Posh Women U23s

Posh Women Under 23s suffer defeat to The Potters in their final League fixture of the campaign. 

Peterborough United Women Under 23s finished their FA Women’s National League Reserves Midlands Division campaign off with a 5-3 loss to Stoke City Development on Sunday afternoon at Norton Sports Club, with Ella-Mai Bale netting her 15th goal of the season and Rebecca Mears also getting her name on the scoresheet.

Both teams started the game strongly with the hosts causing mayhem from a corner in the sixth minute before eventually dragging a shot wide from close-range. The Posh responded and broke the deadlock in the eighth minute as a poor clearance from The Potters’ fell kindly to BALE who lofted the ball over the goalkeeper into the top right corner from outside the box.

Just after quarter hour mark, the hosts were awarded a penalty as Nidia Neto was cautioned for pulling down her marker. The forward drilled the ball into the bottom left corner, with Megan Dellar diving the right way but unable to get a hand to it. Seconds after the restart, the hosts were on the front foot once again as a long-range effort was tipped over the crossbar by Dellar.

The Potters’ hit the woodwork as a cross was taken by the wind towards the far post. Minutes later, the hosts took the lead as a corner causes mayhem in the Posh box before being converted from close range. After the half hour mark, Stoke extended their lead as Dellar initially saved the forward’s effort, but she parried it straight towards the oncoming forward who slotted the rebound in the back of the net. On the stroke of half time, Posh looked to reduce the deficit as Tilly Sands’ free-kick curled just over the crossbar.

Posh started the second half strong with Alicia Podd’ long-range free-kick forcing the goalkeeper into action. Mears advanced forward before curling an effort towards goal, but her strike was collected safely by the goalkeeper. Just after the hour mark, Dellar was forced into another save as the hosts volleyed an effort on the edge of the box. In the 77th minute, the wind caused havoc again as a cross from The Potters’ hit the far post but this time ricocheted into the back of the net.

The Under 23s responded immediately from kick-off as substitute Alice Akinyemi played BALE through on goal and she slotted into the bottom right corner. Posh continued to threaten Stoke as they looked for a way back into the game with Bale heading Sands’ corner wide of the post before curling an effort from inside the box straight at the goalkeeper.

Stoke added a fifth with minutes to go as a corner appeared to be headed in from close range by a Posh player. At the end of normal time, MEARS netted what a consolation goal as she struck from distance.

Manager Michael Allsebrook spoke after the game: “We’re obviously disappointed with the result; we didn’t want to end the season with a loss. It’s been a fantastic season for us in terms of results, cup journeys and first team progression, so we wanted to end on a high but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. We didn’t do ourselves justice in the first half; we didn’t use the ball intelligently or weren’t aggressive enough when outside of possession. We didn’t defend well at times and that caused our downfall. Going into half time 3-1 down gave us a mountain to climb.

“We asked them to react in the second half and they did. They put in a better performance and could have got a result on a different day. We reacted well when having to go down to 10 players and pulled together. Whilst the result is disappointing, we were pleased with the reaction. It gives us a chance to enter into the season break recharged and refreshed. We’ll reflect on what we did well and what we didn’t and plan ready for next season.”

Posh: Dellar, King, Osker, Neto (sub Akinyemi 52min)), Richards-Reeves, Podd, Moore, Mears, Bale, Smith.

Unused Subs: Robinson.

By Lauren Shiels