Peterborough United 5-0 Blackpool: The Warmdown
Photo by Lee Parker - CameraSport via Getty Images

The 2021-2022 Championship season has come to a close.

Peterborough United and Blackpool were both promoted last season but endured very differing seasons back in the second tier.

The Seasiders thrived while The Posh failed to survive and were relegated back to League One after a disappointing campaign.

Yesterday, the final round of fixtures, form went out the window.

  • Relaxed, confident and near-perfect Posh

Despite the poor season, The Cambridgeshire side looked like one pushing for promotion as they dismantled their visitors.

Jonson Clarke-Harris, Jack Marriott, Jack Taylor and Sammie Szmodics’ second half brace ensured a 5-0 victory at London Road.

To a man, they were nearly perfect.

Goalkeeper Dai Cornell was commanding from set pieces and crosses, and played well out from the back.

The defence, marshalled by young England defender Ronnie Edwards, held firm to keep a rare clean sheet, and kept possession well – something that has been a struggle at times this season.

Joe Ward almost gifted Blackpool a goal, but was a threat going forward playing in some inviting crosses.

Harrison Burrows provided two on the money assists, the first the end of a well worked team goal which saw The Posh complete what seemed like 25 passes before Szmodics tapped in, before a pinpoint whipped cross from deep on the left perfect for poacher Marriott to side-foot home.

The midfield was resolute, winning possession back before Blackpool could break away, with Taylor’s curling strike in the last minute the icing on the cake of his stellar performance.

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Ricky Jade-Jones was the most troubling Peterborough player in the first half, directly driving at the away defence and routinely beating his man.

Kwame Poku glided by players as if they weren’t there the entire game, his end product letting him down on all but one occasion – the pass for Clarke-Harris’ opener.

Szmodics and Clarke-Harris battled hard and took their goals well, the latter’s hold up play a marked improvement on earlier in the season, while Marriott’s finish was ever so typical.

There was a good feeling at the Weston Homes Stadium, people were enjoying the football, and that has been a theme under Grant McCann.

Since the former Hull City boss returned, Posh gave themselves a fighting chance.

Some of the football they played yesterday was exquisite.

A good pre-season and good recruitment combined with performances like yesterday’s and it won’t be too long before Peterborough United are back in the second division again.

  • Blackpool firmly on the beach

With 60 points on their return to the Championship, Blackpool can consider themselves successful this season.

Their campaign has been over for weeks, and you could tell.

The Seasiders looked threatening in the first half, and were probably on top before Clarke-Harris opened the scoring.

They just didn’t test Cornell in the Peterborough goal – Luke Garbutt trying to sneak a free-kick near to the right-side corner flag in at the near post was as close as they came all game.

It might be hard to believe but they did look comfortable in possession, just couldn’t muster a meaningful effort on goal.

After Richard Keogh was withdrawn through an injury he seemed to sustain from slipping on the turf, things changed.

They looked less confident on the ball, less commanding at the back, even the particularly buoyant away support quietened down for a little bit.

Chris Maxwell produced a string of fine saves, the best coming from a header from Taylor, clawing it out of the top corner and was at no fault for any of the goals.

But, it says something when you concede five and your ‘keeper is still your best player on the pitch.

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The attitude and energy wasn’t there in the second half, Posh found themselves in acres of space and played at a high intensity, Blackpool were dreaming of their holidays.

A great away following was not matched by a great away performance, so much so that boss Neil Critchley used his post-match interview to apologise to the fans who made the trip south.

Peterborough finished the season in 22nd place, four points from safety in the end and left dreaming about what could have been had they been able to close out some games through their difficult winter period.

Blackpool finished 16th, and can start to look ahead to the next campaign.