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League One

Peterborough United's poor pitch a pain

15 February 2014

Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson insists sorting out the shocking London Road pitch is a priority after a goalless deadlock against Play-Off rivals Walsall.

Ferguson and rival boss Dean Smith were happy to share the spoils after there was little to love in an attritional match on Valentine's Day.

Posh boss Ferguson, who handed a full debut to loan recruit Ben Nugent and sent fellow new arrival Josh McQuoid on for his first appearance from the bench, said: "It was always going to be a scrappy game and it wasn't easy for the players.

"I'm just thankful we now have three weeks without a home game so as we can work on the pitch.

"It is a huge problem as it affects the way we want to play.

"This might turn out to be a very good point come the end of the season.

"We would have liked to follow up the win at Orient last Saturday with another victory, but a point keeps the momentum building."

Walsall striker Michael Ngoo squandered the best opportunity on a night of few chances.

The Liverpool loanee steered a free header from Febian Brandy's corner straight at goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik midway through the first half.

Brandy and Sam Mantom were also denied by smart saves from the home goalkeeper as Walsall finished the first half strongly.

Posh had seen a strong early penalty appeal turned down when Tommy Rowe was sent tumbling by Paul Downing, but it took the home side until early in the second period to muster a shot on goal as Michael Bostwick saw two long-range efforts kept out in the space of a minute.

Walsall keeper Richard O'Donnell was also equal to a swerving Danny Swanson shot before also clutching top-scorer Britt Assombalonga's rebound.

Walsall chief Smith reckoned the London Road mudbath was like a scene from yesteryear.

He said: "Credit to both teams for putting on a game of football in those conditions. It was like something from the 1980s.

"There was some decent stuff played at times on an absolute quagmire of a pitch and it is a credit to my players to keep out a free-flowing Peterborough team.

"We had a couple of chances in the first half when we were the better team and we were very organised against the wind in the second period.

"The only thing missing was a goal or two, but a draw is a fair result.

"We're still in a great position going into the final third of the season and there is a good buzz around our place."

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