New manager, same old story for Peterborough, though Mark Cooper was entitled to the opti-mism he expressed after Henri Camara's first goal for Sheffield United decided his first game as Darren Ferguson's successor with the Championship's bottom club.
Ten defeats in 17 matches may not augur well for the new-comer from Kettering, but the son of the former Leeds and England defender Terry Cooper saw enough to reaffirm his view that Peterborough can avoid returning to League One. It might have been so different if his captain, George Boyd, had not seen a 65th-minute penalty saved by Mark Bunn; the on-loan Blackburn keeper had researched which side Boyd had placed his three previous spot-kicks this season.
"We're not going to criticise George, because he'll win us lots more points than he costs us," Cooper said. "Their goal came at the wrong time for us, just before half-time, after we'd weathered the storm. But after that we had them penned in and definitely deserved a point."
The result brought welcome respite for the Blades and their manager, Kevin Blackwell, who had not tasted victory since beating Wednesday in the derby two months earlier. His satisfaction was compounded by the fact that injuries and suspensions forced him to give full debuts to two players, Lee Williamson and Camara.
The Senegalese striker, deputising for the banned Darius Henderson, was a week away from the anniversary of his last League goal when he converted the loose ball after Joe Lewis parried Ched Evans' shot following a fine build-up between Kyle Walker and Jamie Ward. Earlier, Evans had shaken the crossbar, so Sheffield were good value for their lead.
Peterborough's revival looked set to deliver an equaliser when Andrew Davies felled Craig Mackail-Smith. Bunn's agility thwarted them, yet Cooper remained resolutely upbeat. "The stadiums are better, the players are better," he said of his step up from the Blue Square North. "I really enjoyed it."