Puma Youth Alliance Cup Quarter Final
Team: Crowther, Coyne, Brown, O’Brien, Ford, Harris, Morgan-Cummings, Davenport, German, Rose, Arthur.
Subs Used: Vanterpool, Wright, Smith
Subs Not Used: Goodchild, Lawrence
Pat Harrison phoned to say that the kick-off time had been brought forward by 30 minutes and would now start at 6.30pm as severe weather was again forecast. Roger Stokes picked me and Alan Barnes up at Watford Junction at 4pm and as it turned out we had a smooth journey and still arrived at London Road in plenty of time. Admission was ¬£3.00 and it was good to see that according to the Teamsheet, Romone had indeed been recalled from AFC Wimbledon.
With parts of the pitch frozen and thick fog descending, Reece Crowther made a superb save after 8 minutes which looked destined for the far corner. Four minutes later, Rose coolly put the R’s into the lead from close range. QPR were soon further ahead when Morgan-Cummings hit a wonderful cross-field pass and from the resulting cross, he was on hand to head in the first of his three goals. Alan Barnes noted that it was 23 minutes before Rangers were awarded a free kick by Paul Dobbs.
Ed Harris, under pressure in the box, controlled the ball superbly and then laid off an excellent pass to a QPR player in plenty of space to set up a counter-attack. He had earlier gone close with a goal scoring opportunity with a header that went just over the bar. On the half-hour mark, Romone hit a low shot which went just wide. Five minutes later, the home side missed a very good chance when following a corner, the ball was put back in and their striker found himself unmarked in plenty of space but somehow the ball went out for another corner. This short period of pressure paid off a minute later when after some good inter-play, Peterborough pulled one back from close range. Half-Time: 2-1
With visibility worsening and the temperature plummeting, there were real concerns that the game could be abandoned. The players were still keeping their feet and the decisive period started 10 minutes into the half when Rangers counter-attacked with Billy Coyne knocking the ball out wide to Rose around the half-way line area, who then proceeded to bomb down the wing. Their keeper came out but hesitated as Romone cut in, but instead of shooting, he put over a wonderful cross to the advancing Morgan-Cummings to head home.
Soon after, the same three players combined to set up the R’s fourth. Again, Romone received the ball in a deep right wing position from Coyne, who then belted up field and another superb cross into the box found Morgan-Cummings to fire the ball into the net for his hat trick. Two minutes later, Antonio German slipped into top gear to pass their defender and hit number five. What a superb 6 minute spell that was, three excellent goals and just the weather to worry about. Cyrus Vanterpool came on for the Man of the Match, Romone Rose and with about 7 minutes to go, Billy Coyne was replaced by Michael Wright. The final substitution was made with little time remaining when Terry Smith switched with Chris Arthur.
This was an emphatic victory in very difficult conditions. The Official Peterborough Website was generous in defeat and gave the attendance as just under 500: “At an extremely foggy London Road, the visitors were always in control and played some excellent football in tricky conditions.”
Well done to the Club and all parties for getting the fixture brought forward from Saturday. The other three Quarter Finals to be played are:
Brighton v Wycombe
Oxford v Colchester
Rushden & Diamonds v Brentford
Pat and Tom Harrison went by train and there were also a number of local R’s fans including Peter Bready who I hadn’t seen for a few years. Thanks to James for emailing me the photo shown above which gives some idea of the playing conditions and to Roger Stokes for the lift to and from Watford.