Ryan Semple

Posh U21s beaten in seven-goal thriller at Vicarage Road.

Peterborough United U21s fell to a 4-3 defeat to Watford U21s at Vicarage Road on Friday afternoon in the Professional Development League, with the hosts netting three goals in the last eight minutes to secure the three points.

Posh started the game brightly as David Kawa saw a close-range effort blocked by Hamzat Balogun. The under 21s found themselves ahead on 15 minutes as Harry Titchmarsh was judged to have been fouled inside the box and captain Charlie O’Connell stepped up to calmly convert from the spot.

The visitors brought the scores level on 33 minutes as James Collins curled a free-kick around the wall and past Jake West. Collins thought he gave The Hornets the lead just after the break, but was disallowed by the assistant referee for offside. 

Posh restored their lead on 74 minutes as Gabe Overton teed up Harley Mills on the edge of the box and his curling effort found the top corner. Overton then extended the under 21s advantage just four minutes later as Janos Bodnar sent a low ball into the box and Overton's scuffed effort found the back of the net.

However, a quickfire double from Laken Torres, the first a header and then the second a composed close-range finish, had the hosts back on level terms on 84 minutes. The hoses secured the victory in the fourth minute of injury-time as Charlie Davis cut onto his right-foot and fired his effort past West.

U21s Lead Professional Development Phase Coach, Ryan Semple, said: “The performance at times was not bad, we had moments of good play but was quite loose in possession. We created some good opportunities and scored three goals, but ultimately, when you concede goals and the times when we conceded them, then you will always be up against it. 

“It’s a common theme at the minute. We concede goals and you will always analyse them as you can do better in certain ways, but it’s also about the concentration and focus to being solid, especially in the short period after conceding, and we haven’t done that against Watford. Ultimately, we are shipping way too many goals to win football matches and that’s a vital part of the players' development.”

Posh XI: West, Dornelly, Dreyer, O’Connell, Mills, Challinor, Titchmarsh, Kawa, O’Brien-Brady, Bodnár, Overton.

Subs: Sakalas, Thomas, Chiha, Kelmendi, Winters.