Peterhead FC: Rivals Annan blown away 3-1

SPFL 2'PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)' 'PETERHEAD'S RYAN STRACHAN CELEBRATES HIS OPENER WITH GRAEME SHARP
SPFL 2'PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)' 'PETERHEAD'S RYAN STRACHAN CELEBRATES HIS OPENER WITH GRAEME SHARP

Their best home performance of the season saw the Blue Toon take an eight point lead at the top of Division Two ahead of nearest challengers Annan.

From the positive backing the Show Racism the Red Card received before the match to the final whistle, this was a performance to be proud of and if this level of work rate and confidence can be produced regularly until the end of the season, the league title will be heading towards Balmoor.

SPFL 2'PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)' 'PETERHEAD KEEPERS GRAEME SMITH (L) AND PAUL JARVIE RAISE THE FLAG

SPFL 2'PETERHEAD V ANNAN ATHLETIC'(DUNCAN BROWN)' 'PETERHEAD KEEPERS GRAEME SMITH (L) AND PAUL JARVIE RAISE THE FLAG

Once again, goals early in both halves killed off any chance of Annan cutting the deficit at the top of the table and the hearty cheers the players received as they left the pitch showed the fans are right behind their side entering the final stages of the season.

With Scott Ross and Ross Smith back from suspension and Ryan McCann from his wedding, a strong line up wasted no time in imposing themselves on their far travelled visitors.

With the game barely eight minutes old, Steven Noble played a corner from the right to the edge of the penalty area and Ryan Strachan drilled a diagonally missile of a strike through a ruck of players and into the far corner.

Any hope of a comeback looked slim when the home side struck again with a top drawer finish from the mercurial Rory McAllister. The ball was played quickly forward to him from midfield by Bryan Gilfillan and the striker scored with a sublime chip from fully 25 yards perfectly weighted over the despairing grasp of Keeper Kenny Arthur.

With a third goal of the night looking likely for Peterhead, when it arrived and was scored by the visitors, an eerie silence descended such was the unexpectedness of a goal out of nothing.

A corner on the left led to a cross by Andy Mitchell which was headed in through a tight bunch of players via the underside of the crossbar with the last touch appearing to come off Scott Ross for an own goal.

Moments earlier it could have been 3 nil as Gilfillan’s under hit lob was cleared only as far as Andy Rodgers and his cross was volleyed wide by a well placed McAllister.

Dean Cowie could have scored with a delightful and unlucky chip over soon after the re-start which proceeded a bizarre sixty seconds of action.

First Noble raced into the penalty area and seemed to have been clearly brought down for a penalty kick. Not only was the decision not given but to the shock and utter amazement of everyone apart from Referee Matt Nortcroft, Noble was cautioned for simulation.

The full back was to reek his revenge soon after though. Determined to grab his goal, Noble was on hand 3 yards out to slide home a slick cutback from the byeline to the left of goal by McAllister and justice was done.

Strachan then went close with a half volley then McAllister headed over when it looked much easier to score.

At the other end Peterhead were given a late scare by Annan’s most dangerous player, Kenny Mackay, as he first struck the ball off the inside of the left hand post then the rebound into the side netting.

Peterhead - Smith, Sharp, Noble, Smith, Ross, Cowie , Rodgers (McCann 88) Redman, McAllister (McLaren 83), Gilfillan (Brown 86), Strachan

Unused; Jarvie, Richardson, McGlinchey, Low

Ref – Matt Northcroft

Attnd – 607