Eager to impress manager, Darren Ferguson, following a disappointing exit in the FA Cup Second round to National League North side, Chorley, the Peterborough players started the game with a point to prove.
Posh nearly had the perfect start, when Siriki Dembéle robbed left-back, Nesta Guinness-Walker, and played Ryan Broom through on goal. Broom, however, got his angles all wrong, smashing his shot against the bar and saving the blushes of Guinness-Walker.
Ryan Longman, who has had an impressive start to the season since joining on loan from Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion, nearly gave the home side the lead mid-way through the first half.
Longman darted through the heart of the Peterborough defence, sending a tantalising cross into the box for top scorer Joe Pigott. The striker glanced a header towards goal, but goalkeeper, Christy Pym, thwarted the effort, getting down low to his left-hand side.
Longman’s efforts would be rewarded in the early stages of the second half.
Jack Rudoni had the freedom of the midfield and drove at The Posh defence. They backed off and allowed the 19-year-old to shoot from distance. Pym got down well, but could only parry the ball back into the melee of players in the box. Longman reacted first, tapping home his fourth of the season and the match opener.
The Dons doubled their lead moments later. Joe Pigott grabbed his eighth for the season, poking home with his right foot from close range to add further misery to Darren Ferguson’s side.
However, they found their way back into the game, thanks to a stunning free kick from Jonson Clarke-Harris. Since joining from Bristol Rovers in the summer, the striker has enjoyed a fruitful start to the season and his goal highlighted the confidence coursing through his veins.
Peterborough pushed for the equaliser, but Clarke-Harris' moment of inspiration failed to spark a comeback, as Darren Ferguson’s side were unable to capitalise and take themselves to the top of the League One table.
Peterborough’s outstanding production line
If there is one positive Darren Ferguson can take from this evening’s defeat, it’s the performance of Siriki Dembéle. The striker caused havoc for The Dons' defence all evening with his electric turn of pace and devastating eye for a pass.
When Ivan Toney departed in the summer to Brentford, Darren Ferguson must have been wondering where his main goal source was going to come from.
Although Dembéle has only managed 5 goals in 14 games, his creative outlet and presence on the pitch is enough to strike fear into the heart of any defence and will surely be a key component of the side, should they gain promotion this season.
Will Nightingale’s captain performance
Having spent the start of the season either on the bench or cast away from first team duties, Will Nightingale put in a stellar performance this evening, one so good that must have cemented himself as a regular starter in the mind of Dons’ manager, Glyn Hodges.
Bar the astonishing free kick, which he could do nothing about, Nightingale commanded his back four into shape for the entire evening, keeping one of League One’s most potent attacks quiet for the full 90 minutes.