Professional display from Toon

SCOTTISH CUP'PETERHEAD V NAIRN COUNTY'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S MARTIN BAVIDGE CELEBRATES HIS OPENER WITH RORY McALLISTER.
SCOTTISH CUP'PETERHEAD V NAIRN COUNTY'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S MARTIN BAVIDGE CELEBRATES HIS OPENER WITH RORY McALLISTER.

Take a side struggling towards the foot of the third division and mix in the Highland League leaders and you have a recipe for a cup shock.

That was certainly the view of many Peterhead fans ahead of this tie but a thoroughly professional display by Jim McInally’s men ensured this potential banana skin never became a reality.

Aaron Conway broke his wrist in midweek and was missing along with Allan Rattray but on the plus side, Jamie Redman made a welcome return to midfield.

The game was effectively over by half time with the Blue Toon two goals ahead. The opener came after 12 minutes. Bryan Deasley had an outstanding match and he was the architect teeing up the ball with a clipped cross from the byeline to the left of goal and Martin Bavidge had only to rise and nod home from a yard out.

The conclusive second came in the 25th minute. Man-of-the-match Davie Donald did the spade work this time, overlapping into the right side of the penalty area and it was his square pass to Bavidge that saw the striker nab his brace with a sidefoot into the empty net.

Nairn certainly didn’t disgrace themselves and showed why they were having such a successful season.

However, there was little evidence that they could score themselves and when former Peterhead striker Conor Gethins limped off ten minutes before half time, having started the game carrying an injury, you felt their chance of springing a surprise had gone.

Another Blue Toon old boy, Steve Mackay, started well spraying passes around from midfield, but he soon faded and with Nairn’s other dangerman, Robbie Duncanson, largely anonymous, a comeback looked beyond them.

Rory McAllister had a couple of chances in the first period but he came even closer a minute after the re-start, curling a shot inches beyond the far post.

That chance was followed minutes later by a Ryan Strachan free kick that crashed off the crossbar.

At the other end Nairn substitute Gregg Main almost grabbed a glorious consolation goal 10 minutes from the end but his ferocious shot hit the crossbar from distance.

So, all associated with the club will eagerly await the third round draw but in the meantime it’s back to league business with a trip to leaders Annan on the cards.

A similar approach to the victory over Nairn, boosted by a surge in confidence, will hopefully see the start of a recovery that there were signs of on Saturday.

PETERHEAD: Jellema, Donald, Deasley, Wood, MacDonald, Redman, Wyness (Sharp 67), Strachan, McAllister, Bavidge (D. Ross 77), S. Ross. Subs: Jarvie, Davidson, Sellars.

Attendance 625