Posh bow out of Premier League Cup, but put in spirited performance against Watford.
A Watford side containing seven players with first team experience knocked Posh out of the Premier League under 21 Cup with a narrow 1-0 victory at Vicarage Road in a game that was littered with opportunities at both ends.
On five minutes, a superb run from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing created a shooting opportunity for Grant McCann, but the midfielder’s left-foot drive was deflected just wide of the far post. Moments later and the Hornets were desperately close to the breakthrough as first Mensah saw an effort saved by goalkeeper Grant and then Folivi cracked the bar from a tight angle from the rebound.
On 21 minutes, a quickly taken free kick from Grant McCann picked out Harry Anderson who took a touch before his low shot was saved with the body of Gilmartin. Edwards fired over with a speculative volley seconds later as Posh began to exploit space behind the Hornet’s back-line.
On 24 minutes, the hosts got themselves in front as Connor SMITH managed to squeeze the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle after beating goalkeeper Aidan Grant to the ball following a diagonal pass from Byers.
Just before the half hour mark, Posh won a free-kick on the edge of the box as Doherty was adjudged to have felled Oztumer. Bizarrely after giving the set-piece, the referee failed to send off Doherty who was the last man with the Turkish midfielder about to shoot. The resulting set-piece was taken by Oztumer, but he curled his effort over the top.
A terrible back-pass from Robinson was intercepted by Smith, but he was expertly denied by Grant. Oztumer went on a mazy run at the other end, but his side-foot finish was blocked. Substitute Adebayo-Rowling fired just wide of the target after a forceful run as Posh tried to draw themselves level early on in the second half.
Edwards was cautioned for a late tackle on 52 minutes and just after the hour mark, substitute Jack Friend struck the top of the bar with a fine effort from 25-yards. Skipper McCann fired wide from 30-yards as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
McCann curled a free kick over the top on 83 minutes before Grant denied Carl Stewart at the other end. Smith was a whisker away from making the game safe but his 30-yard strike curled away from the upright.
Edwards fired high and wide on 88 minutes after a good through ball by Friend as Posh continued to try and find an equaliser to send this tie into extra time and they were a whisker away as Liam Marshall’s stunning free-kick cracked the post. However, it was not to be as Posh were denied a trip to Bristol City in round two of the competition.
Watford: Gilmartin, Doyley, Doherty, Johnson (sub Young 52min), Hoban, Byers, Stewart, Smith, Lewis, Folivi (sub Obi 69min), Mensah (sub Martin 63min). Unused subs: Rowley, Miakaka.
Posh: Grant, Luto, Marshall, Ward, Robinson, H. Anderson, Hood, Edwards, Oztumer (sub Adebayo-Rowling 46min), McCann, Mendez-Laing (sub Friend 46min). Unused subs: Henry, Palmer, Phillips,
HT: Watford Under 21s 1-0 Posh Under 21s