Dennis Kelmendi

Posh U18s suffer defeat against The Sky Blues in the Professional Development League.

A young Peterborough United U18s side, that involved six under 16s in the matchday squad, were condemned to a 4-3 defeat by Coventry City U18s at The Alan Higgs Centre on Saturday afternoon in the Professional Development, with the hosts netting two goals in three minutes to secure the three points.

The hosts opened the scoring as a loose pass saw the ball fall to the forward just inside the area and he curled the ball past Jake West. Posh brought the game level just after the half hour mark as a long ball forward from Joe Toynton was latched onto by Dennis Kelmendi, he rounded the keeper before squaring to Rylie Fitzpatrick who tapped home from close-range.

Posh took the lead on 38 minutes as Fitzpatrick’s cross from the left-hand side caused problems inside the opposition box, the ball fell kindly to Kelmendi and he showed excellent close footwork before slotting home from close-range once again.

The Sky Blues were awarded a penalty on 75 minutes as Luke Gilbert was penalised for pushing down his player inside the box and their forward calmly converted from the spot, sending West the wrong way. Posh reinstated their lead on 81 minutes as Luke Gilbert’s clearance fell to Max Beech, he played it into Torin Ntege on the edge of the box and his powerful effort found the bottom corner.

However, two goals in three minutes from The Sky Blues in the closing stages of the game condemned the under 18s to a narrow defeat on the road in the Professional Development League.

Speaking on the game, Jimmy Unwin said: “It was a really good performance for large parts of the game and was pleased with the efforts from the players. It was just those small margins that costed us dearly in the end in terms of getting the three points.

“We were 2-1 up at the break and they changed their shape, which threw the players off for a good 10 to 15 minutes until they got to grips with it, then got another goal and that was pleasing to see the resilience of the players after giving a penalty away and then going level, but they showed a bit of grit and determination to make it happen.

“It’s just the last five minutes of the game where we switch off and don’t mark inside the box before getting a winner in the last few seconds from us trying to be brave and trying to get a winner ourselves. 

“Also, having a couple of under 16s involved as it stretches and challenges the whole group, we currently have players out on loan and doing well, so it was important to have the under 16s involved and also have a real impact. We had Rylie [Fitzpatrick] and Eddie [Fox] who started the game who were excellent and came through 90 minutes and made a good account of themselves.”

Posh XI: West, Fox, Gilbert, Toynton, Trialist, Holley, Unwin, Beech, Kelmendi, Davies, Fitzpatrick.

Subs: Sakalas, Ntege, Kovaci, Skyut.