Tuesday, 27 February 2018

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MATCH REPORT: Peterborough United 2 Walsall 1

10:00 pm Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Here is our Match Report from Tuesday evening's League One clash between Peterborough United and Walsall.
The Saddlers looked to bounce back from Saturday's defeat to League One leaders Blackburn Rovers as they travelled to London Road and took on managerless Peterborough United on Tuesday evening. We were in attendance, and you can read our match report below.

Peterborough got the match underway at a freezing London Road. The game got off to a slow start, with both enjoying spells of early possession as they settled in, but seven minutes in, the hosts won the first corner of the evening as Jack Fitzwater put the ball behind, but George Dobson was alert and turned the ball behind for a second corner which the Saddlers easily cleared.

With just nine minutes on the clock, the Saddlers put themselves ahead, thanks to a neat through-ball from Erhun Oztumer which found Julien Ngoy, who took the ball round Peterborough 'keeper, Jonathon Bond and coolly slotted home.

Just three minutes after Walsall took the lead, Posh were presented with a golden opportunity to level the scores when the referee awarded a penalty against Fitzwater for pulling Jack Marriott down in the box. A rather light penalty award, for which the Walsall man received a yellow card. Marcus Maddison stepped up to take the spot-kick, but sent a poor ball down the middle, which Liam Roberts got his legs to to save.

The Saddlers continued to see much of the ball, as much as it was possible to see it with heavy snow falling around them, and created a few half-decent opportunities to double their advantage. Oztumer seeing a long-range, left-footed effort sail wide of the mark in the twenty second minute, shortly before some nice build-up play from Dobson set Kieron Morris up, but the man between the sticks was on hand to gather the low shot.

As we reached the half hour mark, the Saddlers once again found themselves in good position, with some patient passing play around the edge of the box, until Morris took advantage of a little space and fired a low drive in, but Bond remained alert and saved.

It wasn't long before the dominant Saddlers again got forward, with a fabulous cross from Oztumer setting Nicky Devlin away, but Devlin's low ball in for Ngoy was well read by the Posh defences who put it behind, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

With thirty-six minutes on the clock, George Dobson became the second Saddler booked, picking up a yellow card for perceived simulation after falling in the box.

Thirty-nine minutes in, Peterborough drew level, thanks to a long cross from Maddison which found Omar Bogle after getting caught under the feet of Devlin, allowing the striker to slot the ball beyond Roberts in the Walsall goal.

The hosts enjoyed a brighter end to the half, buoyed by their equalising goal, but Liam Shephard's low cross in the forty first minute evaded his teammates and sailed wide of the far post, and the Saddlers were able to hold them at bay for the final few minutes of the half, until, after one additional minute had been played, the referee brought an end to proceedings.

The Posh
1 - 1

The teams remained unchanged after the break, as the Saddlers got the action back underway. After a slow start to the half, with both sides struggling a little on the slippy pitch, Peterborough won a corner in the fifty third minute. The corner was taken short and played in towards Maddison, who eventually won the ball from Oztumer before drilling a shot off the post. Posh captain, Jack Baldwin was alert to the rebound and fired the ball home from twelve yards to put his side ahead.

The hosts began to really dominate following the goal, but the Walsall defences dug in and prevented any further shots of note from flying in. That soon changed though, with Oztumer winning a free-kick in a dangerous position sixty two minutes in for a foul by Michael Doughty, for which the Peterborough man was booked. Oztumer's ball in was a poor one, which sailed straight out of play without troubling the Posh defences, but the Saddlers began to enjoy more possession following the move, winning several free-kicks in the process, though they were unable to make any pay.

Sixty-seven minutes in, Peterborough made their first change of the evening, with Junior Morias taking the place of goalscorer, Omar Bogle.

Moments later, Saddlers captain Adam Chambers joined those already in the referee's notebook, picking up a yellow card for a foul made whilst trying to prevent a break from his opposition. Moments after the booking, the Saddlers opted to make their first change of the night, as Amadou Bakayoko was introduced into the game, in place of Kieron Morris.

With conditions worsening, the Saddlers continued to press as they looked to sneak home an equaliser, which they almost did in the seventy sixth minute as a twenty five yard effort from Maz Kouhyar flew in, but Bond was alert in the Posh goal and tipped the effort around his post. The resulting corner saw Oztumer find Luke Leahy at the near-post, but the defenders headed effort hit the crossbar.

Seventy-eight minutes in, the Saddlers opted to make their second change of the evening, as they looked to get more men into the box. Justin Shaibu the man to enter the fray in place of Maz Kouhyar.

In the eighty-first minute, the referee brought a halt to proceedings to allow the lines to be cleared of snow. After a frantic few minutes the lines were cleared to the officials satisfaction and the match re-started.

Moments after the re-start, Peterborough opted to make their second change of the evening, introducing Leonardo Da Silva Lopes in place of Joe Ward. The Saddlers then chose to make their third and final substitution, bringing on Florent Cuvelier in place of Nicky Devlin for the run-in.

Seven additional minutes were awarded at the end of the ninety, and five minutes into them the hosts almost put the game to bed, but the Walsall stopper remained alert to the last and got down low to clear a Marriott shot off the line. That would be the last real chance of the match, though the home team continued to press to the last, but the game ended with them winning by two-goals-to-one. A difficult game for all involved, and a disappointing result for the Saddlers.

The Posh
2 - 1
Bogle (39')
Baldwin (53')
Ngoy (9')

Attendance: 2,531 (81)
Referee: Lee Swabey

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