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Depleted Under-21s suffer Posh loss

Peterborough United 3-0 Spurs U21s (Papa Johns Trophy)

Tue 20 September 2022, 21:31|Tottenham Hotspur

Peterborough United's experience told as the League One side inflicted a 3-0 defeat on our Under-21s in the Papa Johns Trophy on Tuesday evening.

With a lengthening injury list and a handful of players away on international duty, we were forced to field a particularly youthful team on the night and it showed as goals from Josh Knight, Ricky-Jade Jones and substitute Jack Marriott saw the hosts triumph in Southern Group D, a result that eliminated us from the competition with one match still to play.

Both teams came into the game on lengthy winless runs but, while Posh made only three changes from their most recent first team outing in an attempt to regain some form, we were severely depleted and had three Under-18s players and a debutant goalkeeper in a starting line-up showing six new faces from the side that earned such a credible point against Wycombe Wanderers last time out in this competition.

While all those who took to the field gave their all, we were on the back foot for much of the first half and after Peterborough captain Jonson Clarke-Harris missed a couple of early chances, his side took a 19th-minute lead when our keeper Adam Hayton couldn't hold onto Kwame Poku's corner and Knight was able to simply nod home at the back post. It was 2-0 just beyond the half-hour mark when Jack Taylor's shot-on-the-turn was well saved by Hayton, only for Jones to convert the rebound, while Posh almost repeated the trick in the lead-up to half-time when Hayton again saved well from Taylor, but Clarke-Harris missed the target with the loose ball.

Defender Marqes Muir was kept busy by Peterborough's waves of pressure during the first period, standing up well to it in the main, although he could do nothing to prevent them from bagging a third goal six minutes after the break when Marriott shrugged off Yago Santiago to burst into the box and ping a shot into the top corner from the left angle.

To our credit, we showed character to prevent the home side from adding to their lead after that, while at the same time attempting to make inroads at the other end. Hayton saved well from Marriott twice - the second time from an overhead kick - and Joe Taylor, while Romaine Mundle was our biggest threat in attack, constantly looking to work his way in from the left flank and find a path to goal. Indeed, he created a couple of openings in the closing moments, first setting up substitute George Abbott to go close with a shot from distance and then doing likewise himself after working his way across the 18-yard line from left to right. Ultimately, though, we left the Weston Homes Stadium empty-handed and with Stevenage getting the better of Wycombe by the same scoreline in the other game in our group, we cannot now finish higher than third in the standings, with one more match at the Lamex Stadium to come next month.

Highlights on SPURSPLAY

'We're disappointed that we haven't threatened their goal more'

Under-21s Coach Wayne Burnett didn't highlight the disparity in age and experience between the two sides in the post-match reckoning, instead underlining his belief that we needed to find ways to trouble Peterborough at the back. He said: "As always, we went into the game trying to win it but we came up against a very strong Peterborough team who have got lots of league experience and we found it difficult against a very well-organised and tough opposition. I can't fault the players' application and work ethic but we didn't threaten the opposition's goal as much as we'd have liked. They had individuals in their team that can win games for them, but we're disappointed that we haven't threatened their goal more and obviously extremely disappointed with the result."

Peterborough United 3-0 Spurs U21s (Papa Johns Trophy)

Peterborough United: Bergstrom, Ward, Knight, Kent, Butler (Burrows 78), Jack Taylor (Kyprianou 46), Fuchs, Thompson (Randall 46), Poku, Clarke-Harris (c) (Marriott 46), Jones (Joe Taylor 66). Substitutes (not used): Blackmore, Mason-Clark.

Spurs: Hayton, McKnight, Muir, Fagan-Walcott, Andiyapan (Abbott 58), Robson (Lyons-Foster 62), White, John (c) (Ajayi 79), Santiago, Williams (Mathurin 79), Mundle. Substitutes (not used): Keeley, Chaplin.

Match data

Goals: Peterborough - Knight 19, Jones 32, Marriott 51.

Yellow card: Peterborough - Fuchs 49.

Referee: D Drysdale.

Venue: Weston Homes Stadium, Peterborough.

Weather: Partly cloudy, light winds, 15 degrees.

Attendance: 1,898.