Pointless February leaves Blue Toon in precarious position

PETERHEAD FC 2010-2011'(DUNCAN BROWN)''GRAEME SHARP
PETERHEAD FC 2010-2011'(DUNCAN BROWN)''GRAEME SHARP

PETERHEAD are now at crisis point as Stenhousemuir moved within a point of the Blue Toon following the Warriors’ first league win in a month.

The Blue Toon’s winless streak is now of similar length, and shows how quickly things change in football.

PETERHEAD V DUMBARTON'(D BROWN)''PETERHEAD MANAGER NEALE COOPER LOOKS GLUM AS DUMBARTON EQUALISE.

PETERHEAD V DUMBARTON'(D BROWN)''PETERHEAD MANAGER NEALE COOPER LOOKS GLUM AS DUMBARTON EQUALISE.

Having endured a difficult first half of the season, things looked to be on the up at Balmoor after January saw them draw with SPL side St Mirren and away to Ayr United, and record convincing victories over league leaders Livingston and play-off hopefuls Alloa.

That seems a long time ago now, as a pointless February leaves them in a precarious position with no light at the end of the tunnel

Missing the suspended Davie Donald following the morale-sapping defeat against Dumbarton in midweek, Ryan Strachan was redeployed from the centre of midfield to cover at right-back, while Scott Ross, and Nicky Clark replaced Donald and Conor Gethins.

Captain Stuart Smith moved to left-back, with Stirling Smith in front of him, and Graeme Sharp on the right as Neale Cooper, whose position must surely now be under serious threat, looked for a winning combination.

This wasn’t to be it, and you feared the Blue Toon would crumble when Alex Williams curled an effort in off the post with the outside of his foot just before the half-hour.

Instead it sparked the visitors into life, and they levelled through Paul Emslie’s side-foot finish after a Martin Bavidge cutback, before Callum Macdonald headed home a Strachan free-kick.

Bavidge and Clark had chances to put clear air between Peterhead and their hosts, but in this topsy-turvy match the Blue Toon would contrive to go in at the interval behind.

Scott Dalziel brought the sides level again when he forced a save from Jon Bateman, only for the striker react first to bundle the ball over the line.

And on the stroke of half-time, the Peterhead defence were caught looking on as Grant Anderson drilled home from the edge of the area to put his side back in front.

Stenny sealed their victory two minutes from the end, with Dalziel’s fine build-up play allowing sub Simon Lynch to poke home from six yards.

This game extended Peterhead’s run to five without a league win, and with a disappointing defeat to Turriff United in the Aberdeenshire Shield on top of that, it’s hard to find any positives.

Cooper’s men have not won away from home all season and have another chance to rectify that at East Fife tonight (Tuesday), though they will be without winger Graeme Sharp, who misses out through work commitments.

PETERHEAD: Bateman,

Strachan, Stuart Smith (Moore, 46), S. Ross, Macdonald, Emslie, Sharp, D. Ross (Gethins, 76), Bavidge, Clark, Stirling Smith. Subs not used: Wyness,

McVitie, Jarvie (gk).

Attendance: 363