Heroic Posh gave Villa a match

Peterborough United – with Wolves out on-loan winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing – today played Aston Villa at London Road. Nat did not play this one from start, though – he came in after 70 minutes – but Mark Little did.

Villa played a very strong team with only first team players and having lost their first pre-season game against a Blue Square team they must have been very keen to win this.

EDIT: A video is no available with the highlights!

But it was in fact Posh that looked more dangerous from start, pressing the Villa defence and Reo-Coker had to clear and effort with a header after about five minutes.

After the first shock Villa started to advance, though, and opened the scoring with a touch of class. Ashley Young took a touch and with a superbly-weighted chip over goalkeeper Joe Lewis he placed the ball into the top corner of the net. Villa fans started to talk about the goal of the season already.

Posh responded very well and momentary to the challenge when the ball ran loose to Aaron Davies, who fooled everyone by taking a touch before beating two defenders he rifled the ball past Brad Friedel. One all.

After 25 minutes Villa were in trouble again when McCann fired a fierce shot from 25 yards out. But Hahnemann’s American pal Friedel did a good save and James Collins could – with some heroics – stop Mclean from converting the rebound.

Just a couple of minutes later Friedel had to do some more quality goaltending to hinder Davies from scoring after a goalmouth scramble.

Posh were playing very good football now and it seem that Gary Johnson’s men were closer to a  lead than the stars of O’Neills Villa.

Despite all the good play and the chances by Posh, it was Villa who got in front on the stroke of half-time as a low cross into the box was converted with a neat flick by John Carew whose effort went into the net off the inside of the post after a cross by Ashley Young. 2-1 to Villa.

The third goal came after only five minutes of the second half played. It was Eric Lichaj who scored with a header close to the back post after a corner. 3-1 to Villa.

Now everyone among the Villa faithful were expecting a big victory, but it was Posh who scored the next goal, and it was a second in two pre-season games for Charlie Lee, who fooled the defender with a sharp turn before firing past the goalkeeper with the aid of a deflection. 3-2.

Wolves player Mendez-Laing – who now had entered the pitch – and team mate Mackail-Smith made some good build-up work after 80 minutes that ended in an ambitious effort to score for Posh from Hibbert, but the ball drifted wide.

Mackail-Smith had a chance of his own five minutes later, but glanced a cross wide of the target after a short corner as the pressure continued to mount on the prestigious visitors.

In the dying moments of the game, Posh should have levelled as Langmead found himself baring down on goal, but Elliott Parish – in for Friedel in the Villa goal at halftime – made a good save with his legs. Boyd found the side-netting moments later.

Peterborough Unites deserved a draw in this match, but they could not force it. Very well played against this quality Villa team, though.

I believe that Gary Johnson is using the same order as Wolves when playing pre-season games. The players are in for about 70 minutes in one match and play 20 the next. So Nat will probably play from start against Gillingham already tomorrow.


Posh: Lewis, Little, Langmead, Bennett (sub Lee 60min), Nana, Boyd, Wesolowski (sub Queudrue 60min), McCann, Mclean (sub Hibbert 60min), Mackail-Smith, Davies (sub Mendez-Laing 70min).

Villa: Friedel (sub Parish 46min), Lichaj, Dunne (sub Barry 83min), Downing, Young (sub Bannan 70min), Carew (sub Collins 80min), Albrighton (sub Hogg 80min), Petrov (sub Osbourne 70min), Reo-Coker (sub Forrester 83min), Beye, Collins (sub Lowry 60min).


~ by paddytheflea on July 19, 2010.

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