Posh v Chesham Utd 1st Rd 5 Nov 2016
Venue: The ABAX Stadium, London Road, Peterborough
Attendance: 4,328 (661 Chesham).
Score: Peterborough Utd 2 v Chesham Utd 1
Referee: Darren Handley
The Posh made hard work of beating non-league Chesham in the first round of the FA Cup at the ABAX Stadium.
A goal in each half from Shaquile Coulthirst ultimately proved enough against the plucky part-timers.
Chesham pulled a goal back 10 minutes from time following a dreadful back-pass from Michael Bostwick, but Posh held on to earn a place in the second round draw.
Posh started the game as though turning up against a team ranked 94 places below them in the Football League pyramid was enough to secure success.
Instead Chesham swarmed all over them in the opening quarter and launched the ball into the Posh area with a succession of long throws.
The visitors delivered their first shot on goal in the first minute (it was blocked) after some dithering from recalled centre-back Ricardo Santos and picked up numerous loose balls on the edge of the Posh penalty area without finding the accuracy of shot to trouble Luke McGee.
Clearcut chances were few and far between though and Posh settled into the game by stringing passes along their own 18 yard line until finding the confidence to advance further forward. It’s not a tactic that wins favour with a sceptical Posh public.
Posh never looked like scoring though, until Shaquile Coulthirst launched the ball into the top corner from 25 yards. It was a terrific goal out of context with a most dismal half of football.
But Posh came alive after the break and created numerous scoring chances, most of them after Gwion Edwards had replaced Leo Da Silva Lopes.
Edwards immediately sent Coulthirst through, but the striker failed to get a shot away.
Tom Nichols created great chances for Marcus Maddison and Michael Smith which were wasted by wayward shots past an upright.
Smith’s excellent cross was turned in by Coulthirst for 2-0 on 70 minutes and it then seemed a question of how many.
Edwards shot was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by visiting ‘keeper Ashlee Jones, who then bravely denied Coulthirst a hat-trick goal.
Posh were on cruise control, but then Michael Bostwick’s pass-back was intercepted by Chesham substitute Ryan Blake who slotted home 10 minutes from time.
Full-back Benji Crilley then squandered a chance to equalise but headed a corner over the bar.
Posh: Luke McGee, Michael Smith, Andrew Hughes, Ricardo Santos, Ryan Tafazolli, Michael Bostwick, Chris Forrester, Leo Da Silva Lopes (sub Gwion Edwards, 61 mins), Marcus Maddison (sub Paul Taylor, 77 mins), Tom Nichols (sub Lee Angol, 73 mins), Shaquile Coulthirst.
Unused subs: Callum Chettle, Mark Tyler, Adil Nabi and Jerome Binnom-Williams.
Chesham: Ashlee Jones, Benji Crilley, Bruce Wilson (sub Toby Little, 79 mins), Mat Mitchel-King, Darren Purse, Adam Martin, Dave Pearce, Sam Youngs (sub Barry Hayles, 79 mins), Brad Wadkins, Drew Roberts (sub Ryan Blake, 68 mins), Matt Taylor.
Unused subs: Matt Nolan, Stephen Hamilton-Forbes, Taylor McKenzie and Kemani Murray.
Goals: Posh – Shaquile Coulthirst (2) 40 mins & 70 mins. Chesham – Ryan Blake (80 mins).
Caution: Chesham – Ryan Blake (81 mins).