Town were unable to extend their unbeaten run in 2017 earlier this afternoon after falling to a 1-0 defeat against Peterborough United at The County Ground.
Both teams had sights of goal in an eventful first-half but there was no separating the two at the break.
That didn’t last long though as the Posh drew first blood just a minute into the first-half courtesy of Chris Forrester’s strike, which proved to be the winning goal.
Town made just the one change from the team that beat Bolton Wanderers last week with Club Captain Nathan Thompson returning from injury to replace Conor Thomas.
Thompson took his place at left-back and Fankaty Dabo slotted in at right-back, while Luke Norris and Islam Feruz partnered each other upfront for the second game running.
John Goddard was tasked with providing the attacking flair and creativity at the tip of a diamond midfield with Ben Gladwin and Charlie Colkett sitting in just behind, while Yaser Kasim operated in a deeper role to protect the back-four.
Both sides flexed their attacking muscles in what was an entertaining start to proceedings as the Reds looked to continue their unbeaten run to 2017 while Posh were hoping to bounce back from a heavy defeat last time out.
Lawrence Vigouroux had to be alert in the opening few minutes to keep out Ryan Tafazolli’s stooping header, before Islam Feruz couldn’t quite connect properly with Nathan Thompson’s cross at the other end.
It was Peterborough’s turn to attack next as Michael Bostwick picked out Tom Nichols perfectly in acres of space with a long, precise pass, but the striker could only blaze an effort miles over.
Luke Norris then saw his effort from close-range blocked before Lee Angol flicked a Marcus Maddison free-kick over the bar.
There were half-chances aplenty at either end of the pitch as Maddison curled a shot straight into the arms of Vigouroux from distance, before the attacker saw another effort deflected just past the far post moments later.
However, it wasn’t long before Town started to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and they had three golden opportunities in quick succession to take the lead.
Charlie Colkett’s cross deflected into the path of Thompson who saw his thunderous effort blocked, before Gladwin was also denied by a visiting defender.
And the best chance of the first-half for the hosts arrived moments later as Islam Feruz darted into the box before seeing his low effort pushed out for a corner by Luke McGee.
It could and perhaps should have been first blood to the visitors on the stroke of half-time, but Nichols could only balloon a shot over the bar despite being unmarked inside the box.
However, Posh didn’t make the same mistake twice and they flew out of the traps after the interval to take the lead.
Angol picked out Chris Forrester inside the area and the Posh Skipper did well to compose himself before tucking home into the far corner.
Town did muster up a good response to going a goal down as they attempted to launch wave after wave of attack on the Peterborough goal.
Jermaine Hylton, who had replaced Feruz just moments before, so nearly made an instant impact but his first touch let him down before Kasim had a shot blocked after dancing his way through the visiting back-line.
At the other end, Peterborough were still looking to add to their lead and they nearly did so through Tafazolli, but the centre-back could only send his free header straight at Vigouroux.
Town then forced a succession of corners but were unable to make them count, while Colkett saw his thunderous drive blocked inside the area as Posh continued to frustrate their hosts.
With time ticking away, the Reds opted to make a double switch, bringing on Jordan Stewart and James Brophy with John Goddard and Nathan Thompson making way respectively.
It was all Town in the closing stages with Stewart’s low, driven cross just being cut out by McGee, but that proved to be the final action of the game with the Reds suffering their first defeat of the New Year.
TEAMS AND STATS:
SCORERS - Chris Forrester (46).
TOWN - Vigouroux; Thompson (C) (James Brophy 78), Rossi-Branco, Jones, Dabo; Kasim, Colkett, Gladwin, Goddard (Jordan Stewart 78); Feruz (Jermaine Hylton 56), Norris.
Subs Not Used - Henry, Rodgers, Thomas, Murray.
PETERBOROUGH UNITED - McGee; Smith, Tafazolli, Ball, Hughes; Maddison (Martin Samuelsen 86), Bostwick, Forrester (C), Edwards (Leonardo da Silva Lopes 81); Angol, Nichols (Paul Taylor 72).
Subs Not Used - Tyler, Inman, Binnom-Williams, Morias.
Referee - Trevor Kettle
TOWN - Nathan Thompson, Lloyd Jones, Ben Gladwin.
PETERBOROUGH UNITED - Michael Smith, Marcus Maddison.
ATTENDANCE - 6,514.