Early woe for Toon

PETERHEAD V EAST FIFE'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S CALLUM MCDONALD CLEARS FROM AND  EAST FIFE'S  COLIN SAMUEL.
PETERHEAD V EAST FIFE'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S CALLUM MCDONALD CLEARS FROM AND EAST FIFE'S COLIN SAMUEL.

Goals in the first ten minutes of each half saw the visitors’ progress to the second Round of the Ramsdens Cup.

Manager Jim McInally expressed his fears that his side weren’t ready for competitive action, pre- match, and his prediction proved correct as Peterhead lacked the sharpness they needed, and will certainly require, ahead of tough games with Dundee and Rangers.

PETERHEAD V EAST FIFE'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S RORY MCALLISTER CELEBRATES HIS GOAL

PETERHEAD V EAST FIFE'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S RORY MCALLISTER CELEBRATES HIS GOAL

While fans at the Elgin v Arbroath game were treated to a 12-goal thriller, their Balmoor counterparts had a more subdued start to the season with chances at a premium.

The fact the man-of–the-match award went to a visiting player indicated the lack of an outstanding home player which was certainly the case.

Left back Steven Noble has a touch of class as does midfielder Scott McLaughlin with both looking what they are, players with experience at a higher level.

The Blue Toon started with Rory McAllister playing on his own up front and he was joined by subs, Robbie Winters and Martin Bavidge, on the hour mark soon after East Fife scored their decisive second goal. Although this throwing of the kitchen sink tactic saw a goal pulled back, the visitors comfortably held on. Peterhead started in encouraging fashion, McAllister being sent scampering clear after just 30 seconds but his tempting pass across the face of goal found no takers.

In the third minute a Ryan Strachan corner from the left was headed wide by defender Scott Ross.

The Fifers were rarely out of their own half in the first ten minutes but took the lead very much against the run of play.

Gareth Wardlaw made the most of what must have been minimal contact inside the penalty area and went flying in a manner that Hannah Miley would have been proud of. Scott McBride thumped home the spot kick. Five minutes later Graeme Sharp moved forward from an unfamiliar full back role to send a shot off the right hand post for the home side’s best chance of the half.

After a slow start, Gordon Durie’s troops came more into the match and could have extended their lead, first with a Sean Jamieson shot on the turn midway through the half then from a header by Trialist Colin Samuel that Sharp cleared off the line by the post.

A second goal by East Fife was always going to make it an uphill task and it duly arrived after 53 minutes, Samuel stooping to guide a header into the net from a left wing cross by Craig Johnstone.

The goal was soon followed by the introduction of Winters and Bavidge and 15 minutes from the end the Blue Toon pulled a consolation goal back. It was purely down to a blunder by keeper Michael Brown who dropped a Ross header following a Strachan corner and McAllister was on hand to thrash home the spilled ball from a yard out.

A 25-yarder from Strachan that flew narrowly over and a McAllister shot well saved one handed by Brown offered hope of extra time but even the most ardent home fan would have been hard pushed to argue that their side had earned it.

Next up is new SPL side Dundee in the League Cup on Tuesday night, 7.45pm kick-off.

PETERHEAD: Jarvie, Sharp, Noble, Scott Ross, MacDonald, Cowie, Strachan, Redman (Bavidge 58), McAllister, Deasley (Winters 58), McLaughlin. Subs (not used): McCallum, Kelly, McBain.

Attendance: 520