A youthful Peterborough United side were beaten 4-2 by Bishop's Stortford in their final pre-season friendly.The warm-up games are over, the 'fitness in the bank' statements are concluded, the real action begins at Spotland as Peterborough United open their Sky Bet League One account against Rochdale on Saturday.
This Posh XI, featuring two centre backs from the under 18s group, the second string goalkeeper Dion-Curtis Henry and Harry Anderson in an unfamiliar role at right-back, found themselves 3-0 down at the interval, but improved defensively after the interval.
Kyle Vassell and Souleymane Coulibaly both netted to put pressure on the rest of the strikers at the club ahead of that league opener and in truth could have scored more with the woodwork coming to the rescue of the hosts in the second period.
The hosts opened the scoring inside two minutes as FURLONGE powered home a header from a deep corner kick.
Moments later, the home side nearly made it 2-0 as Matty Fanimo raced clear, but goalkeeper Henry made a superb stop in a one on one situation.
Harry Anderson, operating at right-back with Shaun Brisley unavailable due to illness, made a marauding run down the right on 10 minutes, but his shot was blocked and then smothered by the keeper.
Erhun Oztumer fired over with his left-foot 20-yards from goal moments later as the open nature to the game continued.
A clever pass from Sadlier picked out Harry Anderson in a good position on the edge of the area, but he couldn't control the volley as the effort flew wide.
The hosts made it 2-0 on 23 minutes and it was a stunning strike from MERRIFIELD who's well-struck shot flew past goalkeeper Henry and into the back of the net.
Merrifield headed wide on 26 minutes as Stortford continued to create chances against a makeshift Posh back four. Lovelock did well to claw away a looping Maslen-Jones effort following a well-worked corner as Posh came close to reducing the arrears.
Coulibaly tested Lovelock with a left-foot curler after taking a difficult ball down well on the chest on 32 minutes, but moments later, the hosts were three goals to the good as FURLONGE headed home a free-kick from the left six-yards from goal.
Vassell was denied a goal by a superb stop from Lovelock on 38 minutes, the keeper beating away a fierce drive from the former Stortford man. Angol was next to be denied, his effort tipped over by the Stortford keeper.
Buchanan fired wide of the far post just before the interval for the hosts. Oztumer skied his shot when well-placed after excellent approach play from Anderson down the right before the referee brought an end to the first half proceedings.
Sadlier saw a shot well gathered by Lovelock just after the interval as Posh began to set about chasing this game in the second half. Vassell nodded a Fox cross wide moments later.
On 50 minutes, Posh reduced the arrears as Kyle VASSELL took a diagonal ball from Payne and finished well with his right-foot.
Vassell fired wide of the near post on 55 minutes after cutting inside from the left after good approach play by Jack Payne.
Coulibaly rifled a volley inches past the post after excellent work from Anderson, he caught it sweetly but was just an inch or so out in accuracy.
Stortford made it 4-1 on 58 minutes as SUAREZ stabbed home from close-range after his initial effort had been parried by youngster Henry.
Harry Beautyman replaced Oztumer on the hour mark as he made his comeback from an injury that had kept him out of the entire pre-season friendly campaign.
McCall was denied a fifth goal by a fine Henry stop down to his left after some slick football from the non-leaguers.
Anderson scuffed a shot wide with his left-foot after Fox jinked past his man and cut the ball back from the by-line.
On 69 minutes, Henry beat away a dipping free-kick by Buchanan after Robinson slipped and conceded a set-piece.
Posh pulled a second goal back on 71 minutes as Souleymane COULIBALY lashed home at the back post after a good cross from Anderson.
Leonardo Da Silva-Lopes replaced Robinson on 75 minutes. Vassell struck the bar with a close-range header after a clever dink from substitute Beautyman.
Vassell squandered a chance to grab another consolation goal, but he blazed over after an intelligent reverse pass from Payne.
Bishop's Stortford: Lovelock, Vanderhyde, Herd, McCall, Lee (sub Bailey-Dennis 72min), Furlonge (sub Okosieme 50min), Merrifield, Ekim, Suarez (sub Lobjoit 64min), Buchanan, Fanimo (sub Gordon 46min).
Posh: Henry, Fox, H. Anderson, Robinson (sub Da Silva-Lopes 75min), Maslen-Jones, Payne, Sadlier, Oztumer (sub Beautyman 60min), Angol (sub Adebayo-Rowling 63min), Coulibaly, Vassell. Unused subs: Ravas, Bostwick, J. Anderson, Washington, Maddison, Taylor.
Half-time: Bishop's Stortford 3-0 Posh
Full-time: Bishop's Stortford 4-2 Posh