goals aplenty, but Peterborough United could still require a prolific goal-scoring forward to achieve promotion
Following the frustrating 1-1 League One home draw with Gillingham on Boxing Day, Peterborough United manager Grant McCann was quick to point out his team are among the highest scorers in the division.
Posh have scored 36 goals in 22 games - they have played a match fewer than most of the division - a tally bettered only by leaders Scunthorpe (46), second-placed Sheffield United (42) and promotion-chasers Millwall and Bristol Rovers (37 apiece).
“People were asking in pre-season where our goals would come from,” McCann stated. “Well we aren’t doing badly and we will get better.
“I am confident the chances will keep coming as we have so many creative players in the squad.”
McCann will however be acutely aware of the need for a prolific scorer if a promising League One campaign is to turn into something special.
Midfielder Gwion Edwards is Posh’s top League One goalcorer with seven, followed by Marcus Maddison and Tom Nichols who have six apiece.
Striker Nichols has made 22 appearances in League One and scored in just five of them. Regular partner Shaquile Coulthirst, who Posh tried to push out the door to League Two side Stevenage in August, has scored just twice in 15 League One outings.
Since both strikers scored in the 2-1 League One win at Bristol Rovers on October 29, they have each netted in just one further game. In Coulthirst’s case in an FA Cup tie against non-league side Chesham United the following week.
Nichols’ scored twice in the 5-2 League One win over Chesterfield at the ABAX Stadium earlier this month.
According to the BBC, Nichols has scored a goal for every 286 minutes played, which compares unfavourably to Edwards who gets a goal on average every 200 minutes from midfield.
Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp is the top scorer in League One with 16 goals, scored at an average of on every 124 minutes, comfortably the best ratio of any striker in the top 10 League One goalscorers.
Posh discarded Erhun Oztumer in the summer. He joined Walsall and his eight League One goals have arrived at a rate of one every 198 minutes.
New signing from St Albans Junior Morias will arrive at the ABAX Stadium on January 1. Posh are not expecting to sign any other forward players during the January transfer window unless thay manage to shift numerous unwanted players from their squad.
League One top scorers: 16 goals Billy Sharp (Sheffield United), 14 Josh Morris (Scunthorpe), 13 Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers), 10 James Vaughan (Bury), 9 David Ball (Fleetwood), Chris Maguire (Oxford), Lee Gregory (Millwall), 8 Erhun Oztumer (Walsall), Steve Morison (Millwall), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall).