With Wednesday nights demolition of Blackburn fresh in our minds we hit the road again in optimistic mood. I wasn’t among the hordes of travelling fans and instead had to rely on a mate’s dodgy stream to see the game and I’m not talking about a water feature in his back garden. I was pleased to note though that a lot made the journey in style with a particular shout out for a cheeseboard and port combination that was shared on Twitter. The humour and good taste of our support truly knows no bounds!
Although we’ve been in superlative form recently I’m long enough in the tooth to take nothing for granted and I suspected this game would be trickier than some pundits thought. Posh had held Bournemouth at home and had only lost to a last minute goal to West Brom so were obviously capable of mixing it with the so called big boys.
Unsurprisingly we went with an unchanged team and for the first ten minutes or so zipped the ball about in our usual style. Peterborough diligently kept their shape though and clear cut chances weren’t forthcoming. As the half went on they grew in confidence and started to impose themselves on the game. Our passing was breaking down more than usual and while Michael Hector is a solid enough defender his distribution isn’t in Tosin’s class. The malaise spread and as well as Denis Odoi is playing we have past experience of his poor discipline. He earned a pointless yellow card deep in the opposition half which immediately gave me visions of Brentford a few years back where he swiftly followed one card with another and left us a man short. When he made another rash challenge shortly afterwards I feared the worst but the ref gave him the benefit of the doubt and we made the interval on level terms in both the score and numbers on the pitch. We had been similarly fortunate that Clarke Harris blazed against the woodwork when clear and were also grateful that Marek Rodak was in his usual dependable form.
Silva wisely hooked Denis at half time and it was good to see Kenny Tete get some much needed minutes under his belt. He must’ve had some other words too that changed our approach and we started the second half in much better fettle. The introduction of Tom Cairney also had a big impact and our momentum started to build. Although we still hadn’t really breached the Posh rearguard there was a sense a goal was on its way and it duly arrived with 15 minutes to play. Cairney fed Neeskens Kebano on the left and the winger mesmerised two defenders and teased a cross in . His mesmeric qualities also seemed to affect the two centre backs as they remained static while Aleksandar Mitrovic moved like a panther and crisply nutted the ball home. For a while it looked like a second goal would come and clinch the deal but to their credit Peterborough regrouped and made the last few minutes very nervous ones. Dembele had looked a handful for the whole game and his mazy run gave Clarke Harris another sight on goal. His radar had fortunately been well off for much of the game but this time he got it right and his shot had goal written all over it. This was until Rodak miraculously got fingertips to it to turn the ball on to the post . This more or less sealed victory but it was a measure of the home team’s efforts that Silva stole a move from Scott Parker’s playbook and brought Alfie Mawson on at the very end.
It left us feeling the joy of six. Six wins on the bounce and now six points clear of West Bromwho were held by Middlesbrough. It may not have been a vintage performance but these three points are as valuable as any others and the old experts always say it’s the sign of a good team to win without playing well.
Up the Fulham!