Share of the spoils at Shielfield Park

For the second time in a matter of days, Peterhead had to make do with a share of the points, but bringing back a point from Saturday’s trip to Berwick will have been welcomed given the poor away form of Jim McInally’s side.

But goalkeeper Graeme Smith will want to forget the mistake that allowed Darren Lavery to level after captain Scott McLaughlin had given Peterhead the lead.

With just one away win all season, Peterhead restored Martin Bavidge to the starting eleven in place of Robbie Winters, and recent signing Ryan McCann found a place on the bench.

And it was the Blue Toon who were first to threaten, Rory McAllister heading narrowly wide.

In midweek, David Cox had netted his first Peterhead goal following his loan move from Alloa Athletic, and the ex-Kilmarnock and Annan striker went looking for a second in as many games, only to see an effort blocked inside the area.

Cox again threatened soon after, and his close-range drew Berwick goalkeeper Youssef Bejaoui into action, but the goalkeeper was equal to the effort.

McInally’s men had looked the better side, and deservedly took the lead after 25 minutes. McLaughlin found the bottom corner of the net after Rory McAllister’s neat turn and pass had provided the opportunity.

And McAllister himself came close to putting daylight between the sides as he sent a second half free-kick narrowly over the crossbar.

The home side had provided little to concern Smith in the Blue Toon goal, their closest effort having been a Steven Notman header which the striker could not put on target.

But just before the hour, the former Rangers and St Mirren goalkeeper was left clutching at air as he dropped a Dean Hoskins corner, and Lavery reacted first to fire the ball home from close range.

That provided the home side with a much-needed boost, and they improved dramatically.

Smith went some way to redemption as he spread himself to touch a powerful long-range dtive from Lavery wide of the post, the midfielder having struck from all of 25 yards.

The Peterhead defence held firm though, and restricted their hosts to one further long-range effort from Kevin McDonald, but the ex-Airdrie man saw his strike fade wide of the upright.

McCann was handed a late debut from the bench and was one of four Peterhead players to pick up a booking, but McInally will be hoping the experience the former Queen of the South and St Johnstone man can bring will help what is still a relatively young side through the coming weeks.

The draw leaves the Blue Toon three points adrift of the playoff places, a situation the manager will no doubt be looking to rectify when Annan visit Balmoor this coming Saturday.

PETERHEAD: G. Smith, Cowie, Noble, R. Smith, Ross, Strachan, Cox, Redman, McAllister (Winters 89), Bavidge (McCann 76) McLaughlin. Subs not used: Deasley, Maguire, Jarvie (gk)

Attendance: - 396w