Posh under 21s secure their first group stage win after a dominant performance against the unbeaten leaders of the group, Spurs.

The Peterborough United U21s get their first victory of 2024 after beating Spurs 3-0 away at Clarence Park in the Premier League Cup.

With both teams starting the game quickly, Posh had the first chance of the game within five minutes after Pemi Aderoju dragged his shot just wide of the far post. Jake West was called into action shortly after, after a dangerous cross was whipped into the Posh box, but safely collected by West.

Poah were forced into an early substitution, bringing on David Kawa for the injured Jacob Wakeling. Despite this, Posh managed to get the opening goal just eight minutes later, after ADEROJU capitalised on a Spurs mistake, dribbling the ball around the keeper and striking the ball into the back of the net.

Around 10 minutes later, Posh doubled their lead, thanks to a second goal from the Posh number nine ADEROJU. The goal was created from the lovely build up play of O’Connell, who drove the ball all the way down the right side before crossing it across the face of the goal for the striker to put in the back of the net.

Just two minutes after the game restarted for the second half, O’Connell received a red card for his challenge on the Spurs attacker just outside the Posh box. With Posh down to 10 men, West was forced into a brilliant stop in the 56th minute after the Spurs shot got deflected and pushed behind by the keeper.

Just as the game looked to be over, Emmanuel FERNANDEZ got a third for Posh thanks to a perfectly placed header from a corner.

In the final minute of the game, Spurs got one last chance to score from a free kick on the edge of the box, but that rattled the crossbar and went flying over.

U21s Lead Coach Ryan Semple said after the game, he said: “To come away and to have the structure that we had today, in terms of the out of possession structure, the game plan worked really well, and then the ruthlessness in terms of the chances we took, obviously the goals from Pemi and the lead up to them and then the fantastic header from Manny from a corner. So, absolutely delighted with the result, and then so many aspects of the performance as well.”

When asked about the game plan and scoring from counter attacking chances, Semple added: “I think the importance was to make sure we all knew our jobs, we were compact, we protected the middle of the pitch, and from the front - everyone had such an important role within that. But then when we win the ball back, it’s about making the right decisions, are we going to counter quickly? If we do then the quality to play forward into spaces that Spurs leave. If it isn’t onto counter quickly in one or two passes, then okay we need to retain the ball, we need to keep the ball and work the opportunities.”

Aderoju also spoke after the game on how the team held onto the lead in the second half and to keep the clean sheet. “I’m really proud, I think we all had to dig deep especially towards the end there was a lot of pressure on us, a lot of waves of attack. We stayed solid, defended really well. We exhibited what we worked on a lot in the week, so happy that it paid off.”

Posh: West, O’Connell, Powell, Van Lier (sub Titchmarsh 78 min), Thomas, Fernandez, Corbett, Chiha, Aderoju, O’Brien-Brady (sub Bodnar 51 min), Wakeling (sub Kawa 20 min).

By Ella Smetana