NINE-MEN POSH GET JOB DONE
PETERBOROUGH are not renowned for their defensive resilience but they showed it in abundance at Chesterfield as they held on to win with nine men, much to the delight of proud boss Graham Westley.
The attacking flair usually associated with Posh was absent in north east Derbyshire with the wet, blustery conditions not conducive to free-flowing football.
But Tom Nichols’ debut goal still saw them return home with all three points, despite having two men sent off.
Defenders Michael Smith and Ricardo Santos were the ones to see red and it was then all hands to the pump for Westley’s side.
Chesterfield piled on the pressure but the ball would just not fall favourably for them as Peterborough produced block after block.
“We showed organisation, appetite, determination and resilience in abundance,” said Westley.
“They are attributes that even the best flair sides need to develop and it is fantastic to see players so talented digging so deep to win points.”
Peterborough scored ten minutes into the second half. Erhun Oztumer’s in-swinging corner hung for an age in the wind and when Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee, who felt he was fouled, struggled to get to the ball at his near post, Nichols turned it in from close range.
The visitors’ joy was tempered just three minutes later when Smith was sent off after receiving a second yellow card following a trip on Jay O’Shea right on the edge of the area.
Santos followed him in the 78th minute when he was shown a red card, again for two yellows, after bringing down Rai Simons.
Asked about the red cards, Westley added: “I think when you ask questions you make a comment and you’re probably asking me about them because you’re wondering if there was consistency.
“Did Ricardo and Michael deserve to walk because of their persistent or violent foul play? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t have given either player a red card, but I’m not the referee.”
Action elsewhere was limited. In the first half Lee stuck out a foot to deny Shaquile Coulthirst while at the other end Ben Alnwick kept out Lee Novak.
Peterborough thought they had the lead after 37 minutes. Oztumer’s curling effort brushed Lee’s fingertips and hit the crossbar, with Lee Angol heading in the rebound but from an offside position.
In the second half, Lee was almost embarrassed by opposite number Alnwick when his wind-assisted kick forced him to tip the ball over. Chesterfield boss Danny Wilson said: “I thought we matched them throughout the game, it was never obvious one team was near the top and one near the bottom.
“Peterborough defended very well at times and also had a bit of luck and unfortunately we’ve not been able to force a goal.
“I don’t think you can deny we deserved something. We didn’t have that little bit of luck, or quality at times, but I think it was pretty even against a team in and around the top six.”
STAR MAN JAY O'SHEA Cheste
rfield MATCH WINNER: Peterborough’s Tom Nichols turns the ball home