Stevenage were given another painful lesson in taking their chances when they are on top as they were beaten away to Peterborough United.

A penalty just before half-time from Harrison Burrows and effort from Jadel Katongo and Kwame Poku in the second period gave Posh an unassailable lead.

Nick Freeman's late goal did at least stir some passion in the Boro squad but they couldn't get another and fell to a 3-1 loss.

It was particularly galling as Boro had been completely on top in the first half at London Road but not scored.

Posh meanwhile only had a few chances but took them to leave the visitors looking over their shoulder at the chasing pack.

There were four changes from the hugely disappointing performance and result on Saturday at home to Fleetwood Town.

Dan Sweeney, Freeman, Ben Thompson and Vadaine Oliver were the four to come into the starting line-up with Harvey White, Finley Burns, Louis Thompson and Kane Hemmings making way.

Jake Forster-Caskey was also back on the bench after missing the weekend's outing.

The changes had an impact and the only thing that was missing was a goal.

Thompson played in the middle behind the front two and Jordan Roberts went out on the left and it seemed to suit both, as well as the team.

A few early free-kicks and corners caused problems for the home side although their continued desire to play out from the back, while commendable, did them no favours at all.

The disappointment for Boro was they never truly tested Jed Steer.

A cross from Roberts flashed millimetres from the studs of Oliver's boot while Terence Vancooten and Roberts sent a shot flashing just over the top.

Thompson had a drive inches wide too, hitting a camera by the post, while a glancing header  from Roberts also went wide.

There was two shouts for handball too, the first half-hearted but the second fairly vociferously.

Only a replay on TV showed there was a definite claim.

Posh had offered little going forward, Poku hitting an effort from distance into the arms of Taye Ashby-Hammond and and effort from Ricky-Jade Jones blocked by Carl Piergianni.

Ephron Mason-Clark had showed signs of trickery but until the 43rd minute, there had been no end product.

However, this time, as he got to the byline, he enticed Luther Wildin into a sliding tackle.

It was more to block the cross but the trailing leg of the defender inadvertently caught the forward and the penalty was given.

Burrows sent Ashby-Hammond the wrong way to give Posh an undeserved lead at the break.

If there hadn't been anything to bring Steer into direct action before the interval, three minutes into the second half the keeper was scrambling across to his left to claw out a Reid header.

It lacked power from Dan Butler's cross but was heading towards the corner until the keeper's intervention.

The home side were starting to slow the game down at every opportunity but they also started to find gaps as Boro began to think about more commitment forward.

Mason-Clark again got the better of Wildin but should have done better with the cross, Sweeney blocking the delivery.

Piergianni then made a great tackle inside the box but the home fans felt there had been a pull just before that.

Their mood though was improved just a few minutes as they doubled  their lead, catching Boro out completely from a defensive point of view.

Malik Mothersille made the run down the right and from the byline he pulled it back from right-back Katongo to come in unmarked, turning it into the net first time.

That really took the sting out of Stevenage and from there they looked demoralised, lacking any of the spark they had in the first period.

Four substitutions were designed to fire Boro back up but it didn't work, and instead Poku was given the freedom of London Road to turn in a cross from the left.

At that point Stevenage looked to have given up but they did stir and when a long throw from Nesta Guinness-Walker caused mayhem, Freeman passed the ball into the corner of the net.

Kane Hemmings then should have scored as the clock ticked into seven minutes of added time

And there was more pressure but no more goals.

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, Wildin, Butler (Guinness-Walker 74), Piergianni, Sweeney, Freeman, Roberts, Vancooten (Macdonald 82), Reid (List 74), B.Thompson (L.Thompson 74), Oliver (Hemmings 74).

Sub (not used): MacGillivray, Forster-Caskey.

Goals: Freeman 85



Peterborough United: Steer, Katongo (Clarke-Harris 88), Burrows, Edwards, Knight, Mason-Clark (Crichlow 88), Poku (De Havilland 82), Randall (Ajiboye 57), Jones (Mothersille 57), Kyprianou, Collins. 

Subs (not used): Bilokapic, Olakigbe.

Goals: Burrows (pen) 44, Katongo 64, Poku 77

Booked: Kyprianou 33, bench 51


HT: Peterborough United 1 Stevenage 0

Added time: 10

Referee: Carl Brook (Hastings)

Attendance: 7,504 (including 840 from Stevenage)