Shaquille McDonald scored four goals in the 6-4 away win at Crawley Town.

The Peterborough United U18’s stormed to a 6-4 victory away at Crawley U18’s on Tuesday, with an excellent display of attacking football.  Shaquille McDonald, Jermaine Anderson and Jevani Brown were all on target for the Posh as they picked up an impressive three-points.

Under 18’s manager Gavin Strachan was understandably delighted with his team’s performance, but felt that even a total of six goals didn’t do justice to just how good his side were going forward.
‘It could have been a lot more. We hit the post twice, hit the cross-bar, missed some other great chances and from an attacking point of view it was excellent. We continuously cut them open with McDonald and Carthey linking excellently. If-truth be told, the scoreline of 6-4 was slightly flattering on them as we could have got into double figures.

‘Carthey’s hold-up play was superb and he linked the attack and midfield well. Coulson and Anderson controlled the middle of the pitch. Defensively, two of the goals were clearly offside, one of the goals was a very sloppy mistake and the fourth was a ‘worldie’ from one of their players.’

One player who is starting to catch Darren Ferguson’s attention has been Shaquille MacDonald. His four goal haul against Crawley has taken his total to 11 goals in 7 games, at reserve and youth level, and he has just signed an extension to his professional contract at the club. Strachan was quick to point out the impact that his attacking star has had - even drawing comparisons with a former Posh striking legend.

“I was really pleased with all the team, but with McDonald in particular. He took all four goals brilliantly and it is easy to take your eye of the ball when you get good news but he actually improved.  He scored two headers and sometimes people underestimate him because of height, but he is very much like Aaron McLean is in that respect and from a standing jump he can generate a good height and get good power and direction on his headers. He has scored four good goals and had another couple of chances. He’s a positive player and things are always happening around him.’

With the youth-team still facing another seven games before the end of the season it promises to be a test of their character and fitness, but Strachan was also keen to point out his young-side’s professionalism.

‘One of the key things we spoke about before the game was the mental strength that is required when you travel for three hours to get to a game. We had to leave at 6:30am to get there and we were up against a physical team. But we looked fit and strong – which is credit to the work Mark Lindsey is doing with the boys.’

Posh are now trying to reflect their brand of football on all levels at the club, making sure the youth-teams adopt similar tactics to those used by the first-team and Strachan was encouraged to see his players taking on-board what they have been practicing in training.

‘Jevani Brown’s goal was a very good goal and technically he is a very good player, but the pick of the goals was probably Jermaine Anderson’s as it showed exactly what we worked on as a club. We started it from the goalkeeper, and played out from the back, getting the ball out-wide and Jermaine has surged forward from defensive midfield and, after a good cross from the trialist, has finished well.

‘So, as much as the result was pleasing, it was also pleasing from a development perspective as well as some of things we have worked on during training are starting to show during competitive matches.'

Starting line-up: Lynch, Lawlor, Burgess, Marshall, Carter, Irvine (trialist), Coulson, Anderson, Brown, McDonald, Carthey. Subs used: Conlon, Wright, Luto.