charlie o'connell

Posh U21s were held to a 1-1 draw by The U’s on Tuesday evening.

A late goal from Colchester United U21s saw the points shared in Peterborough United U21s’ final game of the Professional Development League campaign, which also saw three sending-offs throughout the 90 minutes at the JobServe Community Stadium.

After cagey opening stages to the game, it was the hosts who had the first opportunity of the game as Brad Ihiovien had a shot from distance, but his effort flew well over the bar. Posh carved out their first chance on 23 minutes as the ball was fed to Oscar Tonge in the box, he cut inside before his effort was well claimed by Ted Collins.

Matt Laycock was called into action on 29 minutes as Kaan Bennett slotted Jake Hutchinson through on-goal, but his effort was well saved by the Posh goalkeeper. The U’s had the better of the opportunities ahead of the break as Ihiovien advanced into the box before cutting the ball back, which was defended well by the Posh backline.

Two minutes into the second half, and The U’s were awarded a penalty as Aaron Powell fouled Ihionvien inside the box. He stepped up to take the spot-kick, but Laycock guessed the correct way to save his effort. The hosts struck the woodwork just before the hour mark as Al-Amin Kazeem saw his effort saved well by Laycock before Oscar Thorn’s effort on the rebound hit the post.

Posh were down to 10-men on 62 minutes as Emmanuel Fernandez received a second yellow card. However, six minutes later, the teams were level once again as The U’s man Harry Beadle was then shown a straight red card and Posh were given a penalty due to an incident inside the box.

Charlie O’Connell stepped up to take the spot-kick and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to open the deadlock on 69 minutes. The hosts were close to finding an equaliser on 79 minutes as Bennett fired just over the bar. 

The U’s were then down to nine men on 84 minutes as Gene Kennedy was sent off for a second yellow card. However, it was late heartbreak for Posh as the hosts found the equaliser in the dying seconds of the game as Donnell Thomas’ low-driven effort from the edge of the box was enough to beat Laycock and into the back of the net.

Speaking on the game and the season overall, Ryan Semple said: “The performance at times was good, we created chances and got that goal through the penalty. The players worked hard, we pressed well and gave them a lot of problems. It was obviously disappointing to concede late in the game, particularly when they went down to nine, but aspects of the performance were good.

“I came into this role in November and changes of staff could have disrupted the flow for players, but when you look back at the season, you have to look at the players that have gone out on loan and done well. The players that have been in and around the first team, even the players that have dropped down as it’s a great experience for youngsters to play alongside senior players. 

“We also had some good results, not just in the league but also in the Premier League Cup where we did well against Aston Villa and Blackburn. From my point of view, the season has been pleasing and we have ended the season four games unbeaten, three of those wins and we are slightly frustrated not to win our final game, but I think we have ended the season quite well and that’s a positive thing.”

Posh XI: Laycock, O’Connell, Fernandez, Dreyer, Powell, Harris, Chiha, Trialist B, Trialist A, Trialist C, Tonge.

Subs: Fox, Thomas, Hickinson, Lamb.