James Hill showed his promise again as Fleetwood were edged out by promotion hopefuls Peterborough

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A Jonson-Clarke Harris winner gave Peterborough all three points over Fleetwood, but it is James Hill that is the name on people’s lips after this one.

Simon Grayson has sought to transform the Cod Army’s aspirations following the departure of Joey Barton and it is showing in their endeavour and style of play.

The hosts put on a tireless high press throughout this game and in spells they took control as Posh lacked the clinical edge in the final third.

Most of Fleetwood’s joy came on the left-hand side with Danny Andrew occupying the last man in the wide areas awaiting a switch of play to find him in behind.

Kyle Vassell struggled to impose himself as a target man, unlike his counterpart Clarke-Harris, with Posh’s centre halves sweeping up well, although he did have a couple of opportunities.

But the main man to stand out was James Hill.

Hill is still only 19 years old, having made his debut for Fleetwood in 2018 aged 16, making him the youngest ever first team player at the time and it is clear to see why.

His reading of the game and composure on the ball makes him look like an experienced figurehead in that backline and his understanding with Callum Connolly has enabled him to have a platform to build from.

With three aerials won and three successful tackles he gave Fleetwood the confidence to take more risks in their attacking play, pushing further up the field knowing that Hill would be available to sweep up when required.

It is that solid foundation that Grayson has tended to have to build in his previous jobs, but at Fleetwood the base is already there, and it allows him to experiment with more attacking freedom, something unique to his recent teams.

Hill was the main man for the Cod army in their recent draw with near neighbours Blackpool, again providing a commanding aerial presence to deal with long balls, as well as a composure to play out from the back.

It is the versatility of his play that makes him such a bright talent.

His intelligence off the ball allows him to always take up the right position in defensive phases, but also allows him to read potential interceptions.

He is happy to sit off and deal with aerial balls, whilst also aggressively pressing to put in a tackle to intercept during the build-up play also.

Alongside that, he is more than able to go in for a 50/50 on the ground, as he showed halting a promising Dan Butler attacking move on the left-hand side.

The vision that he shows in his on the ball work is key to his success too.

On a number of occasions in this game Fleetwood wanted to quickly get the ball up the field into Kyle Vassell and at times it looked aimless, but Hill never once got his dimensions wrong.

He picked out inch perfect direct balls that landed in a promising area, but he also played risky infield passes to allow his side to break the initial press and drive forward through Jordan Rossiter or Dan Batty.

All in all, Hill looks the real deal at this level and at this age.

It is clear to see why he is so highly rated on the Fylde Coast and there is no doubt that should these types of performances continue, he will see his stock rise immeasurably.

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