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Match Report: Peterborough United 3-1 Blackpool (Posh Fan's Perspective)

Saturday 10th March 2012
Just four days after arguably the worst performance of the season, an inspired Posh side turned in an incredible performance to beat promotion chasing Blackpool.

An attacking display was what manager Darren Ferguson promised and that's exactly how the match started, as Posh could, and probably should, have been 3-0 up within the opening five minutes. Two minutes in, Paul Taylor found himself with the ball in acres of space to the right of the area, just one defender with Tyrone Barnett waiting in the penalty area in support. The attack was aching for Taylor to square the ball to Barnett for an easy tap in, only for Taylor to waste a gaping opportunity and thrash the ball towards goal himself and saw his effort blocked.

Shortly after, it was the turn of Lee Frecklington to have a chance at opening the scoring. George Boyd played the ball in from the left of the box with two Posh players allowing the ball to run towards Frecklington for the shot, which was blocked by a defender. A complete turnaround from what had taken place on the very same pitch just this past midweek against Millwall, this was the real Peterborough United who, not only turned up, but stood up.

As the clock notched up five minutes, Tyrone Barnett scuffed a good chance well wide of the Blackpool goal from the right side of the area. Then, for a few minutes, the match died down for a little while as Blackpool had a chance to catch their breath after a whirlwind start from the home side.

On 16 minutes, Frecklington had another chance on the edge of the area, as Boyd rolled the ball into his path only to send his shot what could have only been inches past the post. With the amount of space that was available in the midfield, and the two teams' reputation for full-blown attacking football, this was never going to finish goalless.

28 minutes in and the deadlock was finally broken. Lee Tomlin, who came back into the team after illness, crossed his free-kick into the far post to where Tyrone Barnett made an excellent run in to nod the ball across Matt Gilks into the net. This was Barnett's first goal at London Road and his second since joining from League Two outfit Crawley Town.

Posh continued to dominate the possession, putting the visitors under pressure, showing the confidence that had eluded them for too long. Blackpool created few chances, but none that really tested the defence or ‘keeper Paul Jones. On 40 minutes, Lomana Lua Lua had a speculative effort, 20-yards from goal to the left of the box, hitting a curling effort past the post.

Coming towards the end of the half, Boyd picked out a sensational pass to send Tyron Barnett on his way in a similar position to what Paul Taylor had found himself in the opening minutes of the game. In a role-reversal of that early attack, Taylor was waiting in the middle and, unlike Taylor; Barnett squared the ball for Taylor to put it away past Gilks to send the hosts 2-0 up.

The half-time whistle blew and the crowd cheered off the boys in blue after a terrific showing in the opening 45 minutes.

Posh started the second-half just as they did the first, Frecklington finding himself with a clear chance to shoot on goal only for the legs of Gilks to deny Frecklington.

56 minutes in, Paul Taylor created an opportunity for himself, running past the defender and getting his shot away for Gilks to push it away for the corner. From the resulting corner, Gabriel Zakuani, who had been a rock as always in the defence, had a header cleared off the line to deny Posh a 3-0 lead against Blackpool.

Posh enjoyed 67% of possession against a team that had excited the Premier League last season, blunting their attack and exposing a slow Blackpool defensive line on many occasions. Ian Holloway introduced experienced forward Kevin Phillips in place of Lua Lua to give his side a different option in an attempt to reduce the deficit and later replaced Thomas Ince, who had a quiet game, with Roman Bednar.

On 75 minutes, George Boyd, who was enjoying his best performance for a long time with almost each and every piece of genius coming off for him, crossed from the left of the area to Lee Tomlin who volleyed the ball clean over the crossbar. Two minutes later, captain Grant McCann hit a trademark 25-yard strike only to see it roll past the post.

In the 82nd minute, Nouha Dicko got a goal back for the visitors, heading across Paul Jones into the net, a goal that the ‘keeper looked as though he could have dealt with better.

Lee Tomlin was then substituted after a fine showing and came off to a standing ovation from the home fans as he was replaced by young winger Daniel Kearns. Kearns played a role to seal a much needed three points as he combined with Tommy Rowe, who was playing at left-back, who passed to the best player on the pitch, George Boyd, who fired his shot through the legs of Gilks.

There was enough time for Lee Frecklington, who put in a real workman-like performance to be denied once more, but Posh saw out a well deserved win over fifth-placed Blackpool to pull a very healthy 11 points clear of the relegation zone. In even more positive news, Shaun Brisley made his debut for at the back for Posh, alongside Gabriel Zakuani, and came through with a good performance. Although, not asked of much by Blackpool, Brisley did what was asked of him well.

After making up for a nightmare display against Millwall on Tuesday, Posh can be proud of themselves, earning a massive three points in a match that many didn't give them a prayer.

More of the same please, Posh.

Posh:  Jones, Alcock, Zakuani, Brisley, Rowe, McCann, Frecklington, Boyd, Tomlin (sub Kearns 83min), Taylor (sub Sinclair 87min), Barnett. Unused subs: Lewis, Little, Ball.

Blackpool:  Gilks, Crainey, Evatt, Taylor-Fletcher, Sylvestre, Baptiste, Ferguson, Cathcart, M. Phillips (sub Dicko 78min), Ince (sub Bednar 72min), Lua-Lua (sub Phillips 66min). Unused subs: Eardley, Martinez.

Attendance:  7,540 (992 Blackpool fans)
Aaron Gratton

Total articles: 16

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