TOWN’S dream of making their third trip to Wembley in five years came to a dramatic end on Monday night.
Over the entire 120 minutes, they deserved to be the team walking out at Wembley, but Peterborough held their nerve in the penalty shootout to ensure a big day out in March.
With Nile Ranger out injured and Michael Smith cup-tied, Dany N’Guessan had to lead the line in their absence.
Overall the Frenchman did a decent job but that’s not his natural position.
In the second half, the game was crying out for a striker who has a good turn of pace and could run at the Posh’s crumbling defence. But instead of sitting on Town’s bench, that man is currently on loan at Shrewsbury Town.
I’m not insisting Miles Storey is the answer to all our prayers, but the guy is a good player who deserves a run of games.
I understand he doesn’t fit in Town’s preferred 4-5-1 formation, but with Mark Cooper leaning towards a 4-4-2 recently, Miles is needed at the club.
The guy showed us his talents against Coventry this season, I hope when he returns in March he will be given the chance he deserves.
On the plus side, we saw another good performance from Louis Thompson in central midfield.
The 19-year-old seems to be improving each time he takes to the pitch.
Before he would be a bit reckless with his tackling, which would lead to needless fouls, but he now seems more in control.
He also looks a lot more confident with the ball and is able to run at the opposition, there’s no doubt that himself and his brother Nathan have big futures in the game.
Let’s hope it’s at Swindon Town.
The biggest encouragement of the night came in the form of our on-loan winger Jacob Murphy.
The Norwich midfielder had a great game, caused Boro’s defence endless problems, and learnt a huge lesson in defending late in a game. He looks like the player we’ve needed since the departure of Nicky Ajose in January.
Most of the season we’ve seemed lop-sided, with our main attacking threat always coming from Alex Pritchard.
With someone as effective going forward, it will make Town less predictable, and we’ll be able to create more on the counter also.
Troy Archibald-Henville’s return to first team football continues to be a success with the 25-year-old improving in every game.
He was easily Town’s best player last week in the 0-0 home draw against Colchester.
When Grant Hall returns to full fitness following his injury he will find it difficult to make it past Rossi-Branco in the pecking order, let alone Archibald-Henville.
This week we also saw the return of Tijane Reis from injury, on Monday.
He made a decent impact and looks like a good option for the manager from the bench. But the less said about his shootout penalty the better.
This weekend Town visit Brisbane Road to face second-placed Leyton Orient.
How Cooper’s side cope will tell us a lot about this group of players.
If we see the same Town side that fought back to beat Port Vale a couple of weeks ago, we know the play-off dream is still alive.