Posh U16s suffer defeat in the Professional Development League Cup final.
Peterborough United U16s suffered a 3-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic U16s in the final of the U16 Professional Development League Cup on Saturday morning at the DW Stadium, but Youth Development Phase Lead Coach Elio Salerno was proud of his players’ journey to the latter stage of the competition.
The hosts started the game strongly as Greenhalgh went the closest to breaking the deadlock inside the opening five minutes as he saw his initial effort hit the post, the ball fell to the forward once again and he could only send his shot wide. Posh forced Spaven into a good, getting across to push away the Trialist’s free-kick at the near-post.
Igiehon did exceptionally well on the right-hand side as he advanced into the box after evading a number of challenges, but his effort from a tight angle found the side-netting. Sakalas produced a good save on 16 minutes as he got down low to deny Greenhalgh’s effort from just inside the box.
Edwards advanced down the right-hand side, his cross found Bettoni on the edge of the box and his effort on the half-volley was straight into the hands of Sakalas. Davies then had a shot just outside the box, but he dragged the ball wide of the post. The Trialist took aim from distance, but Spaven did extremely well to hold onto the ball.
The hosts opened the scoring on 34 minutes as Simms played the ball through to Greenhalgh and he slotted the ball home past Sakalas. It was nearly a second for The Latics just before the break as Simms’ curling effort was parried away by Sakalas before Edwards saw a shot cleared off the line.
The woodwork was struck minutes after the break as Igiehon’s effort from a tight angle hit the inside of the post before the Posh goalkeeper smothered the ball. Bettoni’s corner was met by Knott at the back-post, but he couldn’t direct his header on target.
Greenhalgh doubled his tally and the hosts on 51 minutes as he raced through on-goal before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner. Posh struck the woodwork on 54 minutes as the trialist’s effort from the edge of the box bounced off the top of the crossbar.
It became three on 68 minutes as Igiehon cut inside from the left before firing his low-driven effort past Sakalas. Posh pulled a goal back in injury time as Unwin advanced into the box before curling an effort past the goalkeeper, hitting the inside of the far-post and into the back of the net.
Speaking on the game, Salerno said: “Firstly, I would like to congratulate Wigan Athletic’s players and staff on their success. Naturally, we are really disappointed but we did extremely well to get to this point and I hope the players will be able to pick themselves up and reflect on the journey they have had because it has been really positive. We are all really proud of what they have done and they just need to get their heads up and remember they have done some fantastic work this season.
“We had a really good spell in the middle of the first half, where we had good control of the game and were creating good openings, forcing their goalkeeper into some good saves. We didn’t make much of those opportunities we had created, but they went up the other end and scored to go one-nil up at the break. Similar to the second half as we started well, but they took an opportunity and doubled their lead, and that’s football."