Goals early and late in the match gained Peterhead another valuable and hard fought win and a ten point lead at the top of Division Two, writes Jim Irving.
With 36 points still to play for, top spot certainly isn’t in the bag yet but with a tight defensive unit and options available in attack, things are looking promising for the Blue Toon.
On a day when the weather again had a big say in the proceedings, the home side made full use of the wind in the first half and weathered the inevitable onslaught from Clyde after the break to run out worthy winners.
With Dean Cowie still absent with a broken toe, it was Peterhead who made all the early running and they made an ideal start with the opener before the game was three minutes old.
A careless clearance from Bully Wee left back Brian McQueen sent the ball straight to Jordan Brown. His cushioned volley forward was perfectly weighted into the path of Andy Rodgers who struck the ball first time from a couple of yards inside the penalty area and past a helpless Jamie Barclay.
With the elements on their side, it should have been 2-0 20 minutes later. Rory McAllister played the ball down the right touchline to Graeme Sharp and his low cross found Jamie Redman.
The midfielder hit his shot aiming for just inside the far post but the ball faded just wide.
On the half hour Ross Smith sent a long ball forward which McAllister controlled on her chest but his delicate chip from the edge of the penalty area floated agonisingly over.
Just before half time Rodgers looked set to bag his brace from another Sharp pass but Barclay made a timely block with his body and the visitors took a fortunate, single goal deficit into the break.
With the bracing wind at their backs, it was Clyde who predictably dominated the second half and went close to equalising four minutes after the re-start when John Sweeney was denied when Graeme Smith leapt across the face of his goal to push the ball clear for a corner kick with a superb save.
On the hour, substitute Stefan McCluskey looked set to score at the near post but Smith again came to the rescue, this time saving with his legs.
With the Blue Toon hanging on, they had the ball in the net with ten minutes to go with a rare attack. A Steven Noble free kick from the left wing was headed goalwards by Smith but although Redman bundled the ball over the line, the Assistants’ flag went up compounded by McAllister jumping into Barclay and sending the keeper sprawling into the net.
After 86 minutes Peterhead scored a real smash and grab goal with lightening efficiency. The move began near their own corner flag with a Clyde throw in which Redman won back before sliding the ball down the line to McAllister who in turn fed Fraser McLaren with a perfectly weighted pass. The substitute sprinted clear running half the length of the pitch before tucking the ball low past Barclay for as clinical a goal on the break as you will see.
On Saturday the Blue Toon head for Coatbridge to take on Scottish Cup heroes Albion Rovers, minus the suspended Rory McAllister, before an enticing home double header against play-off challengers East Stirlingshire then second placed Annan Athletic.
Some exciting weeks lie ahead for Balmoor’s finest.
Peterhead - Smith, Sharp, Noble, Smith, Ross, Brown (McCann), Rodgers (McLaren), Redman, McAllister, Gilfillan (McGlinchey), Strachan.
Unused - Jarvie, Richardson, Alexander
Referee – Des Roache
Attendance – 511