Back in the running!

PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S MARTIN BAVIDGE HAS A POP AT GOAL
PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S MARTIN BAVIDGE HAS A POP AT GOAL

Peterhead recorded their first home win of 2013 to move back into a play-off place.

This was a good afternoon at the office for the Blue Toon as an outstanding display from the on fire Rory McAllister continued the fine away form of late and gave hope that a shot at promotion was still a possibility.

With McAllister in this sort of form and the defence continuing to look solid, there is fresh hope that a top four finish may well be achievable.

Having said that, the old failing of dominance without an end product that led to that poor home record since the turn of the year is still there and against more lethal opposition, Peterhead may well have had a less comfortable afternoon. The first half was all Peterhead but for all their possession and plenty of corner kick’s it was past the half hour mark before they threatened, Ryan Strachan scuffing a 20 yard shot beyond the left hand post. Two minutes later the lively David Cox had a shot saved by the leg of Alex Mitchell with McAllister going close from the resultant rebound.

Ten minutes before the break Jamie Redman had the ball in the net. A McAllister shot seemed to squirm out of the grasp of Redman and into the path of the alert Redman but the well placed officials saw a foul on the Keeper which few others inside Balmoor did and a free kick was awarded.

Five minutes into the second half McAllister was joined up front by Martin Bavidge who came on for Dean Cowie and his presence made all the difference.

The McAllister show continued almost from the restart with his run into the left side of the penalty area producing a square ball to Bryan Gilfillan who was denied by a point blank save from the busy Mitchell.

McAllister then tested Mitchell with a curling shot before he clipped over the perfect cross for Bavidge who contrived to head wide of an open goal from 6 yards out. However, their persistence paid off and the long awaited opener came after 70 minutes. A long punt upfield by home Keeper Graeme Smith was headed on by Bavidge. Annan defender Steven Swinglehurst slipped at the edge of the area allowing McAllister to run towards goal and round Mitchell and slip the ball into the empty net.

The game should comfortably have been over by the time Smith pulled off a magnificent save to claw the ball away from a Martin McNiff header in the 82nd minute and it was only in the dying moments that the game was truly safe as Graeme Sharp sprinted up the right wing before unleashing a low shot that Mitchell could only get a feeble touch on allowing McAllister to pounce and score with ease.

There is no room for complacency in the remaining games if Peterhead want to retain fourth spot and another three points are a must when strugglers East Stirling visit Balmoor on Saturday.

Peterhead - G Smith, Sharp, Noble, Ross, R Smith, Cowie (Bavidge 50), Cox (Rodgers 88), Redman ( McGlinchey 90), McAllister, Gilfillan, Strachan Unused: Jarvie, Alexander

Attendance: 483