REPORT: Wanderers v Peterborough Utd

Dapo Afolayan claimed his first league goal of the season to keep Wanderers on a roll in a late show at the UniBol.

Afolayan came off the bench to score with a deflected 87th-minute strike as the Whites stayed firmly in the top six ahead of their break from League One action for international duty.

There was some good fortune about the goal, but the three points were no more than Ian Evatt’s men deserved after dominating the final hour of a game that somehow looked as though it might end goalless.

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The Whites had a handful of chances to wrap up a fourth home win of the season before Afolayan’s intervention.

But Evatt’s men got there in the end against another side that may well end up in the shake-up come the end of the season to make it four successive wins in all competitions to earn the breather they will now get after Tuesday’s trip to Tranmere in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Wanderers paid their tribute to Her late Majesty, The Queen with a fitting moment of reflection and perfect rendition of the national anthem before kick-off.

The pursuit of a third successive league win then began with Kyle Dempsey getting a start on his 27th birthday as the only change to the side that had started the mid-week victory at MK Dons.

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Peterborough’s recent run of results had gone the other way with five straight defeats in league and cup.

But having come down from the Championship last season and started the campaign well, Posh were no pushovers and made their intentions clear from the start as their pressing game tried to stop Wanderers in their tracks.

The Whites didn’t flinch, though, in a highly competitive – and at times feisty – first half that saw Evatt’s men ride a spell of early pressure before beginning to take a grip.

And the best chances came Wanderers’ way in an explosive end to the first half.

Dion Charles’ excellent pass released Conor Bradley for a run on goal but the Whites’ leading scorer couldn’t hit the target.national anthem.jpg

And then following a Jack Iredale free-kick Gethin Jones was only inches away from his second goal in two games when he headed against a post.

The momentum was with the Whites and the interval did nothing to break their stride with two excellent opportunities to take the lead within minutes of the re-start.

Dempsey – one of three members of the Wanderers’ match-day squad to have played for Peterborough – was heavily involved.

Firstly, he saw an effort blocked after Bradley had teed him up in front of goal and the midfielder then rolled the ball square for Iredale, who looked a certain scorer until goalkeeper Lucas Bergstrom spread his massive frame to save.

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The towering Bergstrom then made another fine save to touch over a shot from Charles as the Whites swiftly broke.

Charles also had a chance following another Wanderers’ corner but again Peterborough got a body in the way as they desperately tried to hang on.

Evatt tried everything to try and break the deadlock as he made all the attacking substitutions he could to increase the Whites’ attacking options and replace tired legs.

And the bold approach paid off with just three minutes of normal time to go when one of those sent on to make the difference did just that.

There was a large slice of good fortune in Afolayan’s winning goal after he had picked up the ball to run at the Peterborough defence.

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But Wanderers will say they made their own luck as this time another block ended with a deflection that took the ball beyond Bergstrom and into the net to cap another impressive performance with another clean sheet as Ricardo Santos won the heavyweight clash with Jonson Clarke-Harris to sum up the Whites’ defensive determination and desire to win.

Wanderers: Trafford; Jones, Santos, Johnston; Bradley, Williams, Thomason, Iredale (Sadlier 78); Dempsey (Afolayan 70); Charles (Bakayoko 83), Kachunga (Bodvarsson 70). Substitutes: Aimson, Morley, Lee.

Booked: Iredale, Johnston, Williams, Sadlier

Peterborough United: Bergstrom; Thompson, Knight, Edwards, Burrows; Fuchs (Kyprianou 88), Taylor (Marriott 88); Poku (Ward 61), Thompson, Jones (Mason-Clark 61); Clarke-Harris. Substitutes: Blackmore, Kent, Tomlinson.

Booked: Fuchs, Knight

Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 17,016 (618 Peterborough)

Read Time: 4 mins