United suffer first pre-season defeat at London Road...
PETERBOROUGH 2 (Coulthirst 48, 65), UNITED 1 (Mowatt 16) (3pm kick-off, London Road)
Peterborough team: Alnwick, Smith, Hughes, Tafazolli, Baldwin, Forrester, J.Anderson, Da Silva Lopes, Maddison, P.Taylor, Coulthirst. Subs: Tyler, Bostwick, Nichols, Edwards, Nabi, Chettle, Stevens, Freestone, White.
United team: Green, Purver, Bartley, Bamba, C Taylor, Murphy, Grimes, Mowatt, Sacko, Roofe (J McKay 64), Antonsson. Subs: Huffer, M Taylor, Shackleton.
United suffered their first pre-season defeat on Saturday afternoon as Peterborough came from behind to record a 2-1 victory.
A second-half brace from Shaquile Coulthirst won it for the hosts, who had fallen behind to Alex Mowatt’s 16th-minute volley on a scorching summer’s day at London Road.
Garry Monk’s side had been in friendly action less than 24 earlier, with a predominantly youthful XI coming back from three goals down to clinch a 4-3 win away to local non-league outfit Guiseley.
Saturday’s trip to the League One outfit, however, saw all six summer signings named in the starting line-up that boasted the most senior experience of the teams fielded over the course of the weekend.
And that was evident as United made a lively start to proceedings, with Mowatt forcing former Elland Road loanee Ben Alnwick into a flying save inside the opening two minutes to keep out his curling 25-yard effort.
At the opposite end, Rob Green held Peterborough’s first sight of goal – a low strike from distance – before Mowatt was again denied by Alnwick to keep out a deflected shot on the turn.
It was Mowatt who made the inevitable breakthrough to open the scoring on 16 minutes, volleying home from inside the area after meeting Kemar Roofe’s cross following a twisting run from the former Oxford United forward.
United chances continued to flow as the visitors chased a quick-fire second, with Marcus Antonsson inches away from picking out the top corner before Alnwick clutched Mowatt’s strike from a move involving Roofe which appeared to be a carbon copy of his opener.
Marcus Maddison had a half chance for the hosts but Green dealt comfortably with his half-volley from 20 yards out, but United remained in the ascendency and Mowatt was agonisingly close to netting his second of the afternoon with a curling effort after seizing upon a loose ball.
Antonsson then blazed over from an acute angle after racing onto Mowatt’s ball over the top, before Alex Purver was in the right place at the right time to deny Coulthirst an equaliser.
Hadi Sacko and Roofe both threatened on the stroke of half-time but United were made to settle for a one-goal lead at the break after a dominant opening 45 minutes.
Peterborough looked a different beast after the interval, though, and pulled themselves level within three minutes of the restart, Coulthirst firing an unstoppable half-volley beyond Green from 25 yards out.
Leeds looked to respond as Roofe saw his deflected strike fizz wide of the far post after cutting inside, but the hosts were on top and began to carve a series of openings, with Paul Taylor and Maddison both firing wide in quick succession.
Monk was forced into a change on 64 minutes as the impressive Roofe, who was suffering with stomach cramps, made way for young striker Jack McKay.
But Posh soon found themselves in front as Coulthirst struck from range again, drilling a low strike just out of Green’s reach to make it 2-1.
A visibly tired United probed for an equaliser as the game progressed in humid conditions, with Alnwich twice denying Sacko with his feet at the near post, but there proved to be no way through in the penultimate pre-season friendly for Monk’s side.