Bright sunshine welcomed the teams out at the Look Local Stadium as Steels looked to build on the terrific performance against Bedworth 4 days earlier. Manager Chris Hilton made one change bringing in Matt Reay for Richard Stirrup at the heart of the back four. The game was set up as a typical end of season fixture with nothing to play for but pride, against the first ever visit to Bracken Moor of mid table Peterborough Sports.
Typical end of season fixture is just how it panned out with sloppy passing and complacency evident early on, which by enlarge, continued through the first half. Poor ball retention from Steels was a surprise after such a positive display against Bedworth and the lack of consistency a concern. The ball just kept coming back after midfield boys were giving the ball away and frontmen could not hold onto it, allied to this most of the second balls were being picked up by a red shirted Peterborough player. It was no surprise when Steels went behind, Lawler put the away side ahead from the penalty spot, tucking his shot to Reays left side and into the net after Rhodes had fouled the skilful Peterborough number 11 Moreman on the edge of the box.
The performance so far was lack lustre and lethargic from Steels. Peterborough always had spare men in midfield as a 4-2-4 formation was restricting any sort of progressive play from the back.
Consequently balls were being knocked long and although Peterborough’s defence had a couple of scares they dealt with counter attacks quite comfortably.
HT: SPS 0-1 Peterborough Sports
The second half started brighter with Steels forcing 3 corners from the kick off, the home side drew level on 50 minutes when defenders did not clear their lines after Rory Coleman left footed in swinger was headed to the edge of the box. It was Coleman himself who had drifted into the box and drove the ball hard, low and clean to the keepers right hand post from 10 yards. Steels had kept the ball alive well and were now looking a little more threatening. Litchfield caused problems going forward, Lumsden had a one v one opportunity that the goalkeeper smothered at his feet as he just failed to strike it home. However, the game again became scrappy for long periods of play and neither team found the conditions easy to fathom. Ruthven shot well wide from 18 yards after he found himself on the end of a route one counter by Steels. Coleman long to Poulton who had headed it into the path of Ruthven.
Disappointingly, a simple long straight ball over the top of the Steels centre backs on 80 minutes found Peterborough’s lone frontman Jones in a race to the bouncing ball with Reay, the home goalkeeper really second favourite. Jones calmly lobbed the ball high over the advancing Reay bouncing into the roof of the net.
With Steels approaching the final three games in one week it is surely going to be a test of character for the players, hopefully they can find the spirit and determination ability and knowhow that they have showed, more often than not, over the course of the season, to gain points to finish as high up the league as possible. certainly, I’m a believer. Screw it up, throw it in the bin and go again on Tuesday.
Full Time: SPS 1 – 2 Peterborough Sports