Time to ‘stand up and be counted’ says McInally

SCOTTISH LEAGUE ONE
PETERHEAD V ALBION ROVERS
(DUNCAN BROWN)

PETERHEAD'S JAMIE STEVENSON HOLDS OFF  ROSS GILMOUR
SCOTTISH LEAGUE ONE PETERHEAD V ALBION ROVERS (DUNCAN BROWN) PETERHEAD'S JAMIE STEVENSON HOLDS OFF ROSS GILMOUR

A draw which was of little use to either side was the outcome of a game that means Peterhead are nervously looking down rather than up in Division One.

The promise after an impressive win over Queens Park at Balmoor was soon dispelled with a crushing 4-1 loss at Airdrie meaning a win against Albion was really required to keep their promotion play-off hopes alive.

Simon Ferry was rested due to his ongoing back injury but the good news was the debut of Liam Gordon, their on-loan defender from St Johnstone.

Rory McAllister had a decent chance inside the first two minutes but his six yard header from a right wing cross by Grant Anderson was held high up by keeper Ross Stewart.

Albion should have taken the lead after 13 minutes, Calum Ferguson turning 8 yards out but seeing his low shot take a slight deflection and out for a corner when it should have been buried in the bottom corner of the net.

The home side had a glorious chance to break the deadlock in the 20th minute, a Jamie Stevenson corner kick from the left found the unmarked Scott Ross but his unchallenged header went wide of the right hand post.

The Blue Toon deservedly went in front after 37 minutes. Scott Brown played the ball forward but Albion defender Mick Dunlop seemed to be in control of the situation until he dithered and in nipped Rory McAllister to dispossess him and coolly slip the ball low into the bottom corner from an angle.

The second half began with Peterhead stringing together a series of neat passes that took them into the visitors’ box but Brown slid the ball wide after McAllister slipped the ball inside to the midfielder.

But it was the visitors who leveled with their first shot on target after 56 minutes, Ross Davidson squaring into the six yard box for Ross Stewart to side foot home.

Theo Archibald, on loan from Celtic, tested home keeper Graeme Smith from 30 yards but he saved well diving to his left as Rovers went for a winner.

Stewart should have scored again in the 82nd minute but Smith bravely blocked his shot whilst at the other end namesake substitute Alan Smith had a shot straight at Keeper Stewart saved.

Next up is the long trek to fellow strugglers Stranraer with a win or at least a draw essential to give the Blue Toon some breathing space above the bottom two.

Speaking after the match, Peterhead manager Jim McInally said: “I thought we were well in front in the first half without really creating much and they were the better team in the second half.

“Both teams went for it but our reaction when things go against us isn’t good enough and nervousness creeps in.

“We don’t have much experience at the back and with Scott Ross and Steven Noble struggling we had to make changes and that wasn’t ideal.

“We really need to show more desire to defend our goal and I don’t know how many soft goals we have lost at home this season like that.

“It isn’t good enough and happens to often, with twelve games to go it’s about time they stand up and be counted.”