Clarke-Harris scores against Plymouth

Posh made it five wins from seven matches after a big win over promotion contenders Plymouth Argyle.

Peterborough United took their goal tally to eight from the last two matches as Darren Ferguson’s men showed real attacking verve against promotion contenders Plymouth Argyle at the Weston Homes Stadium with skipper Jonson Clarke-Harris moving onto 20 goals in all competitions in a 5-2 victory.

Matete fired over from long-range on four minutes after a stray pass from Jack Taylor across the pitch from one side to the other. Harrison Burrows took advantage of a similar defensive mistake at the other end, but his left-foot shot from the edge of the box was deflected into the arms of Callum Burton.

Posh were awarded a spot-kick on 14 minutes as a cross from Mason Clark was heading for the back post and an onrushing Poku, but he was shoved in the box by a defender and the referee pointed for a penalty. Skipper Jonson CLARKE-HARRIS stepped and sent the keeper the wrong way from 12-yards for his 17th league goal of the campaign.

Posh doubled the lead on 18 minutes, Ephron Mason-Clark’s initial effort struck the post and Hector KYPRIANOU was there to convert the rebound from close-range.

Kyprianou was cautioned moments later before Will Norris was fortunate as he missed a free-kick allowing Hardie to try and force the ball home but Joe Ward was there to clear the danger.

Mason-Clark was denied by Burton just before the hour mark after wriggling into a little bit of space on the edge of the box.  Poku saw a low effort from 25-yards gathered by Burton before Argyle made a double tactical switch with Danny Mayor and Finn Azaz introduced.

The visitors halved the deficit on 35 minutes as a cross from Cosgrove was turned in at the near post by former Stevenage loanee Saxon EARLEY. Cosgrove was cautioned for a foul on Taylor right in front of the dugouts on 40 minutes to the front man’s disappointment.

On the stroke of half-time, Mason-Clark had a chance to extend the Posh lead, but his effort from a Harrison Burrows centre was smothered by Argyle shot-stopper Burton. Wilson was then booked for a body check on Mason-Clark.

Mason-Clark was denied by Burton on 49 minutes after a strong run with Poku guiding the resulting corner kick over the crossbar at the near post. Posh made it 3-1 on 53 minutes as a forceful run from Mason-Clark created the space and his perfectly timed pass picked out Harrison BURROWS who slotted the ball through the keepers legs with his left-foot.

Less than 60 seconds later, Argyle hit the post as an Earley cross picked out Mumba at the back post and somehow he couldn’t squeeze the ball home. Just before the hour, the visitors reduced the arrears as a corner kick was headed home by GILLESPHEY.

Darren Ferguson made his first change in the wake of the goal with Nathan Thompson replacing Joe Ward. Posh made it 4-2 on 63 minutes as Mason-Clark did brilliantly down the left, his low centre was stabbed towards goal by Taylor and CLARKE-HARRIS slid to get the final touch from close-range.

Cosgrove was denied at the near post by Norris diving full length on 69 minutes before substitute Edwards fired over on the volley from a Houghton knockdown. Ennis was denied by Norrids as the game entered the final quarter as both sides made more changes.

Ollie Norburn made a welcome return from a long-term knee injury, replacing Burrows while Dan Butler replaced Kwame Poku. On 78 minutes, Posh made it 5-2 as wonderful work from Mason-Clark down the right saw him burst into the box and square for TAYLOR who squeezed his shot under Burton.

Clarke-Harris was superbly denied by Burton after racing onto a Taylor pass, the keeper doing well to push it around the post. From the resulting set-piece, the skipper headed wide. The fourth official indicated five minutes of stoppage time to be played, but there were no further chances.

Posh: Norris, Ogbeta, Knight, Edwards, Taylor, Burrows (sub Norburn 75min), Kyprianou, Poku (sub Butler 75min), Mason-Clark, Ward (sub N. Thompson 59min), Clarke-Harris (sub Tshimanga 86min). Unused subs: Blackmore, B. Thompson, Kent.

Plymouth: Burton, Gillesphey (sub Edwards 65min), Wilson, Butcher (sub Azaz 31min), Hardie, Cosgrove, Mumba, Lonwijk, Earley (sub Ennis 65min), Wright (sub Mayor 31min), Matete (sub Houghton 70min). Unused subs: Bolton, Parkes. 

Half-time: Peterborough United 2-1 Plymouth Argyle
Full-time: Peterborough United 5-2 Plymouth Argyle
Attendance: 8,365 (1,511 Plymouth fans)
Referee: Scott Oldham