Peterborough United 1 – 2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Location: London Road
Date: 21st January, 2012
In a season where many people have said Posh are punching above their weight, in this match against Brighton, their punches were so limp it was unbelievable!
With the much anticipated return to London Road of former Posh hero Craig Mackail-Smith, Posh were looking to keep CMS in Gaby`s back pocket and win the first of two home games. Things didn`t quite go according to plan!
The starting line-up was a surprise to many with George Boyd missing from the team completely! Posh had managed to keep it a secret all week that he was suffering from a leg infection that had required hospital treatment.
Danny Kearns was also missing from the line-up as he was still nursing the affects of a badly gashed leg sustained in last weeks defeat to Hull when the keeper “took him out” with the referee awarding a goal kick!! He is also feeling the effects of a 35-game Irish League season that he played in prior to joining Posh.
The one bright light was skipper Grant McCann taking his place on the subs bench following his recovery from injury.
Posh started off poorly and never recovered. Brighton had beaten Posh in their last three matches and looked, from the early stages of this match, that they`d make that four out of four.
Brighton had obviously seen how some teams had successfully played against Posh`s tactics and were happy for Posh to play the ball along the backline without any threat to themselves. CMS did occasionally threaten Zakuani whenever he was in possession knowing he`s not the best when ball`s at his feet but Gaby managed to retain possession and find a man in blue most of the time.
Whenever Posh did attempt to venture over the half way line, Brighton then pressed the man in possession and on many occasions forced Posh into basic errors.
Lee Tomlin had a game to forget. Throughout the majority of the match, he was constantly arguing with the match official. Mind you, the referee didn`t endear himself to Tomlin or the Posh crowd after he was clattered from behind in what could`ve seen the culprit receive a red card. However, the referee, after a delay, decided to give Posh a free-kick. With the referee not seeing the severity of the poor tackle, Tomlin was enraged and as the ref ran away from Tomlin in readiness to start the game, Tomlin`s pathetic side rose to the surface again as he threw the ball at the referee! With people expecting to see the red card come out, many were surprised to see yellow brandished.
The referee was having a poor game himself and subsequently issued further yellow cards for virtually no contact in some cases! Seagulls substitute El-Abd and Posh left back Craig Alcock were the unfortunate duo who received yellow cards when nothing worse than a free-kick should`ve been awarded.
In truth, Posh were simply over-powered in midfield and they could just admire the way Brighton effortlessly passed the ball around. Yet despite their dominance in midfield, the Seagulls created very few chances. Their first effort on target was after 25 minutes but Joe Lewis managed to get his body behind the ball to keep the effort out.
Further chances were created for Ashley Barnes who fired over and CMS who went inches wide with a drive as Brighton went in search of the goal that their domination deserved.
A poor tackle by Sinclair just inside the Posh half after 32 minutes saw his name go in the referees notebook. From the resulting free-kick, Will BUCKLEY fired the ball high into the area but the strong wind took hold of the ball and flew over Lewis and into the back of the net. It was a very lucky and fortunate goal but at the same time, you would`ve hoped Lewis could`ve got some contact on the ball.
Posh did manage to create a couple of decent chances late on in the first half as first Tomlin found Sinclair with a delightful pass but his shot from a tight angle just found keeper Brezovan. A corner from Paul Taylor then found it`s way out of the box to be met by a Ryan Tunnicliffe volley but he couldn`t keep the ball down.
Half-time: Peterborough United 0 – 1 Brighton and Hove Albion
The second half saw the introduction of McCann in place of Manchester United loanee Scott Wootton, who has since returned to his parent club.
A neat move by Posh presented Tomlin with a chance to level things out, but his effort was blocked.
Brighton continued their neat passing which created an opening for Matt Sparrow but he couldn`t direct his shot on target.
With McCann in midfield, Posh were looking better, although he did understandably, look off the pace.
Paul Taylor was also looking dangerous but his lack of opportunities saw him get frustrated. He did manage an excellent run on the hour mark but instead of playing in Tomlin who was in a better position, Taylor decided to take things into his own hands and take a shot which went straight into the arms of the keeper. Regardless of his frustrations, Taylor must learn when to pass the ball and when to shoot.
Soon afterwards, Tommy Rowe and the poor Sinclair were replaced by the returning David Ball and youngster Joe Newell.
Ball has got a point to prove having been out on loan at League One Rochdale and his 30 minute cameo showed fellow forward Sinclair about movement and anticipation.
18 year old Newell has made a promising start to life in the Posh first team and he yet again showed composure on the ball.
The changes finally paid off after 72 minutes when good build up by Posh ended with a fine cross from the right by Tunnicliffe being met by David BALL who poked the ball past the diving Brezovan.
With the game heading for what looked like a draw, Posh gave the ball away again very cheaply and with Mark Little stranded high up the pitch again, Brighton broke down the Posh right. With the backline now having to move over to cover the gap at right back, Brighton played the ball across the edge of the area finding Will BUCKLEY on Posh`s left hand side and despite the best efforts of Alcock to block his shot, he managed to get his shot off. The ball rifled past a poor attempt by keeper Lewis to stop it as it nestled into the net to give the visitors the win.
Full-time: Peterborough United 1 – 0 Brighton and Hove Albion
POST MATCH QUOTES
Read quotes from both Darren Ferguson and Gus Poyet – Posh v Seagulls – The Managers Viewpoint
VITAL POSH VIEWPOINT
Read Vital Posh`s thoughts on the game and Posh in general here?What next after yet another poor performance?
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