City of Peterborough were left scratching their heads after suffering a first defeat of the East Premier A Division season on Saturday (January 6).
City went down 2-1 at title rivals Wapping at the Olympic Park in Lee Valley. Wapping have now now jumped above City into second place after recovering from a half-time deficit.
Wapping were playing National League last season, and are now one of the top teams in the Premier A Division, with only a single defeat this was always going to be a tough outing, but City were well prepared despite the Christmas break, at full strength, and looked the better side from pretty well start to finish.
Wapping enjoyed their best spell in the opening five minutes, winning a series of short corners which City comfortably defended, but after that point City got into their stride, and became progressively more dominant throughout the first half.
An open play deflection from Ross Ambler gave City a well deserved lead, and a couple of further chances including a short corner just before the break could have stretched the City lead, which would have been a fair return for their first half endeavours.
Wapping are known as a second half side, but City were prepared for this, and for the first 15 minutes after the break were completely dominant, camped in the Wapping half and creating a number of chances from both open play and short corners.
To their credit, Wapping defended extremely well, including a number of decent saves from their keeper – they had an embattled season last year in the National league, which clearly gave them extensive defensive practice in which they are well drilled. Having soaked up persistent City pressure they had a rare break away into the Peterborough area, and scored a fine goal from an acute angle. Even having been knocked back from this Peterborough got straight back into their stride, again turning consistent pressure onto the Wapping D.
The story of the half was again tenacious Wapping defence combining with a failure from City to create clear cut goal scoring chances.
And in another breakaway attack from their own half, the ball rebounded kindly to a Wapping forward from a tackle, who broke down the wing and found a teammate free in the ‘D’ and provided the clinical finish which Peterborough had lacked.
City fought hard until the end, but even some late short corners didn’t yield an equaliser. The defeat ended a run of seven straight league wins for City and for the first time this season they failed to score more than a single goal in a match.
Alex Armstrong was named City’s man-of-the-match.
City are four points behind leaders St Albans in third place. They are without a league fixture next weekend (January 13).