London Road, Peterborough
Sunday 28th December, 2014
Sky Bet League One
Harry Forrester came the closest to scoring as his second half effort rattled the cross bar, but Rovers end 2014 with three clean sheets in a row and seven points from the last possible 9.
Paul Dickov made one change to the side that were victorious against Coventry on Boxing Day, Marc De Val came in for an injured Richie Wellens in midfield.
It was a scrappy first half of football in this League One affair as no clear chances were created by either side in the opening 45 minutes.
Rovers had the better of the possession, but despite passing the ball around nicely were unable to find a way into the Peterborough box to test goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.
An early chance was presented to Theo Robinson as he was gifted possession by Ricardo Santos twenty yards out. The striker went for the shot instead of using Harry Forrester who was in space to his left but it was easily collected by Alnwick.
The hosts should have gone a goal up when Erhun Oztumer squared the ball for Marcus Maddison on the edge of the area but the midfielder blasted his shot over Sam Johnstone’s cross bar.
Chances were few and far between for both sides. Rovers kept the Posh at bay well and had the better of the attacking play.
South African captain Dean Furman went close on the stroke of half time as Reece Wabara squared the ball to the midfielder on the edge of the area. His right footed curling effort whistled just past the post.
HALF TIME: Peterborough 0-0 Rovers
The second half saw two different sides as early chances were created by both.
Two minutes after the restart Harry Forrester set Enda Stevens free down the left. The full back drove into the box before releasing a shot which took a wicked deflection causing Alnwick to make a great reflex save.
The rebound fell to James Coppinger but the Rovers captain couldn’t convert to put the visitors ahead.
Minutes later Peterborough found themselves in an identical situation as a low ball into the box took a deflection off Andy Butler. Johnstone looked beaten and was relieved to see the ball go inches past his post.
On 50 minutes Forrester skipped through the defence looking to break the deadlock and was brought down 25 yards out. The winger stepped up to hit the resulting free kick and saw his effort crash against the cross bar, despite Alnwick being beaten.
The hosts best chance came on the hour mark as Luke James found himself in space down the right. With time to pick his spot, he played a ball across the face of goal for Aaron Mclean but the midfielder just stepped ahead of the ball and was unable to test Johnstone.
The Posh upped their game and continued to pile on the pressure. Sam Johnstone was called into action as James found himself through one on one. The striker’s shot was heading for the bottom corner but for a brilliant save by the legs of Johnstone.
With ten minutes to play, substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing picked up the ball and released a fierce shot from the edge of the area. A cut up pitch caused it to bobble awkwardly in front of the Rovers keeper but Johnstone adjusted well to make a great save.
Despite withstanding heavy pressure from Darren Ferguson’s side, Rovers remained disciplined at the back to pick up their third clean sheet in a row and remain unbeaten in the last three fixtures.
Team details -
Peterborough: Ben Alnwick, Michael Bostwick, Jack Payne (c), Luke James, Erhun Oztumer, Joe Newell, Aaron Mclean (Conor Washington- 75), Christian Burgess, Ricardo Santos (Michael Smith- 45), Marcus Maddison (Nathaniel Mendez-Laing- 75), Harry Beautyman
Subs not used – Joe Day, Kyle Vassell, Jermaine Anderson, Harry Anderson
Cautions – Michael Bostwick
Rovers: Sam Johnstone, Reece Wabara, Luke McCullough, Andy Butler, Enda Stevens, Harry Forrester (Billy Whitehouse- 90), James Coppinger, Dean Furman, Paul Keegan, Marc De Val (Harry Middleton- 34), Theo Robinson (Curtis Main- 82)
Subs not used: Marko Marosi, Jamie McCombe, Liam Wakefield, Jack McKay
Cautions- Marc De Val, Reece Wabara, Paul Keegan
Attendance – 6,895