Date: 25th April 2012 at 8:50am
Written by:

Peterborough United 2 – 2 Watford
Location: London Road
Date: 21st April, 2012
Attendance: 8,725 (1,760 Hornets fans)

With nothing riding on this game other than pride, Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson was expected to hand debuts to up to three youth players.

All three lads, 18-year-old defenders Kgosi Ntlhe and Peter Grant along with 16-year-old midfielder Charlie Coulson took their place on the substitutes bench alongside regular captain Grant McCann and David Ball.

Watford went into this match on an excellent away run and were hoping to continue that run for the remainder of the season. It didn`t start too well for them though!

Before either side had really settled down, both had created chances. The impressive youngster Sean Murray tested out Jones in the Posh goal after just three minutes but his effort caused little trouble.

At the other end, Jonathan Hogg was pole-axed by a Joe Newell effort before Tomlin had a shot blocked. Another chance fell Taylors way but his shot went wide of the target.

With Watford trying to settle down and take charge of the game, they suffered a set-back when a hopefully long ball from the Posh defence saw striker Paul Taylor head the ball past Nyron Nosworthy before beating him to the ball in the penalty area. For some reason, Nosworthy wrapped his legs around Taylor to bring him down and concede a penalty. With regular penalty taker McCann sitting on the subs bench, Lee TOMLIN stepped up to side foot the penalty into the back of the net, although the Hornets loanee keeper Tomasz Kuszczak did get a hand to the ball but the power of the shot was just too much for him.

Despite taking the lead, the majority of the Posh team looked uninterested and lacked any sort of conviction. Watford made the most of this and completely dominated the remainder of the first half. It was by luck more than judgement that Posh went into the half-time break level on terms with their Hertfordshire rivals.

Jonathan Hogg missed a sitter to get Watford back level on terms after he blazed over the bar from 10 yards out before a feeble effort from Troy Deeney went straight to Paul Jones in the Posh goal. A minute later and DEENEY had the ball in the back of the net but it was a combination of very poor defending and a bit of luck on Deeneys part as defender Shaun Brisley tried to clear the ball off the line as Jones stood ball watching near his near post, but the ball was hit straight at Deeney who was closing in and blocked the ball, possibly with part of his hand, with the ball rebounding into the back of the net.

Posh seemed happy to concede possession whenever possible by simply giving the ball away or just hoofing it clear! The Hornets created numerous chances but were thwarted by blocks, mis-directed shots and even the upright. Posh only created one notable chance during this period of domination by Watford. This fell to Tomlin after good work from Lee Frecklington and Taylor but his effort curled just wide of the goal.

Half-time: Peterborough United 1 – 1 Watford

Darren Ferguson made two changes at half time, bringing on Grant McCann in an effort to get hold of the ball and dictate the game. Youngster Kgosi Ntlhe also came on for his Posh debut as he replaced the injured Tommy Rowe.

The changes had the desired effect as the second half was a much more even affair although this time it was Posh that suffered an early set-back. Straight from the kick-off, Posh engineered a chance for Boyd, but his shot flew past the post before conceding a soft free-kick just outside the Posh penalty area.

Jones set up his wall as he usually does and then positioned himself as he usually does, virtually leaning against the opposite upright!! Everyone bar Jones knew where MURRAY was going to place the free-kick and inevitably, he simply chipped the ball over the wall and into the opposite side of the goal to where Jones had settled himself down in. You have to question Jones and also the goalkeeping coaching as Posh (or rather Jones) have conceded a number of goals from free-kicks in similar fashion. Does he not learn from his mistakes??!?

After all the domination by Watford in the first half, it took them just three minutes of the second half to finally take the lead. However, the lead only lasted for six minutes.

Posh won a corner which was taken by Lee Tomlin. It was played out towards the edge of the box where George Boyd dummied the ball. Grant McCann then dummied the ball before the ball rolled out of the area and into the path of Paul TAYLOR [pictured below] who smashed the ball goal-wards from 25-yards and into the back of the net.

Posh should`ve taken the lead moments later when another corner was taken short and was eventually played square to Craig Alcock 30-yards out from goal. He struck the ball sweetly as it flew towards Kuszczaks goal only to see it crash off the underside of the bar before it bounced, what is appeared to many, over the line before coming back into play. Unfortunately for Posh, the disappointing referee and his linesman both failed to see it clearly with referee Gibbs waving play-on. Had that “goal” stood, it was have made for a happy afternoon for everyone at Posh as they would`ve signed off their home campaign with a win.

Watford rallied again after that and forced Jones into making a comfortable tip over the bar from Buaben. Deeney that had another attempt, but Brisley forced the ball away for a corner. Posh were lucky when the corner came over as a Posh player seemed to handle the ball, but some pushing by the Hornets on the Posh player resulted in a free-kick to Posh instead of a penalty to the Hornets.

There were few chances after this point with the most notable effort falling to Matt Whichelow [pictured below] whose effort was saved by the feet of Jones! Something Posh fans have seen on many occasions this season!

It wasn`t the win that Fergie wished for but at least it wasn`t another home defeat which would`ve made it three home defeats in a row. The Hornets on the otherhand finished their away campaign undefeated in their last seven matches.

Full-time: Peterborough United 2 – 2 Watford

Posh:Jones, Little, Brisley, Alcock, Rowe (Ntlhe 46), Frecklington (McCann 46), Boyd, Newell (Coulson 80), Tomlin, Taylor, Barnett.
Unused subs: Grant, Ball.

Hornets: Kuzsczak, Dickinson, Eustace, Taylor, Deeney, Iwelumo (Whichelow, 70), Doyley, Bauban, Murray, Hogg, Nosworthy

Unused subs: Loach, Mariappa, Garner, Massey.

Referee: P.Gibbs

Attendance: 8,725 (1,760 Hornets fans)

Shots On Target:512
Shots Off Target:77
Most Fouls:Ntlhe (1)Eustace (4)
Yellow Cards:22
Red Cards:00
Scorers:Tomlin (13 pen)
Taylor (54)
Deeney (26)
Murray (48)



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