Away Days- Peterborough United v Chesham United

After over a month away, I’m finally back on the road for an away day. With no local Yeovil games until next week at Stevenage, the FA Cup offers a good opportunity to go to a game. The tickets are normally cheaper and you get some interesting games.

I have been to Peterborough before, but we saw an awful game, and I was hoping to see a better one this time, even if it was against seventh division Chesham United. Given that the draw didn’t exactly give us many local games, we had a choice of either going to support Leyton Orient at Sheffield United, or supporting Chesham at Peterborough. Given that Leyton Orient lost 6-0, I think that we probably made a good choice.

I have to say I was very happy with the price that Peterborough charged for the tickets, so it cost me just £3 to buy an under 18 ticket in advance. In all fairness Peterborough usually charge cheaper prices than a lot of League 1 and 2 clubs, but in the past I’ve had to pay over £10 to watch a pretty boring League 2 match.

The plan was to arrive at the ground around an hour before kick off but we got an hour delay on our train journey and eventually had to run down Peterborough High Street to make it to the game in time. The High Street is actually quite nice, but I didn’t really want to have to run down it on a cold Saturday afternoon. We did arrive just seconds before kick off, but it would have been better, and easier, if we had got there when we planned to.

The game was actually a lot more competitive than I expected. Chesham played well, and probably produced the better football in the opening 15 minutes or so. They consistently got the ball in good areas on the wing and put some good crosses in the box, but Jerome Binnom-Williams, who has received plaudits for his performances this season, is a massive presence and wins a lot of headers.

The Chesham fans, 663 of them to be precise, made an awful lot of noise and didn’t stop singing all afternoon. There were your typical FA Cup chants such as “Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, we’re going to Wembley,” and the fans were just getting going with “Can we play you every week?” when Peterborough scored. It was a magnificent strike as well from Shaquile Coulthirst who picked up the ball from 25 yards out to fire an unstoppable shot past Chesham ‘keeper Ashlee Jones and into the top corner. The first half past mainly without incident after then, with Peterborough controlling the ball.

I have to admit I was worried about the food given that last time I went to the ABAX Stadium they were almost out of food by half time. The hot dog was OK, but it was basically the same as every other hot dog that you get at a football ground. It was £3.20 though, which you may have realised was actually more than it cost me to get into the game, which was a bit strange.

The second half began much like the second half ended, with Peterborough in complete control of the ball. They created a lot more chances throughout the 90 minutes, and clearly had more quality than Chesham, but the Generals certainly didn’t look like a seventh division side. They would have been out of the game had it not been for Jones in goal though. He made three fantastic saves, including one in particular to tip Andrew Hughes’ fierce strike on to the bar. It was an unbelievable stop, and if someone like David de Gea had made it we’d have been going on about it for weeks. His side lost, but he was certainly man of the match.

pufc-v-cufc1Peterborough did grab a second though, with Coulthirst converting from close range after good work from Marcus Maddison and Michael Smith on the wing. It was a goal that Peterborough had earned, and it probably should have put the game to rest. Chesham manager Andy Leese reacted by making a couple of changes, including bringing on 44-year-old former Leicester City and Fulham striker Barry Hales, much to the delight of most of the Chesham fans, not the ones a few seats down from us who wanted their mate from work come on.

It was another substitute though who got Chesham back in the game, with Ryan Blake making the most of a shocking piece of footwork from Posh goalkeeper Luke McGee to pass the ball into an empty net. It was clear how much this goal meant to the Chesham fans, who went wild in the stands, and there was certainly the feeling that they could push for an equaliser.

Chesham threw the ball into the box on every possible occasion after the goal, but it just didn’t seem to fall for them. It did show just how well they played though that Peterborough started taking the ball into the corner in the last few minutes of the match. They were unfortunate not to draw level, and they certainly left with their heads held high.

Rating out of 10: Good atmosphere from the Chesham fans, but come on, the hot dog was average, and more expensive than the match tickets. 7.5/10

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