Peterborough United 1-1 Coventry City

Coventry City picked up their first point in eight games on New Years Eve, but they were denied all three in the dying seconds at the Abax Stadium as Peterborough United levelled the scores. Jordan Willis put the visitors ahead in a well contested first half before a defensive second period had seemingly earned Russell Slade his first victory as manager of the Sky Blues. The visiting supporters were left frustrated at full-time, however, as Michael Bostwick headed home a Marcus Maddison cross to salvage a draw for the Posh.

Whilst I was obviously gutted to see us concede a goal late on after a much improved defensive display, this result has reinstated some confidence for me. Slade is known for the organisation of his players and we proved difficult to break down today. We have to remember that Peterborough are a side who are capable of scoring freely, so to deny them for 90 minutes is an achievement. It’s just a shame we couldn’t hold on as that win would have tasted so sweet.

During the first 45 minutes, it was evident to me that the hosts were performing below their usual standards but we didn’t make life any easier for them. Switching to a midfield five made perfect sense to me and they helped limit Grant McCann’s men to few clear-cut chances. Having Ben Stevenson back in the centre made a huge difference – you can see he’s a level above this league, breaking up play all afternoon and running the show in terms of his distribution.

The Sky Blues warm up before the game.

Chris McCann also put in a good shift in his final appearance for City and Andy Rose went about his business quietly, keeping possession and mopping up in front of the back four. Just having that extra body in the midfield took a little bit of pressure off the defence and I thought it bolstered our chances as a result. Lewis Page improved somewhat from last time out and the rest of the back line marshalled Lee Angol out of the game effectively.

It was in the final third – going forward – that City were lacking once more and Luke McGee remained a spectator for long periods. Our goal was rather fortuitous in the way that McCann’s cross fell through to Willis but I couldn’t care less. Marcus Tudgay did struggle to spearhead the attack at times, getting outmuscled by Bostwick and outpaced by other Posh players. The effort was there, however, and he must be commended for that. We desperately need another option there though, particularly with the loanees returning and rumours of Marvin Sordell departing.

With regards to the wide areas and the supporting duo of George Thomas and Kyel Reid, they were impressive. The aforementioned player still needs to settle in and prove himself but he looked lively out there. Reid was the best of a bad bunch at Bristol Rovers and he was in inspired form again, offering Peterborough’s right-back no respite during a dazzling display. His quality is there for all to see, and now he is operating in his natural role, he could be a key figure in our survival bid.

The only question I would raise is why we dropped so deep during the second half. I know we are in a sticky predicament and anything we pick up away from home is welcome, but a second goal in our favour would have killed that game. You could see from the stands that Peterborough were increasing in confidence and an equaliser looked likely. Their keeper didn’t have a save to make in the second half and I just wanted us to be a bit more positive.

On the whole though, it was a disappointing but very encouraging afternoon. Slade has taken a few things back to basics it seems and I am backing him to shore us up defensively. As everybody knows, what happens in January with regards to transfers will have a massive influence but I am certainly more confident after today. Maybe if he can get in the correct personnel to do the job we might be alright, but there are plenty of challenges ahead. Those are the types of displays we need to see – ones full of character.

City attack during the second half.

Player Ratings

Coventry City

Lee Burge – 7

Jamie Sterry – 7

Jordan Willis – 8

Jordan Turnbull – 7

Lewis Page – 7

Ben Stevenson – 8

Chris McCann – 7

Andy Rose – 6

Kyel Reid – 8

George Thomas – 7

Marcus Tudgay – 6

Substitutions 

Dion Kelly-Evans – 7

Jodi Jones – 5

Marvin Sordell – 6

Peterborough United

Luke McGee – 7

Michael Smith – 6

Andrew Hughes – 7

Michael Bostwick – 7

Ryan Tafazolli – 6

Gwion Edwards – 6

Chris Forrester – 7

Lee Angol – 6

Paul Taylor – 8

Leonardo Da Silva Lopes – 6

Tom Nichols – 7

Substitutions 

Marcus Maddison – 7

Callum Chettle – 6

Shaquile Coulthirst – 6

Team Lineups

Peterborough United: McGee, Smith, Hughes, Bostwick, Tafazolli, Edwards, Forrester (C), Angol, Taylor (Maddison 65), Da Silva Lopes (Chettle 65), Nichols (Coulthirst 70).

Unused Substitutes: Tyler, Inman, White, Williams.

Coventry City: Burge, Sterry, Willis (C), Turnbull, Page (Di. Kelly-Evans 45), Stevenson, McCann, Rose, Reid, G. Thomas (Jones 63), Tudgay (Sordell 76).

Unused Substitutes: Charles-Cook, Bigirimana, Lameiras, Agyei.


Attendance: 5,866 (529 away)

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