Howell looks at three Luton Town trialists in Posh friendly
Posh run out 3-1 winners at Clarence Park
St Albans City 1 Peterborough United 3
MANAGER David Howell used Monday night’s friendly with npower Championship side Peterborough United to take a closer look at three players on trial from neighbours Luton Town.
Ash Deeney, brother of ex-Saint David, Ryan Da Silva and Chris Tavernier were all given game time as Posh came from behind to record a 3-1 victory on a wet evening at Clarence Park.
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The friendly was arranged to give Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson the opportunity to give his new signings a run out during the international break – and the 39-year-old Posh boss got a first-hand viewing after deciding to play himself on the left wing for the entire 90 minutes.
Nick Jupp was kept busy in the opening exchanges racing out to deny Danny Kearns and then getting his fingertips to the Irishman’s deflected effort all inside 60 seconds.
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City didn’t heed that warning, giving Kearns too much time and space on the edge of the area and it was only the slightest of deflections that took the midfielder’s shot onto Jupp’s left hand upright.
All evening Posh newboy Emile Sinclair displayed all the pace and power that persuaded the London Road club to open their chequebook. The deadline-day signing from Macclesfield Town picked out Ben Seymour-Shove who really should have tested Jupp more than he did before Sinclair headed over from Nick Ajose’s centre.
Former St Albans loanee Joe Newell then teed up Sinclair who beat Jupp with a clever dink but was denied by Jake Panayiotou who raced back to hack off the line.
Posh used the match to give Joe Lewis his first action in four months following a knee injury and he showed his rustiness when Brian Haule beat him to a ball near the corner flag. The Saints weren’t able to take advantage, however, as Lewis recovered in time to comfortably take Joackim Ehui’s shot.
That wasn’t the case just two minutes later, though, as City opened the scoring with an excellently worked goal.
Ehui raced clear down the right wing and sent over an exquisite cross for Haule who stuck his head where it hurts and guided the ball past Lewis from six yards. Haule and Posh full-back Kosi Nthle both suffered blows to the head in the process but while the visiting right-back returned after a dab of Vaseline on his wound, Haule’s evening was brought to a premature end.
Sinclair continued to do his best to impress Ferguson and came agonisingly close to scoring a remarkable solo goal. The striker won the ball right in front of the home dug-out before setting off on a purposeful run that saw him beat several players on his way to goal only to be let down by his final effort, stabbing wide of the target from 12 yards.
The visitors were level before the break though as Newell added a third goal to the two he scored in August’s encounter at Clarence Park.
Posh’s on-loan Chelsea left-back Ben Gordon burst down the left wing and picked out Grant Basey who teed up Newell. The young midfielder confidently side-stepped his marker before placing the ball past Jupp.
Unperturbed, City fought back with Da Silva cutting in off his wing and letting fly only to see his shot hit Nthle and skim the top of Lewis’ crossbar.
Howell’s side were indebted to centre-half Matt Cutchey who ensured the two teams went into the break level with a goalline clearance to deny Kearns. The midfielder had reacted quickest to latch onto the loose ball after Jupp produced an excellent save to deny Seymour-Shove but Cutchey had read the situation well and was excellently placed on the line to snuff out the danger.
City changed their entire 11 at the break and were caught cold as the visitors went ahead inside 60 seconds following the resumption.
A cross from the left wasn’t dealt with by the City defence and after both Ajose and Sinclair had seen efforts blocked Kearns drove the ball across goal and inside replacement ‘keeper Will Viner’s far post.
Having got themselves in front, Posh set about closing out the game, keeping the ball well in midfield and forcing City to chase shadows.
Chances were at a premium in the second half and as a result the Saints were forced to take pot shots from distance. Sean Shields had one such effort but Lewis was able to gather the ball at the second attempt without any major drama.
The Hatfield Road woodwork was struck for a second time on the night when Sinclair fired Gordon’s cross onto the bar with marauding centre-half Tobi Jinadu testing out the crossbar at the York Road end of the ground, sticking out a leg to divert David Ijaha’s cross onto the frame of the goal.
Posh put the game beyond doubt 16 minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty. Sinclair’s impressive burst of pace sent the striker clear but Viner kept out his low shot. Ajose picked up the loose ball only to be sent tumbling onto the damp turf. The former Manchester United and Bury striker stepped up and beat Viner with an unconvincing shot down the middle.
The York Road crossbar came into play once more when Sakho Bakare headed James Bent’s deflected effort goalwards but that was as close as either side came to adding to the scoreline.
City: Jupp; Deeney, Cutchey, Sonuga, Panayiotou; Ehui, Alebiosu, Sol Shields, Haisley, Da Silva; Haule (Humbert 31).
City 2nd Half XI: Viner; Patterson, Watts, Ijaha � (Tavernier 75), Jinadu, Moran, Walker, Magwood, Bakare (Bakare 80), Bent, Sean Shields.
Posh: Lewis; Nthle, Basey, Thompson, Gordon; Ferguson, Newell, Kearns (Wickham 87), Seymour-Shove (Ralph 53m), Sinclair, Ajose.
Subs not used: Grant, Richardson, Evans, Joyce.