There are going to be plenty of changes for this game with Catts unavailable through suspension and Gooch, Hume and Loovens all out through injury. Presumably Oviedo will replace Hume and that’s all to the good as we looked better against Coventry after he’d come on and I imagine Power will start too, which again should give us plenty of drive. It’s going to be a tough one as Peterborough are leading League One and have done very well away so far, winning all five games. As always, but especially with us, that first goal will be crucial, and we’ve scored in every league match so far so I’m confident we’ll get at least one goal this evening. I can’t be at the game so SAFSEE will have to provide. Match prediction: 1-1.
There were even more changes than anticipated as Honeyman had been injured as well so McGeady and Sinclair were starting and there were a few new names on the bench. I didn’t know any of the Peterborough players but had heard that Dembele was a bit handy. As soon as I tuned in I could hear that the crowd were lively and both sides had attacks in the opening minutes with us doing most of the pressing. We won the first corner of the game in the tenth minute but failed to make anything of it. The ref aroused the wrath of our fans for penalizing McGeady when it had seemed that he was the one who’d been fouled by Woodyard. We were playing a 4-2-4 formation but commentator Gary Bennett said that the movement of Maja and Sinclair upfront wasn’t good enough. There was no criticism of Maja in the twenty-first minute when he found himself with plenty of room in their box and hit a left foot shot into the corner of the net. I thought Maja looked great when he came on for us against QPR in that League Cup match a couple of years back and we should’ve made more use of him earlier. McGeady had a good effort shortly afterwards when he was set up by Maja and hit a shot just over the bar. He had a header not far over too but was also coming in for criticism from Bennett for losing the ball in midfield too much and putting us under pressure. The ref was booed again when Sinclair was deemed to have fouled Daniel after the latter had made a dodgy back pass and put his goal under threat. We were having much the better of it with some great build-up play and with five minutes to the break McLaughlin hadn’t had much to do. Next thing a Maja back-heel set up Sinclair in their box but he hit it just wide of the right post. There was only a minute of stoppage-time, unsurprisingly, and it remained 1-0 at the break. The home fans applauded loudly as the whistle went and our team had deserved it. Commentator Gary Barnes said this was our best display of the season.
Peterborough had been ominously unimpressive so I just hoped we could get a second goal before they roused themselves and got the equalizer. Our bench wasn’t looking too strong and I wondered which changes would be made and when; the later the better I reckoned.
As we kicked off again Peterborough had made two changes with Dembele being one of those replaced. Thankfully he’d hardly warranted a mention in the first-half. There was a lengthy stoppage almost straightaway when Flanagan was injured and appeared to be saying he’d been elbowed in the face. Flanagan went down the tunnel, probably for a couple of stitches, so we were down to ten men for a while. He was soon applauded back on and I think such episodes are very good for morale. The attendance, 28,727, was announced and we were keeping up the figures well. Peterborough won their first corner but we survived though they were quickly back again and Baldwin managed to get it clear. Gary Bennett said we hadn’t got going yet in the second-half and as Peterborough won another corner, it sounded like it. I started to look at the clock. We weren’t being given the space that we’d enjoyed earlier and as we neared the midway point of the half I was getting decidedly nervous. Our fans were still giving plenty of support. Oviedo was red-carded for swinging his leg over Maddison and with more than twenty minutes to go, things were looking worrying. We made a switch, bringing on James for Maja, and it looked like it was going to be arses-to-the-wall for the remainder.
Peterborough took off Cummings and I was glad as he’d sounded their most dangerous player so far. In the seventy-fourth minute Madison went on a run and crossed for Ward who slotted it in from eighteen yards to make it 1-1. Five minutes later, though, we took the lead again and it was Maguire who created it with a nifty turn on the touchline before he crossed for Sinclair to hit it home. The crowd were roaring and we’d finally won back the ascendency. There was going to be a good few minutes stoppage-time and I could’ve done without it. There was also a good bit of handbags going on in the coaching area just to add extra zest to the evening. With five minutes to go Peterborough were level again when our defence switched off and Toney slotted it in. I had the feeling there might be another goal and McLaughlin had to save well to deny Naismith. I had to stand up and start pacing around and then six minutes of stoppage-time were announced. Let’s say I had mixed feelings about that but we could still nick it. We brought on Kimpioka for his debut as Sinclair went off to much applause. We were doing all the pressing while Peterborough were wasting time. There was loud applause when the whistle finally went but the ref hadn’t won any admirers and was loudly booed.
After dominating the first-half we couldn’t get going for ages in the second and all things considered I was relieved to get a draw.