Harry Titchmarsh

Posh U18s beaten in their first game of the New Year.

Peterborough United U18s suffered a 4-1 defeat to Barnsley U18s on Saturday morning in an Under-18 Professional Development League fixture at Barnsley FC Training Ground, with the hosts netting all four goals in the second half after James Dornelly gave Posh the lead before the break.

The hosts carved out two excellent opportunities on 11 minutes as Theo Chapman advanced into the box, forcing Matt Laycock into a low save to his left, and minutes later, a cross found Chapman in acres of space, but he sent his header wide of the post.

Hayden Pickard collected the ball on the edge of the box and took aim, but his powerful effort was parried by Laycock before Posh goalkeeper caught the ball on the second attempt. As the game ticked over the half-hour mark, Posh had failed to test the Tykes goalkeeper, with Harry Titchmarsh’s blocked effort from just inside the box being the closest opportunity.

However, Posh found the breakthrough on 40 minutes as a quickly taken corner found Kelmendi and his cross, with the outside of his foot, was converted at the back-post by a sliding Dornelly.

Jamal Campbell-Ryce made a change at the break as Benjamin Arthur was replaced by Joesph Toynton, who was inches away from doubling Posh advantage inside the opening minute of the second half, but failed to connect to János Bodnár’s in-swinging corner.

The Tykes arguably should have grabbed the equaliser on 50 minutes as Leo Farrell got the better of Toynton, advanced into the box and squared the ball to Chapman, who sent his effort wide of the target.

However, the hosts found the leveller on 57 minutes as Mekessi's ball found Alex Anaman completely free inside the box and poked an effort past Laycock. The Tykes put themselves ahead just five minutes later, Anaman raced through on-goal before calmly slotting the ball past Laycock.

The Tykes extended their advantage as Pickard’s free-kick was parried by Laycock, but only to Anaman and he tapped home for his hat-trick. Tyler Winters went close to cutting the deficit on 78 minutes, but his effort found the side-netting.

It became four for the hosts in the final minute of the game as Leo Farrell converted from close-range after a great run by Josh McKay and U18s Campbell-Ryce felt his side didn’t fail to capitalise going ahead at the break.

Speaking after the game, Campbell-Ryce said: “We are disappointed. Going in at 1-0 half-time probably flattered us, to be honest. It has obviously been a number of weeks without a game and I mentioned that in my pre-match, especially to not let the game get away from us and I felt that happened. 

“Going ahead at the break, I thought that would give us the platform, but, unfortunately, we didn’t do that and never got to grips with the second half. The work rate was there, but we conceded soft goals, which was the most disappointing part of the game. However, I said to the players after the game, we have just got to get back to work this week and go again next weekend.”

Posh XI: Laycock, Bodnár, Dornelly, Arthur (Toynton, 46min), McCann (Mills, 62min), Rose (Marcon, 79min), Titchmarsh, Challinor, Winters, Kelmendi (Odei-Larbi, 79min), Ntege.

Subs Not Used: West.