Latest from the Futsal Scholarship as they embarked on EFL Cup action.

On Thursday the 9th of March, the Peterborough United Futsal team travelled down to Birmingham in the next round of the EFL Cup. In the first round, they won their group with some great performances, leading them to top group ahead of Birmingham, Burton Albion and Plymouth Argyle.

This meant they would be involved in the next round of fixtures. In the group stage in the second round, Posh were drawn against Grimsby A, Blackpool, Sheffield United and Burton Albion. They started their first game against Sheffield United. This was a tight and tense opening game, and Posh took the lead just past the halfway mark, when Christian Keitly finished home neatly to put Posh into the lead. He had a chance to increase the lead when he won a penalty, but couldn’t capitalise with the Blades’ keeper making a good save. Posh had a nervy last five minutes, but held on thanks to good defensive work and some good saves made by in-form Keeper Louis Bland, who helped to ensure Posh won their first game 1-0.

Posh headed into their next game full of confidence after their opening victory and started well against a strong Blackpool side, and this proved worthwhile as they went in front with Kyle Gray scoring after a good counter attack by the boys. Posh then scored straight after this, with Brandon Powell finding maverick Hollis with a back-post run to double Posh’s advantage. Blackpool got back into the game when poor marking from Posh left the Blackpool player to tap home from close range. Into the final ten minutes and it was again a very nervy end to the encounter with clear chances being wasted by both teams. Posh finally sealed the victory with four minutes to go after star man Tiago Nassunculo finished well with his left foot to clinch a 3-1 victory for the Posh.

Posh headed into their next fixture knowing a win would almost certainly seal their passage through to the last eight, but faced a difficult task from last year’s cup and National League champions Grimsby Town. It was a very even game for the first half of the encounter with both teams missing some good opportunities to take the lead. Heading into the final third and Grimsby made the first blow with a finish from a tight angle to make it 1-0. Posh started to mount the pressure on Grimsby after and after Gale was brought down, Posh had the chance to level from the Penalty spot but for the 2nd time in the competition, this time through Tiago Nassunculo, Posh failed to score from the spot meaning the score stayed 1-0 for the time being. Coach Michael Johnson made a change and went fly keeper, something that has worked well for Posh in the past. Unfortunately for Posh it didn’t this time they didn’t play it well enough to come back into the game, and Grimsby scored two late goals to make the final score 3-0.

Posh headed into their final game knowing that if they avoided defeat against Burton Albion, it would mean 2nd place in their group after results went there way, which would be enough to qualify. Posh started well and scored early on through a very good solo effort from Tiago Nassunculo who took on the entire Burton Albion team to score. Posh then made it a very professional performance and added a further goal when Hollis finished well to double Posh’s advantage. A further two goals were added from Kyle Gray and Tiago Nassunculo to finish what was a very professional performance from the boys.

After this result, Posh were through to the final, where eight teams are left in the cup. This a truly amazing achievement from everyone involved in the scholarship. This was echoed from Futsal Manager Michael Johnson ‘We came into today believing we could qualify, but it was much more in hope than expectation and the boys have really shown their guts and ability to get through to the next round’.

On Wednesday 8th March Posh continued the Development League with six fixtures, three for the C team and three for the D team. Posh D started the day top of the league and faced Southampton F and G and Cheltenham C. While Posh C started the day in 4th faced Southampton E, Chelsea C and Brighton C. Posh started poorly with a 3-0 defeat to Southampton F but turned it around in the next fixture against Cheltenham winning comfortably 4-0. They finished their day with a scintillating performance against Southampton G coming out winners 8-0. Posh C started really well with back to back victories this started with a 3-1 victory over Southampton and followed by a 5-0 demolition of Chelsea. Posh C finished the day with a frustrating 1-1 draw with Brighton even though they was the better team throughout. Posh D finished the day in second place and was overtaken by the Southampton side that beat them and Posh C stayed where they were at the start of the day in 4th place.