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Match Report: Peterborough United 1-0 Coventry City (Peterborough Fan's Perspective)

Saturday 17th December 2011
On a cold December afternoon, Peterborough United hosted Coventry City in a must-win game for both sides.

Coventry, in the reality of what Posh are looking to avoid, brought a decent amount of support with them for a team struggling at the wrong end of the table on the last weekend before Christmas.

As skipper Grant McCann started his injury lay-off, Darren Ferguson opted for on loan Manchester United midfielder, Ryan Tunnicliffe, to come into the midfield at the base of the diamond.  A surprise to the line-up saw young Irish winger, Daniel Kearns, who many Posh fans had been calling to start, come into the side with Paul Taylor dropping to the bench.

The first-half could easily be likened to the opening of a frame of snooker, back and forth safety cancelling each other out with the odd long-shot attempt.

The opening 10 minutes were pretty comfortable for Coventry, keeping hold of the ball but otherwise not really putting Posh under any real danger.

The first clear-cut chance at goal went to Posh who found themselves awarded with a free-kick just outside the box.  Having expected George Boyd to take the kick with the angle looking as though it was more suited to a left-footer, Lee Tomlin lined the ball up and floated the shot over the crossbar.

25 minutes in and Coventry had a free-kick of their own, although a little further out than Posh's.  Gary Gardner forced the untested Joe Lewis into a fine save, beating the ball away to his left.  Just short after it was Posh's turn to test ‘keeper Joe Murphy with Lee Tomlin firing in from 20-yards.

In truth, the first-half was not one for the spectator, prompting a young child to ask their parent “what happens if it finishes 0-0?” A testament to Posh's goal-scoring exploits in recent seasons.  The sense was that the game had 0-0 written all over it and with Posh needing a win to pull clear of being dragged into a relegation dog-fight, it was nervy times.

Posh came out first for the second-half and waited for around a minute for Coventry to make an appearance.  Neither team made any changes at the break.

Posh started the much brighter in the second-half with a looping ball going into the box and Emile Sinclair attempting the spectacular... only to miss the ball completely.

Three minutes after the restart, Ferguson felt the need for change and brought Paul Taylor off the bench in place of Lee Frecklington.

An organised Coventry defence, as they were in the first-half, continued to hold Posh back.  However, Coventry weren't throwing anything back in reply and Posh soon took the upper-hand playing much of the ball in the opponents half.

Posh then lost Lee Tomlin through injury after an awkward fall.  Looking as though Tomlin's knee had given way, a long delay saw the trainer come before Tomlin tried to run the injury off before going back down to ground and being brought off for Tom Kennedy.

Rowe moving from left-back to the left of midfield and Boyd dropping in behind the strikers gave more balance to the midfield.

Lewis continued his fine game denying Jutkiewicz with a good save before Gardner fired wide.  Not long after the deadlock was finally broken to the joy of Posh fans as Sinclair latched onto a pullback by the influential Taylor to place the ball into the back of the net past Joe Murphy.

A sense of nervousness was lifted around the ground as Posh had taken the lead and looked as though they would grab a second.  This calmness was not to last however, as Coventry were banging on the door for an equaliser.

Coming into the last 10 minutes of the match, it was hearts in mouths time for Posh fans, hoping and praying that this would be the first clean-sheet of the season.  Long balls for the big men in sky blue were Coventry's best hope of snatching a point at London Road and they were causing more than one or two problems.

Four minutes until the end of normal time, Posh were let off the hook and the Coventry fans standing in the Moy's End looked on in disbelief as Gardner struck the post from close-range.

Coming into four minutes of added time and it turned into the Gabriel Zakuani show as he did everything in his power to earn Posh a first clean-sheet of the season.  Coventry had almost all of the late possession and Jutkiewicz thought he had scored as he beat Joe Lewis, only to be denied off the line by the Congolese wall, Gabriel Zakuani, after running back five-yards and clearing the ball to safety.

Posh held on for all three points, cheers of joy met with sighs of relief as Posh pulled themselves up to 15th in the Championship, seven points from the relegation places and an equal amount away from the play-off spots.  Showing just how competitive the league is.

Posh can now enjoy Christmas and look forward to a clash at The City Ground against a struggling Nottingham Forest.

Final Score: Posh 1-0 Coventry City

Posh:  Lewis, Bennett, Zakuani, Alcock, Rowe, Tunnicliffe, Frecklington (sub Taylor 49min), Kearns, Sinclair (sub Newell 84min), Tomlin (sub Kennedy 60min).  Unused subs: Thompson, Jones.

Coventry : Murphy, Keogh, Hussey, Bell (sub Bigirimana 81min), Jutkiewicz, McSheffery, Platt, Wood, Gardner, Christie, Thomas.  Unused subs: McPake, Jeffers, Cameron, Burge.

Bet here with the very best odds on Peterborough United.
Aaron Gratton

Total articles: 16

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