Dom­i­nant O’s fail to take their chances

The Football League Paper - - BIG INTERVIEW - By Chris Dunlavy To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

LEY­TON Ori­ent boss Rus­sell Slade was left to rue a duff call from a lines­man and the er­rant fin­ish­ing of his own play­ers af­ter the O’s blew the chance to take a hefty lead to Bris­bane Road.

Re­plays showed that Britt As­som­ba­longa was way off­side when he bun­dled home to give Posh an early lead.

And whilst Ori­ent did even­tu­ally equalise through Moses Odubajo, they also missed a string of chances with Dean Cox, Kevin Lis­bie and Odubajo him­self all fluff­ing their lines.

“I wasn’t happy with the goal they scored,” said Slade. “As­som­ba­longa’s got the last touch and he’s clearly in an off­side po­si­tion. For that not to be seen is very, very dis­ap­point­ing.

“But full credit to my team. They dug in. I thought we were dom­i­nant sec­ond half and cre­ated chances all af­ter­noon.We missed too many but thank­fully we got one in the end.

“On an­other day, on a bet­ter pitch, the game might have got away from Peter­bor­ough. I thought we had a grip of them. But it is what it is. It’s evenly poised and it prom­ises to be a tough fight.”

Dar­ren Fer­gu­son wore the ex­pres­sion of a man given a get-outof-jail-free card and, while Posh had le­git claims for a penalty when As­som­ba­longa tum­bled, the Posh boss could barely hide his ju­bi­la­tion at dodg­ing a bul­let.

“We started well and when we were com­posed on the ball, we caused them prob­lems,” he said. “But over­all, they were bet­ter than us on the day.

“Sec­ond half, we didn’t keep the ball well enough. We lost a poor goal.

“But if I was in their camp, I’d feel it was a missed op­por­tu­nity. I think we’ve got a great chance now to go on and win the tie.

“To­day was al­ways the game that con­cerned me. I think it suits us bet­ter away from home and his­tory has shown we’re very good at one­off games.”

Posh did in­deed start the brighter and hav­ing sur­vived a scare from Kevin Lis­bie, took the lead when Jamie Jones spilled Danny Swan­son’s low drive into the path of Mark Lit­tle.

The full-back lashed across goal and the mus­cu­lar As­som­ba­longa, from an off­side po­si­tion, held off Nathan Clarke to nudge home his 33rd goal of a spec­tac­u­lar sea­son.

There­after, Ori­ent did more to pre­serve Peter­bor­ough’s lead than the men in blue shirts. Time and again the away side took ad­van­tage of hes­i­tant de­fend­ing to fash­ion ex­cel­lent chances.

But time and again, both legs and minds turned to jelly in the box, re­sult­ing in a suc­ces­sion of key­stone cops goal­mouth scram­bles.

Cox fluffed a header, Lis­bie’s ef­fort was more like a back­pass and, in the sec­ond half, Odubajo elected to pass with the whole goal to aim at.

But the goal that Ori­ent de­served fi­nally came when sub Shaun Batt – who spent two years at Lon­don Road – nod­ded down for Cox to shoot. Bobby Ole­jnik saved, but Odubajo was on hand to sweep home the re­bound.

“He’s a hand­ful Batty,” said a rue­ful Fer­gu­son. “I signed him for £5,000. He’s a good player, a great lad.

“And you can see what he does – he’s awk­ward, he’s gan­gly, he’s quick. He caused us prob­lems.”

Odubajo and Cox both went close in the dy­ing stages, with Peter­bor­ough cer­tainly the more re­lieved to hear the fi­nal whis­tle.

Slade added.“I said to the lads at half time ‘We don’t have to go look­ing for any mag­i­cal recipe. It’s the val­ues that we talk about – never giv­ing up, the work ethic, the to­geth­er­ness.’ That’s what wins you things.

“It’s no good wish­ing we get to Wem­b­ley. It’s no good wish­ing we’ll win on Tues­day.

“Wish­ing never won any­thing. It’s all about hard work.”

BREAK­THROUGH: Britt As­som­ba­longa heads in Peter­bor­ough’s con­tro­ver­sial opener



LOT Ley­ton


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