REPORTS & REACTION FROM PETERBOROUGH SITES
Posh Held By Determined Mansfield Side At London Road
Peterborough United were held to a goal-less draw against Mansfield Town at London Road in a frustrating game, which was full of chances, but opportunities that were missed by both sides in front of over 5,000 supporters.
The home side got the game underway in torrential rain at London Road and Marc Joseph registered the first shot on goal, but Heusden got down to save the defender's low effort. Mansfield were quick to respond with Moore heading over the top after MacKenzie had delivered a good cross under pressure from Gill.
The Stags had a good opportunity to break the deadlock on six minutes as Christie was given a free-header at goal inside the penalty area, but he flashed his effort well wide of the target to the relief of the home crowd.
At the other end, Clarke missed a golden chance to open the scoring as Heusden's poor kick found the striker in space, but the goalkeeper redeemed himself by smothering the former Wimbledon front man's low shot.
Barry Fry's men were looking good going forward and Newton should have done better on 10 minutes after Allen found the winger, but his shot was deflected wide of the goal. Bullard fired over moments later as the home side pressed early on.
Mansfield had the ball in the back of the net on 26 minutes as Christie slotted past Tyler, but the linesman's flag was raised and the goal was chalked off for offside as the visitors got on top. Moments later Christie had a brilliant chance to score but his lob was easily claimed by Tyler.
The Stags were dangerous from crosses and Rea nearly scored an own goal on the half hour mark following a Sellars cross, but luckily the ball rolled the other side of the post with Tyler scrambling across his goal.
Posh were looking lively on the counter-attack and Gill flashed a shot just wide, but as yet neither goalkeeper was forced into any serious action, although Burton had to be alert to flick a Lawrence cross away from Larkin.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, Bradley Allen amazingly missed from three-yards after a fine Farrell corner as the home side finished the first half strongly. Bullard tested Heusden a minute before the break with a curling effort but it finished goal-less at the end of the first 45 minutes.
Neither side made any changes at the interval and the second half started similarly to the first period, with both sides struggling to make any progress past the opposing defences. Neil MacKenzie chose the wrong option moments later as Mansfield counter-attacked with pace, but the final ball let the midfielder down.
Barry Fry decided it was time to make some changes with Green and Fenn replacing Clarke and Allen, with the latter heading straight down the tunnel. The substitutions did not please the crowd, who chanted 'you don't know what your doing' in the direction of Fry.
Fenn was immediately booked for diving and Farrell followed the striker into the referee's notebook moments later for a rash challenge. Desperate defending from Posh followed as the Stags sensed the win with Disley heading over the top with an open goal gaping after Rea's clearance failed to clear the danger area.
The home supporters were becoming more and more frustrated as the visitors controlled the play. Chances were few and far between for Posh and Heusden in the Stags goal was a mere watcher as his defence blocked the home strikers from getting a shot in.
As the game entered the final moments the match became open as both sides sensed a win. Farrell had two chances to score, but decided to beat his man, while Burton had to be at his best to deny Christie at the other end.
With six minutes remaining, Christie missed the best chance of the game as he lifted a Lawrence through-ball over the top when it looked certain he would dispatch the ball past Tyler and into the roof of the net.
Posh: Tyler; Gill, Josep, Rea, Burton; Newton, Farrell, Hyde (sub Shields 79min), Bullard; A. Clarke (sub Fenn 63min), Allen (sub Green 63min). Subs: Jelleyman, Semple.
Mansfield: Heusden; Clarke, Moore, Lever, Delaney; MacKenzie, Lawrence, Disley, Sellars; Larkin, Christie. Subs: J. White, Corden, Tankard, A. White, Hollyoak.
Referee: J.J Ross
Fry: 'Fans Have Every Right To Vent Their Anger'
Peterborough United manager Barry Fry admitted his side would 'not have scored in three weeks' as Mansfield held out for a point at London Road in a performance that frustrated the majority of the crowd.
The visitors didn't force Mark Tyler into a save, but the performance of the home side drew boos from the London Road supporters and Fry conceded his side did not perform.
'We were awful from start to finish and I am sure we would not have scored if we had carried on for another three weeks. We didn't compete, we couldn't pass or cross and every time we got near the goal our final ball was the wrong one.
'Apart from Sagi Burton, everyone let themselves down and the fans had every right to show their disapproval. We didn't deserve to win the game, but at least we kept a clean sheet and didn't lose the match,' said Fry.
The Posh boss received criticism from certain sections of the crowd for his two substitutions in the second half, but he has defended his decision to withdraw the front two of Bradley Allen and Andy Clarke.
'Andy has worked his socks off recently and he looked tired in the first half while Bradley is still short of match fitness. I think three games in a week and the 10-men we played with at Stockport. I chose to bring on Neale Fenn and Francis Green and I understand the supporters who pay their money have a right to voice their feelings.
'The pair both had chances to score in the first half, Bradley headed wide from close-range and Andy had a chance early on when the goalkeeper scuffed his clearance. We need to get back to basics on the training field, the performance was my fault and I take the blame,' concluded Fry.
Posted by Martin Shaw
Latest | October 2002