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Author Topic: Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship  (Read 9907 times)

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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2005, 12:05:43 PM »

Like a dumbass, I actually googled "Steve Crebel".
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2005, 02:37:27 PM »

We sign a good looking youngster for a trial.  Warren Beattie told other clubs they can wait, as he joins us on a free transfer from Conference side Southport.  Beattie is just 18 and would go well into our reserve club.  I try and sign him to a simple contract, but he wants big money for a youngster, $36k per year for 3 seasons, and a ride on the first team.  I try and lowball him at $20k for 4 years, and a modest signing bonus.  He might well be good enough to play for us in a year or 2, but he would almost certainly get a loan out.

Community Shield from Cardiff
Arsenal 1:0 Manchester Utd.
-Thierry Henry struck in the 10th minute, and the Gunners were able to hold off Man U. for the remainder of the match to win the traditional lid-lifter.

The star of match 1, Jean-Louis Valois, suffers a minor head injury during practice in the run-up to our 2nd league fixture, and will be unavailable to start in it.  Asprilla is also listed as "lacking match practice" despite coming on as a sub in our first match of the year.

Our lineup against Tranmere, a team that dominated us last season...
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Plummer, Yates, Burton
DM: Nicolas
Mid: Spicer, Jess
AM: Shaw
Str: Hammond, Ferdinand

The listed series results will be starting with '04-'05 season.  I don't have the time or inclination to go look up the actual lifetime series records of our 2 squads.

Aug. 10, Match 2
1-0-0, 5th pl., 3 pts.
@ Tranmere (0-1-0, 11th pl., drew with promotion favorites Doncaster 1-1)
Series: Rovers, 2-0-0
Fav: Rovers, 6:4


Our 2nd trip to Birkenhead under my command, and hopefully we have a more competitive squad this time.  Our former keeper, Mark Tyler, has been relegated to bench duty with the Rovers in favor of John Achterberg.  We'll see if we have the horses to keep up with Tranmere this season.  By the way, the official injury list shows Valois as doubtful with... wait for it... a bruised head.

6'- Off a Pritchard clearance, Shaw receives a pass and lays it right to Jess... Shaw then makes a long run, gets a pass back near the top of the area and fires it close, but wide.

14'- The commentary notes that Rovers' striker Aaron Butcher takes a dive, but Tranmere get a 25 yard free kick that is struck with force, but too much swerve.

18'- Butcher jinks past Pritchard to the left of the box, then fires a shot wide.

22'- Beresford turns and bends one in toward goal... 2 Rovers strikers and Kruse go up for it, and Lukas is able to punch it away... but Mark Rankine is there to return a half volley into the net.  1-0, Tranmere.

35'- Ferdinand plays a ball just a hair too far for Hammond, as Achterberg races out to 25 yards and blasts it upfield.

45'- In the 3rd minute of injury time, Tranmere with a free kick from 50 yards.  It's played into the box to Jones, who swings it to the left post where Iain Hume is waiting to nod it in.  Horrible marking by Nicolas to allow this goal in and put us 2 behind for the 2nd half.

51'- Burton with a good ball down the right for Jess, who tracks it down just right of the box.  Jess lays it onto the run of Ferdinand, who shoots from distance, but with little power, and it's saved easily.

59'- Another good ball to Ferdinand by Burton.  Ferdinand makes it all the way to the end line before swinging it back to Shaw at 10 yards, but good defending blocks the shot out for a corner.  Navarro in for a struggling Yates in defense, as we switch to a 3 man backline.  The corner is cleared.

66'- Asprilla in for Ferdinand.  We ratchet up the attack.  Haworth shoots from 30 yards and nearly catches Kruse by surprise, but the ball skims over the bar.

72'- Striker Simon Haworth beats Burton AND Kruse with one splendid move, and puts it out of reach, 3-0 Rovers.

89'- Haworth does it again, beating Burton and Kruse with a similar move, faking right, then cutting the ball back left and leaping over a mass of legs to tap it in.  We look like the Keystone Kops out there.

That mercifully wraps it up.

Beresford and Haworth get well deserved 10's, with Haworth winning MoM honors in this debacle.  Apparently, our attacking tactic is quite helpless against a team of some quality on the road.  We were horrible on the road last year, and the pattern continues.

Loss, 4-0, drop to 16th place
Shots/on target: Rovers 18/8, Posh 4/1
Poss: Rovers 55-45
A: 9,092


So, again we start the year looking up at the table.  That first game gave me hope, but this match just left me crying.  We need more quality in midfield to withstand these injuries, but I just don't have the wage budget to do it.

European Champions League, 3rd Qual. Round
Some surprising results in Leg 1 of this round, including Tottenham losing at home to Polish squad Wisla, 2-1.  Juventus also could only manage a 0-0 draw with fellow league mates from a year ago, Maccabi Haifa (Israel).  Real Madrid also struggled with obscure Faroe Islands squad Havnar Boltfelag (HB), winning just 1-0.  Celtic loses to Swiss side Young Boys, 1-0.
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Cockney Rebel

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2005, 07:39:25 PM »

Quote from: "Butter"
Like a dumbass, I actually googled "Steve Crebel".


That'll teach you for crossing the state line back into Ohio!
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2005, 02:15:22 PM »

Unfortunately, I didn't save after the last game and had to replay it.  We still lost, but it was merely 3-1 the 2nd time around.  But now we're in 17th instead of 16th.

Valois is back for this match.  Navarro also in for Nicolas, who is not playing particularly well.

Lineup:
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Plummer, Yates, Burton
DM: Navarro
Mid: Valois, Jess
AM: Shaw
Str: Ferdinand, Hammond

Aug. 13, Match 3
1-0-1, 17th pl., 3 pts.
v. AFC Bournemouth (1-0-1, 12th pl., 3 pts.)
Series: Split, 1 win each
Fav: Posh, 5:4


3'- Valois with a good ball to Navarro at the top of the box.  Alan tries his luck, but it sails well high and wide of the mark.

5'- Burton with an interception near midfield, and plays one to Valois.  Valois with a nod down to Shaw, who dribbles to the arc and draws 3 defenders.  Shaw slips one to Ferdinand who is open from 15 yards, and scores!  Kasey Keller never had a chance as we go up a goal in the very early going!

9'- Cherries line up a free kick inside the arc, and take it quickly, but the shot is not directed on target.

20'- A nice move leaves a AFCB striker free from 6 yards, but he can't finish at a sharp angle as Kruse is able to tip it onto the post and out.

23'- Another wide open shot from 15 yards goes skittering inches past the post as Bournemouth is determined to equalize.  We ratchet down our attack and instruct our defenders to start pressuring the ball more before it enters our area.

That seems to do the trick as we go to the break with a 1 goal lead.  We're playing well, but can we hold the lead?

48'- Valois with a speculative effort from 25 yards, and he forces Keller to save it, but nothing comes of the rebound.

63'- A nice Cherry move is ended when a 10 yard header goes harmlessly wide.

82'- Bournemouth put a dangerous cross into the 6, but Kruse confidently snatches it from the air.  We ratchet way down, putting in Nicolas for Ferdinand and playing with 10 men in our half of the field.

87'- Bournemouth playing only a 2 man backline, and Valois and Hammond break out.  Valois sends a ball to Jess at the back post, but Jess makes a mess of the finish driving it right at Keller.

92'- A cross is whipped in and Kruse and a Cherries' striker are equidistant from it... but Kruse makes the better play and falls on another ball and waits for the final whistle.

2 wins out of 3, I'll take it!  Kruse is MoM with an 8 rating, weathering the Bournemouth storm quite well with 5 saves.  All other starters pick up 7's.

Win, 1-0, up to 7th place
Shots/on target: Posh 10/5, Cherries 12/5
Poss: 53-47, Posh
A: 6,526


Alright, this is exactly what I wanted to see this year, an early score and then a good defensive effort to keep the win.  Coming from behind is too difficult to do on a regular basis, and it seems that was what our defensive tactics were giving us.
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2005, 03:07:11 PM »

That trial youngster, Beattie, refuses our low-ball contract and leaves the club.  Oh well.  Last thing I need is excess salary eating into my $900k surplus.  I'm already nearly $600k over the yearly wage budget.

We stick with our standard lineup for this next match against struggling Luton.
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Plummer, Yates, Burton
DM: Nicolas
Mid: Valois, Jess
AM: Shaw
Str: Ferdinand, Hammond

Aug. 20, Match 4
2-0-1, 7th pl., 6 pts.
v. Luton Town (1-0-2, 19th pl., 3 pts.)
Series: Posh, 2-0-0 (we beat them 2-1 twice last year)
Fav: Posh, 5:4


1'- 35 seconds in, and Luton nearly score on a diving header from 8 yards.  Kruse saves it, but it's never a good sign to yield such a good chance so early.  Maybe the Hatters remember those 2 games from last year.

10'- Valois with a magnificent 50 yard diagonal right onto the run of Hammond into the box.  Hammond's finishing is lacking, though, as he stubs an open shot wide.

17'- Valois again jinks past one defender and has nothing but green down the left.  He fires a hard cross to Hammond at the far post who looks like he has a tap in, but a good save prevents the first goal of the match as it is tipped barely wide.

37'- After a couple of poor Luton chances, they manage a good one, swinging a cross into the middle that is met by a head, but it luckily caroms back off the crossbar and Sagi Burton hoofs it over the byline to prevent a goal.

We go into the half, as both teams managed many chances in the first half, but no one could put them away.  Yates is struggling, netting a 5 for most of the first half, but rating a 6 by the interval.  Still, I remove him for Ireland.

47'- A cross goes to a Hatters' midfielder at the top of the box, who shoots.  Ireland deflects it, but it comes right to another midfielder at the end line, who just barely squeezes a pass back to a charging striker, who is left with a tap in.  1-0, Luton.

54'- Jess with a corner to Hammond at the near post.  Hammond controls the ball and tries to sneak it inside the post, but it's clutched by the Luton keeper.

60'- Asprilla on for Elvis Hammond, who is not playing well.

77'- Holmes on for a slightly injured Ferdinand, and we crank the pressure way up and instruct our defenders to push up.

The remaining time comes and goes without so much as a shot.  The Luton keeper played very well today, but we could've at least pressured him in the last quarter hour.  No one rates above a 7, and we drop back to mid-table.  We could've been up to 4th with a win.

Loss, 0-1, drop to 12th
Shots/on target: Posh 14/7, Hatters 12/4
Poss: 51-49, Posh
A: 6,906


Our attendance seems to be up this year, which is good.  We would average about 4-5,000 for any given home league fixture last season.

In lower table action, Brentford and Stockport finish with a 5 all draw that saw all the scoring come before the 70th minute, THEN saw 2 red cards, 1 for each side, dished out in the final 15.  Odd game.

Valois picks up a thigh strain that will keep him out about 5 days.
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2005, 03:43:17 PM »

We finally get Rotherham to make a bid on Callum Willock, which is considerably less than his valued $360,000.  They offer us $100k and $20k after 10 league appearances.

We also make a bid on a Swedish youngster, a 19 year old left sided midfielder who is quite talented.  There are several rounds of negotiations, but still no deal before our next match.  His value is listed at $36k, but the Swedish club constantly asks for over $160k.

A tough opener for the Carling Cup as we try our luck against Preston North End from the Championship.  We start a somewhat altered lineup to see what these benchwarmers can do.
Lineup:
GK: Kruse
Def: St. Ledger, Plummer, Burton, Dakinah
DM: Nicolas
Mid: Boucaud, Jess
AM: Shaw
Str: Asprilla, Hammond

Aug. 24, Carling Cup, Round 1
v. Preston North End (4th in Championship)
Fav: Preston, Evens


9'- Preston with their 3rd chance finally break through as poor marking allows an open shot at the back post that is buried.  1-0, PNE.

15'- Shaw with a good ball for Hammond in space.  Hammond crosses to the back post for Boucaud who drives a shot low, but it's deflected and cleared.

28'- Kruse with a terrific save of a ball that seemed marked for the top corner.

We're actually not playing all that badly despite the paucity of chances.  We sub in Mika Aaritalo for Asprilla, and replace Eoin Jess with Tom Penford on the right.

51'- A great bit of defending, as Preston have 2 chances at point blank range, but our defense does well to get in the way and Kruse finally smothers it.

77'- Not much going on, as Preston is controlling the ball.  We put in Holmes for Nicolas, and put Dakinah up to the right wing, playing a 3-3-1-3 now going on attack.

80'- Hammond takes a shot from 20 yards that sails over.

89'- Boucaud with a great cross from the right in to Shaw at the back post, but he can't keep his header down.

92'- Our last chance is a Plummer free kick down the middle of the pitch that just outpaces Holmes and is grabbed by the keeper.

We get beat, but not badly.  Aaritalo played poorly early, but won some balls late in the half.  Boucaud didn't do much aside from the one cross, and Penford was also a non-factor.  Dakinah rates our only 6 in defense, but seemed to play OK.

Loss, 0-1, out of Carling Cup
Shots/on target: Posh 7/2, Preston 20/7
Poss: 54-46, Preston
A: 7,428
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2005, 10:30:34 AM »

Willock agrees to a contract with Rotherham, and we bid farewell to last year's top goal and assist man.  Rotherham sign him to a 3 year deal worth $300k per season, a figure we never would have bid.  This move increases our transfer budget to $300k, and reduces our wage overage to $490k for this season.

European Super Cup
Porto 0:1 AC Milan
-Milan beat Porto in the annual meeting of the previous season's Champions League and EURO Cup.  Porto dominated the game, but couldn't dent the scoresheet as Andriy Shevchenko's early goal holds up and gives Milan the win in front of a relatively small crowd of under 20,000 in Monaco.

Kofi Dakinah fractures his jaw in training, and will be out about a month which hurts our defensive depth.

Ferdinand is out with a minor injury for our next match as well.  Jess is averaging a 6.40 in 5 games, so I'm switching him out for Alexis Nicolas on the right.  Sheffield is using 3 strikers up front, so hopefully our defense will be able to keep them in check.
Lineup:
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Plummer, Yates, Burton
DM: Navarro
Mid: Valois, Nicolas
AM: Shaw
Str: Hammond, Asprilla

Aug. 29, Match 5
2-0-2, 12th pl., 6 pts.
@ Sheffield Utd. (1-0-3, 20th pl., 3 pts.)
Notes: United were demoted last year from the Championship.
Fav: Blades, 6:4


3'- Horrific defending as Plummer and Yates get beat on a move by a Blades striker, but Kruse saves them with a good save.

6'- Valois with a couple of good angles on a pass, but he decides to shoot from 25 yards and it bends wide.

10'- Shaw with a wicked bending shot, but the Sheffield keeper gets his hand on it and deflects it out.  Great shot and save!

13'- A Blades header is denied by the crossbar.

Lots of up and down action, but few good chances in the first half.  8 total cards given out, 5 to Sheffield, and 3 to yours truly.  Pritchard and Burton both took knocks and are hobbling about.  Pritchard has the worst of it, so he'll sit in favor of Ireland.  Otherwise, no changes.

54'- Bad giveaway as Navarro tries to pass it upfield, but it hits a leg and bounces straight to a Blades striker who is all alone with Kruse, and finishes.  1-0, Sheffield.

67'- Sheffield is dominating the 2nd half, so we sub in Jess for Burton, and move Navarro to the back row.  We go with a 4-2-2-2 now, with 2 attacking midfielders.

73'- Spicer on for Nicolas and we move Navarro to midfield to apply more pressure.  We're also now out of subs.

79'- Sheffield with a goal off a corner kick, and that about wraps it up.

We just got buried under a mountain of chances in the 2nd half.  Sheffield have some extremely talented midfielders that controlled play in this one.  Each team ends up with 7 yellows, all on different people so there were no red cards.  Kruse and Plummer earn 8's, but Kruse had no choice but to protect himself in the 2nd half.

Loss, 2-0, down to 17th
Shots/on target: Blades 19/12, Posh 6/2
Poss: 55-45, Blades
A: 21,913
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2005, 10:31:58 AM »

Our attacking formation has netted us 3 straight shutouts.  So we hit the transfer wire and attempt to rectify the situation.  

We make several signings at the end of August, using up over 3/4 of our transfer budget and shooting our wage budget back over the top... $1 million over budget in fact, necessitating the listing of some players.

-Paul Devlin, a 33 year old right sided attacking midfielder signs with us from Watford (L1).  He'll get $220k per season from us for the next 3 years, and Watford will pick up just $6k from us.  Devlin started his career with Stafford Rangers, and has also played for Notts County, Birmingham, and Sheffield United.  He scored 12 goals for Watford last year in their relegation season, and has averaged a 7.40 in 5 starts for Watford so far this year.  If he gets hot, he does have a minimum fee release clause of $500k, but I imagine his age will preclude most offers of that size.

-Andy Monkhouse, a 24 year old attacking midfielder who can play all sides signs from Rotherham (Champ.).  He comes over for a $60k fee to Rotherham, a team with which he had spent his entite career.  Monkhouse has scored once in 2 apps. this year, but has seen his playing time dwindle as he hasn't come along quite as well on the passing side.  He is more of a crossing winger than a distributor of the ball, as his poor passing skill would suggest.  Still, he gives us a lot of depth for his $120k/yr. contract over the next 2 years.

-We finally agree to a contract and transfer fee for that young Swedish midfielder I had talked about earlier.  Tobias Eriksson is 20 years old, and a very skillful attacking midfielder who can play on the left or in the center.  He comes over from GIF Sundsvall from Sweden for a total of $170k ($130k up front and $40k over 6 months).  He gets a contract worth $120k per year for 4 seasons, and should play behind Valois on the left.

-Fourth, we sign Dean Edward Martin, another attacking midfielder who started out at West Ham long ago but has been playing in Iceland the last 5 years.  Martin is 33, and will get $48k per season for 3 years.  He comes over on a free transfer from his Icelandic club team, for whom he was averaging a 7.56 in 6 matches this year.

-Lastly, we sign GK Jon Masalin, a young Finnish player on a free transfer.  Masalin is just 19, and has better skill than Azinovic, our current backup.  He spent the last 2 years with Aston Villa's reserves, not playing much.  Masalin becomes our backup, and we'll try to loan out Azinovic.  Masalin will cost just $16k per over the next 3 years.

Hopefully, this will end our formation problems, and improve our performance overall.

We still have 10 days until our next match thanks to World Cup Qualifying, so we offer some players around, including John Spicer and Tom Penford, recent signees who are expensive but have no position with us now.

We can't get anyone to move yet, sadly, so we're stuck at nearly $1 million over our yearly wage budget.  If we can get promotion, it'll be worth exhausting that surplus.

Our slightly new lineup against 1st place Bristol City looks like this:
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Plummer, St. Ledger, Burton
DM: Navarro
Mid: Valois, Devlin
AM: Shaw
Str: Hammond, Ferdinand

Sept. 10, Match 6
2-0-3, 17th pl., 6 pts.
v. Bristol City (4-0-1, 1st pl., 12 pts.)
Series: Bristol C., 2-0-0
Fav: City, 5:4


1'- City nearly scores 45 seconds in off a long free kick and a header, but it's mercifully wide.

3'- City doesn't make a mistake on their second chance, banking in a shot off the near post, beating Kruse.  Quickly 1-0, and that's not the kind of start we were hoping for.

31'- The next significant action (besides the 5 cards during this card-fest), as Valois beats 2 defenders, then finds Ferdinand at 12 yards, who hits a good volley, but the City keeper makes the save.

37'- Valois gets the pass from Devlin, and powers one at goal from 20 yards, but it's way too high.

45'- A scramble in front as both Hammond and Ferdinand are tackled down with the ball at their feet, but there's no whistle.

Our defense has been out to lunch, but the attack seemed to liven up in the last quarter hour of the half.  St. Ledger is rating a 5 in central defense, but he'll stay in.  

Bristol continue to control play during the first 20 minutes of the second half, launching several unsuccessful attacks.

66'- Valois with a marvelous ball to the feet of Hammond, but his shot is wide of the mark.

70'- Eriksson in for St. Ledger as we go to a 3 man backline again.

75'- Plummer picks up a 2nd yellow card in defense, and our 7th of the match, vs. Bristol's 4.  We go to a 2 man back... not much choice really.

77'- Valois is taken down, and a Bristol defender gets his 2nd yellow, and we're 10 on 10.  Devlin shoots in the free kick from 25 yards, and it hits the post!  Valois is there for the rebound, but it's tackled away for a corner!  Navarro with the corner to Shaw, and he has an easy chance from 4 yards but puts it into the keeper's stomach!  ARGH!!!!!!

Monkhouse in for Shaw, Holmes in for Hammond as we press on.

Our best chance comes when Ferdinand shoots from 15 yards, but he just misses.

What do I have to do to score a goal here?  We can't even score with attacking tactics on.  This is sad.

Devlin earns an 8 on his debut, and Burton and Valois also pick up 8's.  Everyone else but St. Ledger gets 7's.

Loss, 0-1, drop to 18th
Shots/on target: Posh 11/7, City 23/7
Poss: 51-49, City
A: 7,026


Plummer gets the automatic one match ban for his red card.  We haven't scored in 4 matches, and I don't know why.

The draw for the Vans Trophy is held, and we'll visit league foes Colchester about 12 days after we host them in a league clash.
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2005, 10:32:56 AM »

It would seem I now have the personnel to run this diamond attack effectively.  2 quality DM's, several attacking midfielders on both sides and in the middle, and a few good strikers.  So, if we continue to struggle, I'm not sure what the answer is except to attempt to improve the defense or possibly switch tactics yet again.

Champions League Group Play, Round 1
Group A
AC Milan 1:1 Real Madrid
Paris 1:0 Rosenborg (NOR)


Group B
Panathinaikos 2:1 Tottenham
Roma 1:4 Monaco


Group C
Arsenal 2:0 Valencia
Sparta Prague 0:1 PSV


Group D
Benfica 2:0 Anderlecht (BEL)
Red Star 0:0 Werder Bremen


Group E
Chelsea 2:2 Porto
Inter Milan 1:3 Shakhtar (UKR)


Group F
Celtic 3:0 Lyon
Fenerbahce 2:0 Juventus


Group G
Bayern Munich 3:0 Basel (SUI)
Man Utd. 4:2 Barcelona


Group H
Banik Ostrava (CZE) 2:2 Ajax
Deportivo 1:1 Leverkusen


Billy Jones leaves the club, and takes his modest $32k salary with him.  Woking, a Conference side, signs him for a $6k fee, and up his salary to $56k.  Jones was obtained last year in the deal that sent DM Steve Thomson to Leyton Orient.  Jones made 5 appearances late last year for the club, averaging a 6.40.

Our lineup for this next match v. Colchester, a team that we had a decent time with last year:
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Ireland, Yates, Burton
DM: Nicolas
Mid: Valois, Devlin
AM: Shaw
Str: Hammond, Ferdinand

Sept. 17, Match 7
2-0-4, 18th pl., 6 pts.
v. Colchester (2-2-2, 13th pl., 8 pts.)
Series: Posh lead 1-1-0
Fav: Posh, 5:4


6'- An eventful series, as the U's have 2 shots at close range miss, 1 off the crossbar, then Les Ferdinand narrowly misses the top corner after a Valois cross on the counter.

13'- Devlin with a good cross to Ferdinand, whose header is saved by the keeper.  The ensuing corner is stolen and taken the length of the field, but that chance is sent wide.

19'- Valois with a short cross into space, and Ferdinand's diving header strikes the post and is cleared.  Good chance there!

38'- Colchester with a break, and the striker fakes Kruse out and scores.  1-0, U's.

We have gone over 400 minutes without a goal now.  No changes for the 2nd half.

48'- Devlin's cross is deflected down to Hammond, but the shot is tipped over the bar.

57'- Devlin with another good cross to the head of Shaw, whose header is tipped over again.  We just cannot finish!

66'- Shaw with a free kick from 30 yards... it comes down right to Hammond, who has it inside 3 yards...  He shoots and scores!  Finally a goal to tie the match!

72'- Colchester manage a break and the first shot is deflected wide, but right to another U's striker, 2-1.

Navarro in for Nicolas, Eriksson in for Valois, and Holmes in for Pritchard as we go to a 3 man front and back.

83'- Eriksson with a terrific ball for Hammond, who is free... he advances on the keeper and slots it inside the far post!  Hammond's 2nd of the game, and we're all square again at 2!

We keep up the pressure and force several corners but are unable to get a third.  But at least we get a point and stop the losing streak.

Ferdinand and Hammond both get 8's, and Kruse wins MoM with a 9 in goal.  Now if we could just get a lead.

Draw, 2-2, up to 17th
Shots/on target: Posh 9/5, U's 18/6
Poss: 52-48, U's
A: 4,076
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2005, 11:52:59 AM »

Well, I've decided to mess with the tactics a bit.  We're still keeping the 4-4-2 diamond, but have slowed our pace of play and narrowed our defense.  We're also keeping the defensive players back instead of roaming them forward too often.  We are instructing our 2 wingers to cross the ball often, but that's it.  We're also cutting back on the number of long shots, and trying to improve our set piece tactics, as it seems it's quite rare for us to score on a corner or free kick unless it goes straight in.

Carling Cup, Round 2
A couple of small upsets here, but nothing major.
Darlington (L2) 2:1 Fulham (EPL)
Stoke (Champ.) 2:1 Southampton (EPL)


Lineup:
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Plummer, Ireland, Burton
DM: Navarro
Mid: Valois, Devlin
AM: Shaw
Str: Hammond, Ferdinand

Sept. 17, Match 8
2-1-4, 17th pl., 7 pts.
@ Blackpool (1-0-6, 23rd pl., 3 pts.)
Series: Seasiders, 1-1-0
Fav: Seasiders, 6:4


Blackpool have the better of play for the first quarter hour.

18'- A terrific long ball down the center by the Seasider keeper finds a striker wide open, who scores past Kruse.  But luckily for us, the flag is up and we remain scoreless.

We manage only one decent shot the whole half, and I say decent only because of the shooter.  Shaw missed from 30 yards.  But we did have more of the ball in the first half, and managed to keep Blackpool off the board.  Considering our rough record on the road, I'd take a point from this, though I'd prefer 3.  Shaw and Burton are both limping around the pitch, but will remain in for half 2.

46'- Both teams with a good chance in the opening minute, as Ferdinand puts a 20 yarder wide, while a close in Blackpool header skims over the bar.

61'- A Seasider midfielder gets one on one with Kruse, but the keeper does a good job of forcing the shot high.

69'- Valois also picks up a knock, and we use 2 subs to replace the limpers.  Monkhouse in for Valois, and Martin in for Shaw.  Burton seems to be ok, so we leave him out there.

72'- Devlin steals a throw in, then spots Monkhouse on the other side of the field.  Monkhouse gets the pass, settles it, and shoots from 20 yards, and he hit it hard, but it caroms back off the crossbar and is cleared.  Good shot!

84'- Devlin with another steal of a throw, and he spots Monkhouse again.  This time Andy chips one into the 6, and right onto the head of Les Ferdinand, who nods it in!  A late goal gives us a lead!  We switch our tactics to defense to try and hold it, subbing in Nicolas for Ferdinand and putting 2 men in defense.

89'- Monkhouse with another great play, attacking from the left.  He finds an unmarked Dean Edward Martin at the near post, but Martin slides it a foot wide!  Great chance that ends with nothing there!

Blackpool has some possession in our third, but don't come up with any quality chances and we take the points!

Jean-Louis Valois wins MoM rating a 9 in his 69 minutes of play.  He completed 20/25 passes, including 8 key passes.  He also had shot on goal, and 2 key headers.  Kruse, Burton, Ireland, and Devlin also picked up 8's.  I'm surprised Monkhouse didn't get an 8, because even in 20 minutes he was everywhere.

Win, 0-1, up to 16th
Shots/on target: Seasiders 15/4, Posh 8/4
Poss: 53-47, Posh
A: 7,943


Sagi Burton stubbed a toe, and despite playing the 2nd half and getting a high rating, the physio recommends I rest him for 5 days.  That's right, 5 days for a stubbed toe.
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2005, 12:30:55 PM »

Now comes our visit to Colchester to face the U's in the first round of the Vans Trophy (South Draw).

Valois is picked in the League One Team of the Week.

We start a radically different lineup in this Cup match, just to see what people can do.  I'd love to start Tobias Eriksson, but he's out with a nagging leg injury.
Lineup:
GK: Masalin
Def: Legg, St. Ledger, Yates, Hunt
DM: Navarro
Mid: Monkhouse, Martin
AM: Jess
Str: Asprilla, Holmes

Sept. 27, Vans Trophy South Draw, Round 1
@ Colchester (12th in League 1)
Series: Posh, 1-2-0
Fav: Posh, 6:4


2'- Monkhouse gets a throw, and slips a ball to Asprilla in the box.  Asprilla crosses for Jess, who nods it to the foot of Holmes.  Holmes blasts it off the keeper, but the rebound falls to a wide open Martin who slides it home!  Great start, 1-0 Peterborough!

5'- Martin finds Jess in the arc, who beats one defender but flies his shot wide.

32'- Martin took a knock around the 15th minute, and is not shaking it off very well, so he comes out for Devlin.

39'- U's with a great chance, but Kruse makes a diving save of an open 12 yard shot... the rebound rolls to a Colchester striker, but Yates tackles it away!

42'- U's with another good chance off a corner, but the low shot hits the foot of the post and Yates hoofs it to safety.

A fairly even first half that we controlled early, then Colchester controlled late.  We switch to more defensive tactics for the 2nd half to try and put it away.

53'- A Colchester striker with a wicked right foot strike from 20 yards, but Masalin reads it well and holds it.

61'- Legg with a good ball to Monkhouse, who slips it through to Asprilla.  Asprilla is onside and one on one with the keeper, but sends his shot into orbit.  

64'- A Colchester midfielder breaks loose and has Masalin one on one, but he also puts his shot into the seats.

67'- Ireland on for a tiring Navarro as we go to a 5 man back line.

70'- Hunt with a great 40 yard ball through the defense right to Asprilla, who has an open shot, but it's tipped over for a corner.

78'- Asprilla is free again, but has it tackled away.

89'- Holmes is free down the right, but he gets bodychecked down as he approaches the box and is injured.  

We are able to hold on for the final minutes and keep Colchester off the scoreboard to advance.

Another great team effort, as Andy Monkhouse wins MoM from the left wing, completing 23/27 passes, including 7 key ones.  Jess played well, completing over 70% of his 52 passes, including 6 key ones and playing a big part in our goal.  Jess, Legg, Yates, Hunt, and Masalin all pick up 8's for their efforts, and Masalin was particularly impressive in net.

Win, 0-1, advance to 2nd Round of South Draw
Shots/on target: U's 16/4, Posh 12/5
Poss: 55-45, U's
A: 2,473


Champions League Group Play, Match Day 2
Group E
Porto 1:3 Inter
Shakhtar 1:3 Chelsea


Group F
Juventus 2:0 Celtic
Lyon 1:2 Fenerbahce


Group G
Barcelona 2:1 Bayern Munich
Basel 0:1 Man Utd.


Group H
Ajax 0:1 Deportivo
Leverkusen 2:0 Banik Ostrava


Group A
Real Madrid 1:0 Paris
Rosenborg 0:0 AC Milan


Group B
Monaco 1:0 Panathinaikos
Tottenham 0:0 Roma


Group C
PSV 0:0 Arsenal
Valencia 3:0 Sparta Prague


Group D
Anderlecht 2:2 Red Star
Werder Bremen 1:1 Benfica
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2005, 04:05:51 PM »

Good news for me, as Tranmere right sided defender Tyrone Loran is out for 3 months or more with an injured knee.  Loran has been named to all 3 League One Teams of the Week that I've seen, and is averaging a crazy 7.7 rating for the season.  Tranmere whipped us badly and are currently near the top, so hopefully I can take advantage and use our momentum to rise to the top 6.

We get a very favorable draw for the Vans Trophy second round, going to Conference Nat'l side Aldershot.  

October comes, and the board is still very pleased with my performance, as are the fans.  

We get back to our standard lineup, with one change for our next match.  Andy Monkhouse has been tearing it up, so he'll start at AMC for Paul Shaw.
Lineup:
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Plummer, Ireland, Burton
DM: Navarro
Mid: Valois, Devlin
AM: Monkhouse
Str: Hammond, Ferdinand

Oct. 1, Match 9
3-1-4, 16th pl., 10 pts.
v. Swindon (3-3-2, 10th pl., 12 pts.)
Series: Swindon, 2-0-0 (including our worst loss of the year, 6-1)
Fav: Posh, 6:4


12'- Swindon with the first good chance of the game... we take a corner and after a couple of attempted shots are stopped due to traffic in front, the ball comes out to a Swindon winger, who takes it to the endline, crosses to the back post for an easy finish.  1-0, Swindon.  Poor defending there.

19'- Navarro with a free kick after a bump on Monkhouse.  He plays it short to Valois, who shoots from 25 yards... the ball hits a Swindon leg and goes in!  Valois' first goal in the Posh Blue, and we're level!

23'- Les Ferdinand is injured on a rough challenge in midfield and has to leave.  Asprilla on for him.

29'- Asprilla open in the middle and he makes a mess of it.  He has not impressed this year.  At all.

33'- Burton hobbles off for some lengthy treatment.  He has had a bad time this year.

38'- Valois feeds a ball low to Asprilla who cuts outside diagonally to get the ball.  Asprilla crosses from the left to the back right of the box, where Devlin receives the pass, advances, and shoots it high.... GOAL!  2-1, Posh!

41'- A fierce strike is blocked by Kruse!  Good save off an excellent set piece by Swindon.

45'- Burton is injured again right before the half, but I notice that he has much better stamina than the rest of the team.  I'm going to have to get a physio report on him after the game.  Something's going on here.

No changes at the break, except to ratchet down the attack a bit.

54'- First action of the 2nd half, and it's Monkhouse keying an attack.  He slips a ball to Hammond, who spots Asprilla in the middle.  Faustino lets loose with his left foot, and it takes a deflection and goes in!  Asprilla with a goal, and we can do no wrong today!  3-1, Peterborough United!

66'- Well, maybe we can.  An errant ball for Asprilla turns into a break for Swindon.  A midfielder attacks up the right of the back, then plays a square ball for an onrushing striker who slots it inside the far post.  Good attack, poor defending there.  3-2.

74'- Another attack up the left by Swindon and a ball is played back into the area and knocked in.  So much for a safe 2 goal lead.  3-3.

81'- Navarro gets a throw in, and flights one to Monkhouse at the top of the box, who nods it down for Devlin... Devlin shoots, but it's just tipped wide and out for a corner.

83'- A Swindon free kick comes in and a shot is deflected to an open Swindon striker who shoots... off the post!  And cleared by Devlin!  WHEW!

86'- Martin in for Devlin, Shaw in for Valois... both of whom are quite exhausted.  Monkhouse moves from AMC to the left wing.

Sadly, Swindon pretty much pack it in and take the point.  No win for us, blowing a 2 goal lead in the final half hour.  Oh well.  At least we're scoring now.

Valois, Hammond, and Asprilla pick up 8's, but Swindon midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi picks up MoM with a rare 10, assisting on 1 goal, and making 8 key passes.

Draw, 3-3, remain in 16th
Shots/on target: Posh 9/6, Swindon 16/6
Poss: 52-48, Swindon
A: 6,178


Sadly, Les Ferdinand will be out a month with strained knee ligaments.  Asprilla earned a shot at the starting job with his performance in this match, with a goal and an assist.
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2005, 11:48:42 AM »

Midfielder Andre Boucaud is loaned out to Stevenage Borough.  Boucaud will have his entire wage paid for the 3 months of the loan by Stevenage, who is in a promotion fight in league 2.

We get 2 weeks off now before a string of matches will have us playing 5 times in 16 days, including our 2nd round Vans Trophy match.  Hopefully, our improved depth will help us through this stretch.  I can certainly see this team making one of the top 6 spots if we can continue our goal scoring form.

Sheffield United insist that they're NOT selling striker Andy Gray.  The Blades have struggled in the league this year after being demoted from the Championship after last season.  They're in the relegation zone now, and probably could get upwards of $1.5 million for Gray, who tore us up in our first match of the year, but the Blades skipper insists on not selling right now.  Then, days later, Gray expresses interest at moving to a bigger club... namely Cardiff.

This 2 week break is due to a couple of World Cup Qualifiers.  England is having no trouble in their group, and there are no real surprises to be had.

Alan Navarro twists a knee on Oct. 10, and is due to be out about a week, which means he'll likely miss our next match, and possibly 2 of them.

Manchester City sack fabled boss Kevin Keegan, as Man C has been struggling at the bottom of the Premiership table all season, with just 6 points in the first 8 matches.  Everton's David Moyes is the top candidate to take over.

No immediate physical concerns on Burton or Alexis Nicolas, who has been hovering around 80% fitness for quite a while.  Burton is back to 100% for our next match, but Nicolas is at 70%, meaning that we have no healthy DMC's.  David Hunt will get the start there, although I did consider just going with a 4-3-1-2.  Also, Craig Ireland is slipping more and more into the lineup.  Yates was having fitness problems at the end of last season, and just hasn't been performing as well this year as Ireland has.
Lineup:
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Plummer, Ireland, Burton
DM: Hunt
Mid: Valois, Devlin
AM: Monkhouse
Str: Hammond, Asprilla

Oct. 15, Match 10
3-2-4, 16th pl., 11 pts.
v. Doncaster (4-2-3, 11th pl., 14 pts.)
Series: Rovers, 1-1-0
Fav: Posh, Evens


14'- First significant action of the game, as Doncaster floats a cross in that is surrounded by 3 Posh defenders and Kruse.  But naturally, it's headed in by the lone Rovers striker.  1-0, Doncaster.

17'- Plummer with a long ball to Valois down the left, who crosses for Asprilla at 10 yards... Faustino gets his head to it, but it's over the bar.  The goal kick is stolen by Burton, who heads to Monkhouse.  Andy brings it upfield, then runs diagonal to the left.  He slips a ball through to Hammond at the arc, who turns and shoots... it's in!  He slots it home inside the right post, and we're even!  Great goal by Elvis.

39'- A Doncaster corner is stolen by Ireland.  Ireland runs with it 20 yards, then hits it down the left to Valois, who is alone, played onside by a defender on the right.  Valois charges at the keeper, and shoots it towards the far post... GOAL!  2-1, Peterborough!  Great counter off the errant corner kick, and we surge ahead!

No changes at the break, as we're dominating Doncaster.

48'- A corner kick almost finds its way in off a head for Rovers, but it goes over the bar.

68'- Valois takes a pass from Pritchard on the left, and finds Asprilla near the area.  Asprilla slips it to Hammond at 10 yards, who settles, turns, and shoots it high and wide.  Yates in for Hammond, as we attempt to hold the ball for our win with a 5 man backline.

83'- A dangerous ball off a giveaway by Burton is sent into the open box... Kruse and the Rover striker go after it, and Kruse just wins it, tipping it to Pritchard.  Pritchard to Hunt, who finds Monkhouse with space up the middle.  Monkhouse to Valois, who sends it back to Monkhouse inside the box... Andy shoots it high... and scores!  We sew up the win with a great counter-attack, and Monkhouse with a terrific finish to make it 3-1!

Doncaster manage one more chance in injury time, but a good header goes wide of the mark.

Terrific victory, our most dominating performance of the season!  Andy Monkhouse is playing awesomely in the center of attack, and Valois is just as impressive on the left.  Eriksson and Devlin have played well also, so I'm quite happy with all of the recent acquisitions.  This leaves Shaw and Jess as the odd men out, a bit, but when we're playing this well I can't worry about feelings.  Monkhouse wins MoM with a 10 from his AMC spot.  He had a goal, an assist, and 7 key passes.  Valois also picks up a 9 with his goal and assist, and 5 key passes.  Everyone else rated a 7.

Win, 3-1, up to 14th
Shots/on target: Posh 19/8, Rovers 5/1
Poss: 50-50
A: 6,174


Both Monkhouse and Valois are picked for the League One Team of the Week.  This is Valois' 4th time on the team already this year.
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2005, 12:43:25 PM »

Champions League, Match Day 3
Group E
Chelsea 1:1 Inter
Porto 2:1 Shakhtar


Group F
Fenerbahce 0:2 Celtic
Juventus 1:1 Lyon


Group G
Barcelona 3:0 Basel
Man Utd. 1:0 Bayern Munich


Group H
Ajax 0:0 Leverkusen
Banik Ostrava 0:1 Deportivo


Group A
Paris 1:1 AC Milan
Rosenborg 1:3 Real Madrid


Group B
Monaco 2:2 Tottenham
Roma 3:0 Panathinaikos


Group C
PSV 0:3 Valencia
Sparta Prague 0:4 Arsenal


Group D
Red Star 1:1 Benfica
Werder Bremen 3:0 Anderlecht


Nicolas starts at DM today, and Holmes in for Asprilla up front.  We'll see what happens, as the other 9 stay the same.

Oct. 19, Match 11
4-2-4, 14th pl., 14 pts.
@ Rushden (5-3-2, 4th pl., 18 pts.)
Series: This is Rushden's first year in League One after winning promotion from League Two last year.
Fav: Posh, 4:5


We're heavy favorites in this one against a team playing well above their head right now.  Should be interesting.

3'- Diamonds with a great chance, but a point blank header is sent into orbit.

11'- Hammond with 2 good moves breaks free on the keeper, but the keeper stones him.

13'- Poor defending in the box, as a clearance is mishit off a Diamonds player, but Kruse still has a crack at it, but can't hold the bobbling ball, and it's poked into the net.  1-0, R&D.

28'- After a minute of passing it back and forth, Pritchard finds a streaking Valois in the box to the left of the spot.  Valois has a bit of space, is able to settle the ball, and strike it into the upper right corner!  1-1!

32'- Kruse with a terrific save of an open long range shot deflects the ball wide, and Burton clears it.

38'- Pritchard and Valois hook up again, this time Pritchard sends Valois long down the left.  Valois with lots of support in the middle, sends a hopeful ball to Hammond who is open at the edge of the six... Hammond looks the ball all the way in, and volleys it home!  2-1, Peterborough!

43'- Great cross by Rushden right inside the 6 to a striker who turns on it, but Burton is there to block it clear!

Kruse had a marvelous first half, rating a 10.  Holmes is struggling at striker, with a 5.  We leave him in, and keep the pressure on.

49'- Pritchard, who had been playing so well, makes a bad mistake, getting the wrong side of his head to a cross, and putting it in his own goal.  2-2.

52'- Excellent play by the Diamonds as they spot a man down the middle, he beats the last defender and slots it home past Kruse.  We're coming apart early in the 2nd half, now down a goal, 3-2.

67'- Asprilla in for Holmes, and Eriksson on for Ireland, as we go to a 3 man backline, and 4 midfielders, moving Nicolas up to the middle.

80'- We move Eriksson up the field even more to apply more pressure.

85'- Burton takes a free kick near midfield and finds Asprilla, who beats one defender.  His shot is deflected to Hammond, who also shoots, but it hits a leg and goes wide of the goal... Valois tracks it down right on the endline, and tries to shoot, but it hits the side netting.  Shaw in for Pritchard, as we push even more people into the Diamonds end.

91'- Burton comes off injured, so we're down to 10 men for the last 2 minutes of stoppage time.  Facing just one defender back, the Diamonds add one more to their tally in the waning moments, making the final margin two.

We played a horrible second half.  Valois picks up another 8, but this is not the kind of showing we need to push for promotion.  

Loss, 4-2, down to 15th
Shots/on target: Diamonds 11/9, Posh 8/3
Poss: 54-46, Diamonds
A: 5,910


Tough blow, as Sagi Burton is due to be out for 2 months with a dislocated shoulder.  Not good for our defense.  It's likely that Kofi Dakinah will start in his place.
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Butter

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Peterborough Utd, Year 2 (05-06): Righting the 'Ship
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2005, 11:19:14 AM »

We ink both Chris Plummer and Sagi Burton to longer deals, Plummer taking a $10k/yr. pay cut for a one year deal, making $70k for another season at London Road.  Burton will pick up $100k for an additional 3 seasons for us.  Bad timing on the deal for us, as he just got injured, but he has been playing well this year.

We switch up a bit, as both Navarro and Nicolas have been relatively ineffective this year, we put Tobias Eriksson in the lineup in central midfield, and run a 4-3-1-2.  Here's the look:
GK: Kruse
Def: Pritchard, Plummer, Ireland, Dakinah
Mid: Valois, Eriksson, Devlin
AM: Monkhouse
Str: Hammond, Asprilla

Oct. 22, Match 12
4-2-5, 15th pl., 14 pts.
@ Torquay (7-0-4, 5th pl., 21 pts.)
Series: Gulls, 1-1-0
Fav: Posh, 4:6


Heavy favorites again against a team near the top of the table.  Curious.

8'- Valois with a good through ball to Asprilla, who beats the trap.  Sadly, his finishing is poor, as he sends it well wide of the mark after seemingly making a good angle for himself.

9'- One minute later, a nearly identical play, this time it's Valois playing Hammond onside.  Hammond charges straight down the middle and fires a shot with power past the keeper!  1-0, Posh!

18'- A Torquay striker is free in the arc and tries his luck, but fires it right at Kruse.

23'- Asprilla is free again thanks to Devlin, but his shot is terrible.

31'- Plummer with a free kick to Hammond, who nods it down for Monkhouse.  Monkhouse moves to his right and has a good angle, but the Gull defense recovers and is able to block the shot out for a corner.

42'- Eriksson finds Asprilla again down the middle.  This time he does better with the shot, but it's still saved out for a corner.

We played a very good first half, but now we need to finish a road game here.  No changes.

51'- A Valois corner finds Monkhouse in the area, but his shot is deflected by the mass of bodies in front.

59'- A Gull defender picks up his second yellow of the match, and we go up a man for the final half hour.

81'- After little action for 20 minutes, Torquay break a man free just outside the area.  He attacks Kruse, and slots it home.  1-1.  FUCK.  Holmes in for Asprilla, Martin in for Monkhouse as we try to re-take the lead.

85'- Navarro in for Tobias Eriksson who picks up a minor injury.

The rest of the game goes by fairly harmlessly... I can't believe we've only won 4 of 12 this year.

Valois picks up another 9 and a MoM award.  Ireland, Pritchard, and Kruse all get 8's... but I can't help but think Kruse should've stopped that goal.

Draw, 1-1, remain in 15th
Shots/on target: Gulls 13/5, Posh 10/2
Poss: 51-49, Gulls
A: 5,307


At least we're more competitive this year, scoring more goals, but we're still closer to the relegation zone (5 points) than we are to the playoff zone (7 points).
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