It was a night of frustration for Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson as he saw his side dominate large parts of the game only to end up losing the game.
Posh fans were also frustrated and many couldn`t understand why Ferguson failed to make any substitutions despite the game crying out for changes in the second half!
Posh started the game very strongly and created many chances. Having only scored the first goal of the game in 4 out of 18 League games so far this season, the possession and threat Posh were posing, it came as no surprise that Posh increased that number to five when Posh deservedly took the lead in the 9th minute from a Grant McCann corner which was met by the head of Tommy Rowe.
Tommy Rowe is often a player that goes unnoticed during games but he had an excellent first half.
Posh were clearly on top and moments after taking the lead, a mistake by Ian Harte let in Emile Sinclair for a glorious chance to double the lead but he somehow missed the target as he scuffed his shot! A nightmare miss and at the time you were thinking and hoping that it wouldn`t come back to haunt Posh! Unfortunately for Posh, it did and it wasn`t the only mistake by Sinclair in the game.
Having gone all season without a clean sheet, you just knew that Reading would score at some point and it was against the run of play that, following a number of consecutive corners, Reading equalised through Simon Church. The goal may have also come as a surprise to Reading fans as they`d only scored in the first half in one other game this season!
Reading had the chance to take the lead when a Leigertwood effort was pushed round the post by keeper Paul Jones. With Ian Harte in their team, Reading were causing Posh problems from their set-pieces.
Tomlin and Taylor both had decent efforts for Posh but neither could find a way past Reading keeper Federici. In the final three minutes of the first half Tomlin was booked when he “took one for the team” as he pulled back speeder winger Kebe who was bearing down on the back four. He then saw a thunderous 25-yard shot go inches past the post.
Half-time: Reading 1 – 1 Peterborough United
Posh made a good start to the second half and they nearly took the lead on 47 minutes when defender Ryan Bennett headed a Grant McCann free-kick just wide of the target.
It was end to end stuff as the second half continued with Kebe again causing problems and Hunt heading over the bar for Reading while Posh saw efforts by McCann following a good build up from Boyd and Taylor, and also Tomlin again.
Despite all the chances being created, the game was crying out for a change and that change came from Reading when they made a double substitution bringing on Le Fondre and Robson-Kanu.
Those changes had the desired effect, but unfortunately, not in a positive way for Posh. With just 12 minutes remaining of the game, Reading got their noses in front. It was typical that a player who Fergie didn`t rate good enough to buy for Posh was the player who made the breakthrough. Adam Le Fondre scored from just inside the area after Sinclair had “missed” a header!
Posh tried to get back into the game as McCann had another effort, this time from 20-yards, went wide of the goal. Posh were visibly tiring at this point and they needed fresh legs coming on to help. Unfortunately Darren Ferguson opted not to bring anyone on to everyone`s amazement.
It was game over though moments later as the other Reading substitute Robson-Kanu, with fresh legs(!), raced towards the back four and seeing keeper Jones off his line, coolly with the inside of his boot, curled his shot past a stranded Jones!
Posh didn`t give up despite the scoreline and tiring limbs, as McCann curled a 25-yard free-kick over the top with just six minutes remaining on the clock.
Sinclair who did play reasonably well made up slightly for his earlier mistakes when he took the ball round the keeper to bring Posh back into the game. Sadly, Reading held out and managed to keep hold of the ball for the remaining minutes without giving Posh any more chances to record a win.
Full-time: Reading 3 – 2 Peterborough United
POST MATCH QUOTES
Posh boss Darren Ferguson was perplexed as he felt the result was harsh on his side who started brightly, even admitting that he thought a draw would be unjust, let alone a defeat.
Ferguson said: “I would have been disappointed with a draw so a defeat is very hard to take.
“We were the better team for long periods. We passed the ball well and looked a threat going forward.
“I can`t even criticise the defenders even though we let three goals in. Two of their goals came from our strikers trying to defend, something they are not very good at.
“We also let in two goals in quick succession again and that`s something we have to sort out.
“But we were very good in the first-half. We scored a terrific set-piece goal ourselves and if Emile Sinclair had converted his chance I`d like to think we would have gone on to win the game.
“But we played well. I picked an attacking team and went with the midfield diamond because I wanted our fluency to return.
“And by and large it did. We proved again that we are a decent team at this level and we should have many more points than 24.
“It`s a shame our little run has ended, but we will just have to start another one. We have a big game at home to Barnsley on Saturday and if we play like we can it`s a match we can win.”
Chairman Darragh MacAnthony commented on Twitter: “Thought we played fantastic for 65 mins and then ran out of steam big time.”
“Gutted to lose that game as some brilliant football at times.”
Reading boss Brian McDermott was full of praise for Posh: “Give them credit, they played really well. It was difficult, Peterborough were good, in the first half they played really good football and got the goal so it was tough for us. We got the goal from a set play which we were thankful for.
“I won’t kid myself, we knew they would pass it, they’ve caused a lot of teams problems this season and they will keep doing that. They play a bit differently and it took us a long time to get to grips with it. They’ve got players in areas who can cause you problems and are comfortable on the ball. They scored from a set play, which was disappointing again to say the least.
“We are realistic, we’ve come off that pitch many times thinking we deserved more, tonight we’ve got a result that maybe we can look back on differently.
McDermott continued: “The changes made a difference, with half an hour to go we then got to grips with the game. They were two fantastic goals.”
Vital Posh Viewpoint
Going into the game level on points with Reading, you just knew it was going to be a tight game. Posh made just one change to the starting line-up with Sinclair coming in for Frecklington but the problem with this is that there was no forward on the subs bench to bring on if you wanted fresh legs or a change. I know we have other options with Tomlin and Boyd able to play up front, but it`s not the same as bringing a fresh player on to liven things up.
Despite having a reasonable game, to me, Sinclair is best coming on as a substitute and he makes more of an impact this way. Plus he was accountable for two fatal errors in missing a glaring chance to put Posh 2-0 up, which could`ve made a hell of a difference to the game, and also his “missed header” which let in Le Fondre who duly scored!
Fergie is also to blame as Posh visibly tired during the second half but failed to make any substitutions!
For me, Tunnicliffe should`ve started in place of Frecklington as his performances when he`s played have warranted it. Sinclair could then have come on as a second half substitute where his pace, against the tiring Reading back four, could`ve caused them problems.
It`s not up to me to make these decisions though, but I can voice my opinion. I`m just a passionate Posh fan who fully supports Fergie and everyone at the club. This is only the 2nd defeat this month and we are sitting in mid-table. We can`t be complacent though as a few defeats could see up drop towards the lower reaches of the Championship and I don`t want to see us dragged into a relegation scrap. We have shown we are more than capable of matching every team in this League, but there is a fine line between winning and losing. If we can continue in the way we have for the rest of the season, I`m sure we`ll all be celebrating a successful season.
Photos courtesy of www.theposhpics.com
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