Emmanuel Fernandez

Seven-goal thriller at the idverde Training Ground as Posh U21s fall to narrow defeat.

Peterborough United U21s suffered a narrow 4-3 defeat to Sheffield United U21s in the Professional Development League on Tuesday afternoon after an action-packed second half that saw four of the goals in the space of seven minutes.

Will Lakin was forced into an early save on seven minutes as he got down low to his left to push Louie Marsh’s effort from the edge of the box around the post. Just after the half-hour mark, the visitors carved out another opportunity as the ball was fed to Antowine Hackford inside the box, but Lakin was out quickly to block his effort.

At the other end, Posh forced Callum Yam into action as Joel Randall got behind The Blades’ defence, Yam got down to stop Randall from advancing before the loose ball fell to Lewis Darlington and his effort from distance was saved by Yam.

The visitors broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time as pressing from The Blades’ frontline forced an error at the back, Louie Marsh squared the ball to Owen Hampson who slotted home into the empty net. 

Posh made two early changes after the break, with Hisham Chiha and Reuben Marshall replacing Luke Harris and Darlington. Just two minutes later after coming on, Marshall grabbed the equaliser as he flicked on Kai Corbett’s corner at the front-post which took a slight deflection before finding the back of the net.

However, The Blades reinstated their lead a minute later as pressing from Jili Buyabu allowed Marsh to pounce on the loose ball and he slotted past Lakin. The visitors extended their advantage on 55 minutes as Sydie Peck drove into the box and his effort found the bottom corner.

The Blades grabbed their third goal in five minutes as Hackford was brought down inside the box by Mensah. Lakin saved Peck’s spot-kick, but Marsh reacted the quickest to the rebound and squared the ball to Hackford to tap home.

Posh cut the deficit on 67 minutes as Corbett’s free-kick fell to the feet of Emmanuel Fernandez and his effort found the back of the net via a deflection. Lakin produced an outstanding save on 75 minutes as he got fingertips on a long-range effort from Josh Smith to tip the ball over the bar.

As the game headed into injury time, Posh pulled another goal back as Corbett’s flick on the far left allowed Randall to advance into the box before curling his effort into the bottom right-hand corner.

Speaking after the game, Semple said: “The big thing we spoke to the players after the game was about concentration. The goals we have given away were cheap goals in terms of decision-making and execution, and that has killed the game for us. For their second goal, we switched off, and then the five-minute period between that goal and the fourth is crazy and can’t happen.

“The performance in the first half was quite scrappy but I don’t think we were carved open at all. I felt we didn’t move the ball well and didn't take care with our passes. Overall, it’s disappointing despite pulling two goals back towards the end.”

Posh XI: Lakin, Mensah (Lamb, 61min), O’Connell, Fernandez, Powell, Harris (Chiha, 46min), McGlinchey, Randall, Darlington (Marshall, 50min), Corbett, Tonge.

Subs Not Used: West, Fox.