It’s Rodgers to the rescue as Blue Toon grab deserved draw

DUNFERMILNE'S LEWIS MARTIN CLIMBS ALL OVER RORY MCALLISTER
DUNFERMILNE'S LEWIS MARTIN CLIMBS ALL OVER RORY MCALLISTER
  • Peterhead manage to even score with Dunfermline
  • Fell behind in 18th minute
  • Andy Rodgers scored Toon’s only goal

Andy Rodgers struck a deserved 77th minute equaliser, to cancel out Michael Moffat’s first half header, to ensure a third consecutive 1-1 draw in meetings between the teams, who both trail fourth top Brechin by seven points with just four fixtures remaining.

Only a bizarre turn of events will see Peterhead extend their season but the fact they remain level on points with a full-time team like Dunfermline, the supposed favourites for the title, is an achievement in itself.

McInally made three changes to his side following their narrow defeat to leaders Stranraer the week before.

Rory McAllister returned after a back injury and Gary McDonald was also restored along with Nicky Riley. Rodgers, Ross Smith and David Cox made way.

However, Cox was needed after just 10 minutes due to hamstring problem picked up by Jamie Stevenson, which was an early setback for the Blue Toon.

In a further blow, they fell behind in the 18th minute through Moffat’s cushioned header. Ross Millen crossed from the right and Moffat nodded past Graeme Smith in off the far post.

There was further panic in the Peterhead defence when David Hopkirk burst down the left and smashed a low ball across goal, which broke into the path of Kyle McAusland but his effort was blocked behind for a corner.

Peterhead lacked punch in the first half but they started to land a few blows after the break, particularly when Rodgers and Jordon Brown were introduced from the bench.

McDonald twice went close in the space of a few minutes, first with a head-flick at the front post which needed to be cleared off the line and then he reacted first to a Rory McAllister backheel only to see his effort saved by the legs of visiting goalkeeper Ryan Scully.

The Pars were dangerously dropping further and further back and they paid the price with 13 minutes remaining.

PETERHEAD'S NICKY RILEY GETS AWAY FROM JOSH FALKINGHAM

PETERHEAD'S NICKY RILEY GETS AWAY FROM JOSH FALKINGHAM

Steven Noble held off his opponent to surge his way to the byline and then square across goal for Rodgers to sidefoot into the net from eight yards.

A couple of lucky breaks went the way of Dunfermline in the closing stages when Millen went unpunished for handling in the penalty area.

The ball clearly struck his hand but referee Nick Walsh deemed it unintentional.

Then Alex Whittle should have seen red for dragging Rodgers to the ground in a last man challenge but he escaped with a yellow card.

The Pars were dangerously dropping further and further back and they paid the price with 13 minutes remaining.

It would have been cruel on McInally’s men had Andy Geggan scored with a stoppage time header which flashed inches wide of the target but it finished all-square.

Peterhead are next in action on Saturday, away to Ayr Utd who are scrapping for points to avoid relegation.

The Blue Toon have found the going tough against the struggling sides in the division, indicated by recent defeats at Stenhousemuir and Stirling Albion.

However, their record against the Honest Men is impressive and a victory would keep alive their faintest of top-four hopes for another week at least.

PETERHEAD: Smith, kerr, Ross, Strachan, Noble, Dzierzawski, McDonald, Redman (Brown 70), Riley (Rodgers 62), McAllister, Stevenson (Cox 11).Subs (not used): Smith, Donaldson, Cowie, Jarvie.

DAVID COX HOLDS OFF ALEX WHITTLE

DAVID COX HOLDS OFF ALEX WHITTLE