A Rory McAllister double saw Peterhead grab all three points with a narrow but deserved victory over a Montrose side who might have taken something had they been more lethal in front of goal, writes Jim Irvine.
It was a Blue Toon line up minus several first choice starters with Ryan Strachan lining up but lasting only 18 minutes before his ankle injury got the better of him.
The Peterhead challenge from now to the end of the season will be to finish as high as they can, with 5th looking realistic if they are able to produce results like this.
McAllister is a man in form at the moment and it was he who gave the Blue Toon a 9th minute lead. Davie Donald sent over an exquisite cross from the right wing and the striker rose to bullet his 17th league goal of the season into the roof of the net.
Donald looked to have scored a rare goal five minutes earlier, netting at the back post but his joy was short lived as the main stand linesman’s flag immediately went up.
McAllister could have had hat rick by half time as saw a shot fly over from a tight angle before failing to reproduce his goal with a header that was centimetres over the crossbar.
Montrose always looked a danger and half chances for Jamie Winter via a free kick, an effort that drifted beyond the far post from Scott Johnstone and a shot by the ever dangerous Martin Boyle that stung the hands of Ray Jellema could easily have sent the Gable Endies in at the break in a more comfortable position.
However, the visitors drew level ten minutes after half time and it was a simple goal with Johnstone cutting the ball back to Jonathan Crawford to finish with a crisp shot.
Montrose were on the ascendency for a spell after the equaliser but the game was turned on its head in the 65th minute with what proved to be the winner.
A shot from Russell Duncan was firmly struck but shouldn’t have troubled Mike Andrews but the keeper fumbled the low shot and McAllister kept his cool to drag the ball back before clipping it into the empty net with a trademark clinical finish.
The margin of victory could have been greater as Sponsors man-of-the-match Martin Bavidge twice went close first with a header then a shot after neat build up play with McAllister, both of which were deflected wide for corners.
Another good three points after the victory at Hampden and if Jim McNally’s depleted side can get some rare consistency going then a positive end to the season may well be on the cards.
PETERHEAD: JELLEMA, DONALD, MCBAIN, SCOTT ROSS, MACDONALD, STRACHAN (WEBSTER18), (ROBERTSON64), SMITH, REDMAN, MCALLISTER, BAVIDGE DUNCAN, SUBS NOT USED – JARVIE, WYNESS