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Match Reports

📝 Match Report: Peterborough 2 City 1

City face defeat on the road

2 March 2024

Match Reports

📝 Match Report: Peterborough 2 City 1

City face defeat on the road

2 March 2024

Exeter City left Cambridgeshire empty-handed after a close-fought League One match goes against their favour, ending 2-1 to the hosts, Peterborough United.


Ephron Mason-Clark opened the scoring for the hosts as he threaded the ball through a congested City area. Ten minutes before the break, Tom Carroll scored his first goal for the Grecians as his volley took a harsh deflection. In the 68th minute, Kwame Poku slotted his effort beyond Sinisalo from outside of the box, restoring the lead for Peterborough and eventually this proved to be the winner.

In the reverse fixture, less than a month before, City came from behind to claim three points against the Posh. Since that match, the Grecians have claimed four points from 12 available and Peterborough, four from nine. 
Manager Gary Caldwell named three changes to the side that faced Fleetwood the prior weekend. In a new look formation, four players set up at the back as Ben Purrington and Will Aimson came in to replace Cheick Diabate. Sonny Cox completed the changes, replacing Mo Eisa. Reece Cole’s exclusion was a forced one as he faced a two-match ban for an accumulation of yellow cards. Millenic Alli was named in the squad for the first time since joining City in January. 

A sloppy start from the Posh defence saw Vincent Harper pick up the ball on the edge of the Peterborough area. Harper cooly found Tom Carroll in the box who threaded the ball to Luke Harris and the youngster’s shot went just wide. A bright start from City as in the opening few minutes, Peterborough kept giving possession away to the Grecians in dangerous positions, but City were unable to capitalise.  

As the ground felt that a City goal could be coming, Peterborough put one in at the other end. A quick break as they evaded the City press saw the ball ricocheting in the City area and after the Grecians failed to clear their lines, Mason-Clark squeezed the ball home from inside the box. A bright start turned dismal as City were reminded that these top teams will punish effectively. 

What would follow was a series of half-chances and missed opportunities, with Peterborough seeing the best of them. Notable moments include Pierce Sweeney blocking a shot inside the six-yard box, Cox showing some superb hold-up play only to fall short due to a slippy pitch, and unfruitful corner from both sides.  

City’s luck would change with 15 minutes to play in the first half. Again, Peterborough failed to effectively clear their lines after a City attack and the ball deflected off the back of Cox and onto Carroll on the edge of the box. Carroll plucked the ball out the air as it fell kindly for him, volleyed it into the back off a Posh defender, and watched it sail over the dumbfounded Jed Steer in net. It was dubious as to whether the goal would be awarded to Carroll but neither he nor the travelling fans cared as the away end erupted. City were back in it. 

A nervy three added minutes forced City to keep it tight, which they did, and the teams went into the break level. It was all to play for in the second half. 

The first real chance of the first half came City’s way as Cox let a cross run through to Harper, who side-footed the ball wide of the far post. The teams traded chances as, down at the other end, Poku tried to curl the ball into the far corner, but his effort never looked like troubling Vil Sinisalo as it sailed over the bar. 

Caldwell’s first changes of the afternoon brought a formational change as Yanic Wildschut and Mo Eisa came on to replace Ryan Woods and Harper. A controversial moment followed this substiution as the Posh hit City on the break, forcing Sinisalo to come out of his area to clear. City’s number one cleared the first ball with his thigh and then entered a foot race with the Peterborough attacker to head the ball off for a throw-in.

This left Sinisalo well out of his goal and Purrington took a yellow card for impeding the continuation of the game as he stood in front of the Posh player looking to take a quick throw. This moment lit up the Weston Homes Stadium as the energy lifted with 30 minutes to play, the crowd could sense a goal was coming. 

Unfortunately, that goal was for Peterborough as they capitalised on a period of blue shirts dominating the final third. Poku picked up the ball on the edge of the box after some clever play and picked his spot in the far corner, firing low, and beating Sinisalo to his left. 2-1, City had some work to do. Caldwell responded by bringing on Harry Kite and Dion Rankine.  
With ten minutes to play, Alli came onto the pitch to make his debut for the Grecians, replacing Sweeney as City’s backline became an aggressively attacking one, from left to right: Wildschut, Jules, Purrington, Kite. City were not going down without a fight.  

The fourth official indicated nine additional minutes as the game descended into a nervy affair for all onlookers. Intricate play from Rankine, Harris, and Eisa saw the latter in just enough space to curl an effort just over the bar at the far post. Alli nearly made a name for himself on his debut as, with one minute of added time to play, he got on the end of a cross... but his effort went just over the bar. 

City’s will look to change their luck in a week’s time against Bolton at SJP. 3pm, Saturday 9th March. 

Exeter City: Sinisalo (GK), Jules, Purrington, Sweeney (C) (Alli 79’), Aimson (Kite 69’), Carroll, Woods (Wildschut 60’), Cox (Rankine 69’), Harris, Harper (Eisa 60’), Niskanen. 

Unused Subs: Macdonald, Diabate, Kite, Rankine, Wildschut, Alli, Eisa. 

Peterborough United: Steer (GK), Katongo, Burrows (C), Edwards, Knight, Mason-Clark, Poku, Randall, Mothersille, Kyprianou, Collins. 

Subs: Bilokapic, Crichlow, Havilland, Clarke-Harris, Olakigbe, Ajiboye, Jones. 

Referee: Marc Edwards 

Attendance: 7496 (319 Away)

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