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Tuesday's game took us to Leyton Orient which happens to be very near to the site of the 2012 Olympics. This being Britain I didn't think we'd actually have started yet, probably due to the builders being on another tea break but I was pleasantly surprised to see they have already turned a massive area into a building site. For once it looks like we might meet a target on time as there is still 3 years to finish it.

I didn't actually realise when we got to the football stadium, we stopped at a block of flats which I thought was odd until I saw a gap between them that the ground was completely surrounded by flats. Indeed some of the balconies actually faced onto the pitch so you can watch the games from the comfort of your own home. It felt a little strange inside the game as the flats raised higher than the ground itself, it was almost like you were indoors.



For a Tuesday night there was a lot of Posh fans there and since a very low amount of Orient fans turned up we easily were able to outsing them for the majority of the match. We had lot's to sing about too, within 12 minutes we were 2-0 up, Whelpdale with the first and Sergio Torres with the second. It's great to see Torres finally breaking into the team, he's not really had much chance up until now but he's played in two games in a row now and certainly seems to have made an impression on Fergie.

If anyone was going to score for Orient against us though it was Scott McGleish, and he did...twice. He had a spell with us where he didn't score at all but every club he's gone to since he seems to score freely for, and almost always seems to score against us. Notably he scored the winner for Northampton at London Road a few years ago and last year a last minute equaliser for Wycombe to slightly delay our promotion party. His first goal on Tuesday was yet another penalty and his second came when they were 3-1 down after Russell Martin got his first goal for the club as well.



Joe Lewis saved the game for us right at the end, even if it was from himself he was saving us from. A last minute shot for Orient was spilled by Lewis for their striker to head towards goal at point blank range but Lewis managed to pull out a fantastic save to deny them just before the referee blew the final whistle.

The referee himself seemed to be two different people. In the first half he didn't make any notable mistakes, the penalty for Orient was a handball so I can't argue with that and I don't think many other Posh fans would either. However in the second half, him and his linesmen seemed to lose all competency. Orient only scored their second goal when the referee gave a freekick in the opposite direction to the one the linesman who was standing right next to the incident was flagging. The linesmen themselves seemed to be giving phantom offsides for both teams all half which is about the typical level of officiating at this level.

Next Match Attending

Hartlepool v Posh
7/3/09 3pm
Victoria Road

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At Saturday's game against Southend I ended up standing next to a guy with his young daughter who appeared to be about five. She was sitting on the barrier to get a better view. I had to wonder what her dad would think of any bad language as the London Road Terrace is not one of the family areas of the ground where bad language is prohibited. I was still debating with my mate about whether it would be ok for us to shout a few choice words when necessary when the girl's Dad shouted "You *bleep*ing Prick!" at the referee. I guess that's question answered. I don't hold out much hope for his daughter though, it'll only be a matter of time before she's calling her Dad a *bleep*ing prick around the house. Oh well.

Our team for the game had to be changed yet again due to more injuries. Zakuani was out from defence and Coutts was out from midfield which meant bringing Tommy Williams back from injury at left back and Shane Blackett back from injury at centre back while moving Charlie Lee to midfield. Despite all these changes we still managed to start the game fairly brightly. It was only 6 minutes in when the referee made one of his many poor decisions by giving us a penalty for what, after I saw it again on TV, was a very very soft foul. I can't complain but the Southend fans definately had reason to. Keates converted the penalty to give us the lead.

I can pinpoint the exact moment when our game completely turned to shit. On 25 minutes we struggled to clear the ball out of the box and they capitalised with a stunning overhead scissor kick, it was completely unstoppable because it just came out of nowhere. Unfortunately it's certainly a contender for the best goal I've seen this season, I was hoping that one of our players could do that.

After the goal we didn't look the same side, we kept trying hopeless long balls and our short passing got very sloppy as well. None of this was helped by the massively inconsistent referee who booked players for seemingly innocent tackles while letting dangerous ones go unpunished for both sides.

The final nail in the coffin of the match was their second goal. The cross should have been no trouble to deal with but just like Craig Morgan did at Leicester, Blackett spooned the ball past Joe Lewis and into the back of the net. It was no more than Southend deserved, and their large away following certainly will have gone home happy. We could have gone second if we had won this match but it seems that we might be starting to bottle it. We need to put this right with a win on Tuesday night.

Next Match Attending

Leyton Orient v Posh
3/3/09 7.45pm
Brisbane Road

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Pretty much sums up Tuesday night's game against Carlisle. You could have been forgiven for falling asleep during the first half as so little happened. To be fair to the teams, you could forgive them for perhaps being a little shaken at seeing Gabriel Zakuani stretchered off on a spine board, something which ensured there would be 9 minutes of extra time. Then Lee Frecklington also had to make his way off after pulling a hamstring. Fortunately Zakuani escaped serious injury and will be back in two weeks while Frecklington could be out for quite a while longer.

The ball largely stayed in the midfield for the majority of the first half, even when one of the two teams did stray forward the shot that resulted was nothing to worry about. Carlisle gave us plenty of trouble back in October and we looked like we might struggle to win again tonight.

We started the second half slightly better, finally getting some decent shooting oppurtunities which Mackail-Smith was unlucky not to put away. Even though George Boyd had been quite dissapointing for most of the game he still managed to start the move off that resulted in our goal. Whelpdale had his shot saved but McLean is a goal poacher so there was no way he would miss the chance to put away the rebound. He's now scored 5 in the last 4 games and he's certainly hitting top form.

Joe Lewis kept his second clean sheet in a row and in the second half he had some important saves to make which he did with confidence. After the shakeyness of the last few games he seems to be back up to full confidence again. Charlie Lee had yet another great game in a position that isn't his, he created most of our attacks from left back, I don't think he's played in his normal position once this season.

The result means we are only 1 point behind MK Dons now although they do have two games in hand. They have to play Leicester on Saturday though and this hopefully will give us the chance to really close the gap on them. We have Southend on Saturday which our local TV station counts as a local derby despite it being well over a 100 miles away because it just about falls in the same TV region.

Next Match Attending

Posh v Southend
28/2/09 3pm
London Road

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Saturday marked the first time in 6 games that we didn't concede the first goal, and also the first time in 6 games that we kept a clean sheet. It's not a coincidence that we were trying a different formation for the first time from the start of a match in this game. We kept possession a lot better and we were able to pass it around a lot better, even though the opposition were defensively minded. It's good that we finally have a Plan B tactic as we had been sussed out by most teams and it cost us in recent games.



Edgar Street is one of the most dilapidated grounds in the league but it still makes for a better visit than the Withdean Stadium. Most of the ground has hardly been developed at all since it was built which makes for a rather interesting look. The Cargill Stand is old terracing on the bottom and strangely new seating on the top, but being so close to the road it only has about 5 rows of seats. Both ends are curved away from the pitch because there used to be a running track before the stadium was used for football but at least you can stand in the curve to be near the pitch. The last stand has seats in the upper tier and all the clubs offices on the bottom level, which means their windows are level with the pitch and quite close to it.

The goal came from a wonderful long pass from George Boyd that allowed Aaron McLean to go one on one with the goalie, there was no chance he would miss that. For most of the rest of the first half we dominated possession while not having that many chances.



The second half was pretty much the opposite of the first. Graham Turner changed Hereford's formation at half time to make it similar to ours and that helped them gain the majority of the possession. Unfortunately for them they barely had any shots at all, so they had very little chance of actually winning the game. Based on their two performances against us this year I find it quite likely that they will be going down.

Next Match Attending

Posh v Carlisle
24/2/09 7.45pm
London Road

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A wonderful sound could be heard at Prenton Park on Tuesday night. Joe Lewis was finally commanding his defence. Due to the low attendance it was quite easy to hear player shouts at some points in the match and Joe Lewis was the loudest of all of them. He's been criticised in the past for not communicating with his defenders but now it seems he's past all of that. Now to erradicate some of the errors and he will be well on the way to being a top goalie.

In a previous blog I mentioned that people in Tranmere are basically as thick as shit, specifically their use of anti-Welsh chants in an attempt to taunt us, despite them being far closer to Wales than we are. I thought maybe I'd give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they were just chanting at our Welsh centre back Craig Morgan. Except it seems that isn't the case, Morgan didn't play last night due to injury yet they again chanted about "sheep shagging". So I guess my first assumption was the correct one.



We started the match itself pretty shakily, giving Tranmere the earlier chances to take the lead and it wasn't long before they did. We failed to clear our lines after a cross came in and after a bit of to'ing and fro'ing they eventually volleyed the ball past Joe Lewis. At least Lewis wasn't at fault for this one.

After just half an hour Fergie made the tactical decision to take Chris Whelpdale off and bring Lee Frecklington on while changing the formation to 4-3-3. It was a new system for us and we've struggled before to change but this time it really seemed to work. For the first time in ages we had a central midfielder who could get forward with the strikers and get into the box rather than just hang back on the edge of it. We were getting dangerous and finally another amazing thing happened, Craig Mackail-Smith finally scored a one on one with the goalie. After only about 20 attempts. We were happy to go into half time with the score at 1-1.



The ref in this match didn't really have a great game. He seemed to be very easily swayed by the crowd except when it came to the big decisions. He seemed to miss two penalty decisions, one for each side and he also disallowed what would have been a winning goal for Tranmere although we couldn't see why. The rest of the time he spent giving free kicks when the Tranmere fans shouted for them.

The match ended 1-1 which was predictable really, we have played Tranmere 4 times now this season and after 90 minutes in each one, the score was even. The only time we won was when we scored in the last minute of extra time in the FA Cup replay back in December.

Next Match Attending

Hereford v Posh
21/2/09 3pm
Edgar Street

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Our first half performance against Huddersfield was pretty bad, as was our entire match against Leicester, but Saturday was just pathetic. Yeovil are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league yet they quite easily beat us at home no less. The statistics state that they had 74% of the possession. That's completely unacceptable for a side supposedly challenging for an automatic promotion spot this year. Sure we had a makeshift defence which was further weakened during the match but that's no excuse for a performance like that.

We hadn't really threatened their goalie much in the first 30 minutes and that's when they took the lead. We failed to deal with a set piece allowing their giant centre back to head the ball on for their striker to put away. The second goal was just two minutes later and was almost completely identical to the first except this time the defender just headed it straight in from the set piece.

By this time the crowd were pretty stunned into silence and the shock of it seemed to be affecting the players too. Russell Martin even managed to foul throw the ball by inexplicably dropping it on his feet while taking a throw in. Nobody in the side seemed to have a clue except Dean Keates.

Fergie had to give yet another half time bollocking as this was the 5th match in a row that we had gone behind first. It seemed to have some effect, we finally managed to make some attacks forward and it paid off when Aaron McLean put the ball away 20 minutes into the half. We really started to put some pressure on now and it seemed that perhaps we could come back into the game. Then it happened...

Yeovil made a break down the wing and their attacker made a fairly easily saved shot from the side of the box, the shot didn't appear to be on target and there were no players pressurising Joe Lewis at the time. He stretched his arms out, touched the ball but instead of catching it, managed to fumble the ball into the net, to the surprise of pretty much everyone. I'm not even sure the Yeovil players realised they could have scored that one. There was no chance of coming back now and the last 15 minutes just kind of petered out.

Lewis has made a lot of mistakes recently and his confidence seems to be at an all time low. He has no competition at the club for his place as we only have a youth goalie as our backup at the moment with Tyler on loan so he will have to get his confidence back in front of everyone, and he needs to do it fast before it costs us too many more points.

Next Match Attending

Tranmere v Posh
17/1/09 7.45pm
Prenton Park

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If my last away trip was to the best stadium of the season, my latest one is to what is undoubtedly the shittest. The Withdean is Brighton's "temporary" stadium of over 10 years and is little more than an athletics track with some scaffolding and a shed around the edges. The away fans are situated about 50 yards away from the edge of the pitch which means you can struggle to see the game if the ball is in the other half. The stands are completely open to the elements and are impossible to generate any atmosphere in. To top it all off, this wonderful experience cost £20! Only £6 less than it cost to see us play at Elland Road, or £15 more than it cost to see us play West Brom.



The match itself didn't start off brilliantly, we tried out a new formation which made us look disjointed an unorganised. Giving a rare start to Shaun Batt appeared to be a bad idea as he misplaced almost every single pass he attempted. Brighton inevitably scored first after Joe Lewis dropped yet another shot right at the feet of an opposing striker. I make it about the 5th time this season, while he saves shots Mark Tyler would never ever be able to save, he seems to make up for this with the amount of mistakes he makes.

Fergie finally made the right decision to switch back to our usual formation and immediately we repaid the decision by scoring two goals to take the lead. It looked like we would be able to take a lead into a half time despite a shakey start but then we thought we'd make it interesting by not bothering to defend a corner and allowing Brighton to equalise in injury time. Because Brighton's changing rooms are literally just Portakabins we were all able to listen to the half time team talks by standing by an air vent. Predictably ours contained lot's of *bleep*s, shits, *bleep* and wankers



We finally hit full form in the second half with George Boyd in particular on top form, Brighton obviously sensed this as they decided to kick him out of the game, one foul almost sending him flying into the "dugout", or box as it is at the Withdean. This fouling brought about our chance to take the lead again as they brought down Boyd in the box. Unfortunately we had missed our three penalties prior to this one but the culprits for those had been banned from taking any more, Dean Keates stepped up instead and got the job done properly for a change. McLean sealed the points 15 minutes from time by bundling the ball over the line from a Mackail-Smith shot. This gave us the oppurtunity to bring on our new signing Lee "sideways move" Frecklington for a few minutes.

Tomorrow we play Yeovil which we must win if we are to keep up the pressure on MK Dons, we still are able to get promoted automatically and that's what Darragh MacAnthony is still aiming for.

Next Match Attending

Posh v Yeovil
14/1/09 3pm
London Road

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Jessica Pomo

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