Toon’s winless run continues with goalless draw

SCOTTISH LEAGUE ONE
ALBION ROVERS V PETERHEAD
(DUNCAN BROWN)

PETERHEAD'S RORY MCALLISTER GETS AWAY FROM KEVIN MCCANN
SCOTTISH LEAGUE ONE ALBION ROVERS V PETERHEAD (DUNCAN BROWN) PETERHEAD'S RORY MCALLISTER GETS AWAY FROM KEVIN MCCANN

Peterhead extended their winless run to seven matches with a goalless draw at fellow strugglers Albion Rovers.

The Blue Toon will feel hard done by after finding themselves on the wrong side of a couple of contentious decisions late in the match.

SCOTTISH LEAGUE ONE
ALBION ROVERS V PETERHEAD
(DUNCAN BROWN)

PETERHEAD'S JAMIE STEVENSON GETS AWAY FROM ROSS DUNLOP

SCOTTISH LEAGUE ONE ALBION ROVERS V PETERHEAD (DUNCAN BROWN) PETERHEAD'S JAMIE STEVENSON GETS AWAY FROM ROSS DUNLOP

Nevertheless, the point could prove valauble come May, with McInally’s men perched precariously above their ninth-placed opponents by a single points.

Rovers have two matches in hand, the first of which is a difficult-looking away tie on Tuesday against Barry Smith’s high-flying East Fife.

McInally made three changes to the side that lost narrowly to Brechin – Rory McAllister, Michael McMullin and Ryan Strachan coming in for Steven Noble, Nicky Reilly and Jordon Brown.

They lined-up in an unfamiliar shape to combat Albion’s aerial ability, stationing the two young loanees Liam Gordon and Michael McMullin either side of the experienced Craig Reid in defence.

The trio was immense in reducing Rovers to minimal opportunities, securing the club’s first clean sheet in seven matches.

In fact, since Reid joined following a stint in Iceland, the former Motherwell defender has played in 180 minutes in which just a solitary goal has been conceded. Before that the Toon had shipped 12 goals in their previous five.

A turgid first half was light on chances as both sides struggled to cope with the muddy Cliftonhill surface that had passed a pitch inspection earlier in the day.

The busy Theo Archibald threatened on several occasions and saw his shot well saved after a lay-off from Ryan Wallace, while it took a last-ditch tackle from Gary Fisher to deny Anderson at the other end.

Another notable chance saw Reid deny Archibald a clear shot at goal with a well-executed slide.

The second half was slightly more eventful, though more for its controversy than any enterprising football.

After McMullin’s goal-line clearance from Ross Dunlop’s effort, and after McInally had freshened things up with a triple substitution and a switch to a back four, Peterhead began to dominate and were unfortunate not to gain any advantage from two controversial decisions from referee Stephen Finnie.

The first of which saw McAllister – involved in both and returning from suspension – felled outside the area after rounding Albion goalkeeper Ross Stewart.

With the Peterhead bench screaming for a red, the officials deemed it worthy of a caution.

That had occurred with around five minutes remaining and was followed by McAllister appeared to be tripped, this time inside the area, but play was waved on.

It was the third draw between the sides this season, with Peterhead winning the other fixture, and it leaves both a point further ahead of bottom club Stenhousemuir who lost at Airdrie.

Peterhead’s next match is against Stranraer on Saturday, march 25.

It’s another important game in the bottom half of the league at Stranraer have just one point more.