Jon Taylor’s 3rd league goal of the season gave caretaker boss, David Robertson his third win as Peterborough boss. In a scrappy game neither side looked comfortable with difficult conditions but Taylor’s wind assisted cross deceived Alex Ciask in the Orient goal to give Peterborough their third straight win. The home side had to play stoppage time with 10 men after second half substitute Marcus Maddison was sent off for a challenge on Luke O’Neil. Posh’s win moves them to 8th, outside the play off places on goal difference while Orient remain in 21st, a point a drift of safety.
Dave Robertson made two changes from his sides 2-1 win at Sheffield Unite with Luke James and Kyle Vassell dropping out for Aaron Mclean and Connor Washington who scored the winner on Tuesday night. Fabio Liverani made three changes with Ryan Hedges, Shane Lowry and Andrea Dossena dropping out from their 3-1 defeat to Bristol City. Gary Sawyer returned at left back while Scott Cuthbert started alongside Mathieu Baudry at heart of defence while Bradley Pritchard came in on the right of midfield.
Both teams struggled to cope with the windy conditions and the terrible pitch which had been cut up severely in the warm ups. The ball spent the majority of the early stages in the air much to do with the state of the pitch. Miss placed passes were a constant theme throughout with Orient looking to hit Posh on the break when they could. Dagnall and Pritchard tried to link up on the break after 22 but a interception at the back for Posh prevented the opportunity. The opening goal came in very fortunate circumstances, Jon Taylor received the ball on the right touchline and approached the 18 yard box. Taylor crossed to the center but the ball caught the wind, sailing over Ciask and into the far corner of the net. A surprise to everyone inside the ground but Posh had the lead.
Orient looked to create down the right and in their best passage of play in the first half, Dagnall laid off to Vincelot on the edge of the box but the Frenchman hit his shot high over the bar. Jobi McAnuff who had been in decent form after recent good performances was having a bad day at the office with passes missing his teammates. The Orient faithful were not happy with the former Reading captain especially after for the third time he didn’t release the ball to a teammate when he had the opportunity. Posh nipped in, going on the counter attack much to his and the away crowd’s frustration. Referee Michael Brown was not giving Orient anything going forward especially after numerous fouls not given on David Mooney.
Aaron Mcclean had the last chance of the half, heading over a Joe Newell cross but in a poor game Posh had the lucky break at half time. Newell was replaced at half time by Marcus Maddison who was returning from injury after missing trip the to Sheffield United in midweek. Posh could have netted a second but Zakuani was unable to turn a in-swinging Maddison corner in at the back post. Orient pressed for the equalizer with Luke O’Neil pushing forward from right back and his cross fell to Mooney but the striker could only toe poke at Alnwick. Alnwick kept the Posh lead in tact on 54 when Pricthard’s right wing crossed was helped towards goal by McAnuff but Alnwick tipped over when at full stretch.
Liverani threw Henderson and Cox on for Orient as they hoped to create a chance to level proceedings. Peterborough looked to absorb the so called Orient pressure, playing on the break through the long ball. It was working for the home side as Orient looked very nervous and were unable to deal with the threat especially with Ciask vulnerable from crosses. Communication was lacking for the away side at the back with several mix ups, but Orient were creating problems for themselves when trying to play out from the back rather than clearing the ball.
Luke James was introduced for Mcclean and could have added a second after a long ball wasn’t dealt with by Orient. James shifted onto his left foot but Ciask saved well at his near post from the substitute. The away side were starting to get more of the ball in attacking areas with Wright and Cox shooting wide from outside the area but were not creating clear cut chances at the Boro goal. Kyle Vassell was introduced for goal scorer Taylor as Posh went 4-3-3 looking for the killer second.
Play was stop for a substantial period of time as Romain Vincelot went down under a challenge from Michael Boswtick with the Frenchman being stretched off. Bostwick and captain Jack Payne had won the midfield battle against Vincelot and Wright winning the majority of the second ball. Wright was trying to push the O’s forward but struggled throughout with the testing conditions. As Orient pushed for a leveler, 10 minutes of time was added on in which Maddison was sent off for a late challenge on Luke O’Neil.
Bostwick could have grabbed a second but his volley from distance landed on the roof of the net. Bartley headed straight at Alnwick as Orient were unable to grab an equalizer against the 10 men. Peterborough gained all three points in a game where in footballing terms no team really deserved to win with the poor quality on show from both teams. A wind assisted goal keeps Posh’s run going of three straight wins under caretaker boss Dave Robertson going who continues to given his chairman ideas about given him the job on a permanent basis.
After back to back wins, Orient now have back to back defeats against leaders Bristol City and Peterborough. With a good performance on Tuesday despite losing, Orient played far from the standard in recent weeks, failing to string passes together and tempo lacking. The away side struggled to create chances in testing conditions but the luck that has been missing all season deserted them after a fluke goal won the game for Posh. Romain Vincelot looks set to miss all if not most of the remaining game with potential ligament damage but has a scan today to determine the extent of injury.
Orient have two massive games coming up in the next couple of weeks with Yeovil at home and Crawley away. The inaugural 6 pointer comes to mind but if Orient fail to win both of those games relegation could be rather imminent for the East London club. Every game is vital for the O’s who let’s not forget only lie 1 point from safety but face 4 of the current top 6 in their last 5 games so will need to try and get safe before those games.
Peterborough have picked up after Darren Ferguson’s departure and only lie outside the play off places on goal difference but look far from the side that finished in the play offs last season. But under Robertson, the pressure is off a side who are playing with freedom since he was appointed and after three consecutive wins the run can continue. Posh two tough games next up with Doncaster and Preston on the road, but come through them with 3 or 4 points they could be a good position to finish in the top 6.