Ben comes out on top in battle of brothers
PETERBOROUGH boss Graham Westley had goalkeeper Ben Alnwick to thank as Posh left Vale Park with a point despite conceding two secondhalf penalties.
Alnwick produced a series of fine stops in a fixture which pitted him against younger brother Jak in the opposite goal.
The former Spurs stopper kept out a Michael O’Connor spot-kick before appearing to unnerve Vale’s second penalty taker Sam Foley with his goal-line antics.
“Credit to Ben, because good goalkeepers make that sort of difference to a game,”Westley said.
“A penalty is a one-on-one contest, there’s going to be a winner and a loser, and he won both challenges,” Westley added.
Enoch Andoh’s closerange finish had given the hosts the advantage at the break. But Posh would have gone further behind within two minutes of the restart had Alnwick not atoned for the error of bringing Andoh down in the box after pushing away Colin Daniel’s initial strike.
Michael O’Connor stepped up, striking his penalty to Alnwick’s left, only for the goalkeeper to punch the ball over the bar.
It was a feat younger brother Jak was unable to match eight minutes later, as Michael Bostwick levelled emphatically for the visitors from 12 yards after a foul on Souleymane Coulibaly.
The elder Alnwick sibling produced another fine save to prevent Vale from restoring their lead two minutes later, pushing Sam Foley’s low strike away at the near post.
But Vale won another penalty five minutes from time, after Gabriel Zakuani hauled Uche Ikpeazu down.
Foley stepped up to take Vale’s second spot kick, but appeared to be put off by Alnwick, and saw his penalty crash down off the crossbar before bouncing back off the goalkeeper’s head and behind for a corner.
But neither manager was satisfied with the result, with Westley adding:“Some people will enjoy winning a point away from home, but I never enjoy it. I like winning football matches. “If you’re going to achieve, you’ve got to win games, and nicking points is not what we’re about.”
Vale boss Rob Page admitted his frustration at the two missed penalties, but was impressed with his side’s display.
“I feel that we’ve thrown two points away, but the performance was excellent,” Page said.
“It was a frustrating afternoon, but we’ll take the positives and move forwards.”
And Page added that O’Connor would remain Vale’s penalty taker.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” he added.
STAR MAN BOBBY GRANT Fleetwood OPENER: Jamie Proctor hails the Cod Army’s first goal
STAR MAN BEN ALNWICK Peterborough