Weather - and pathetic display - dampens Blue Toon fans’ spirit

PETERHEAD V DUMBARTON'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S NICKY CLARK CHALLENGES FOR THE BALL WITH DUMBARTON'S  ANDY GEGGAN.
PETERHEAD V DUMBARTON'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S NICKY CLARK CHALLENGES FOR THE BALL WITH DUMBARTON'S ANDY GEGGAN.

A GLANCE at the Division Two league standings after this defeat does not make pleasant viewing for anyone associated with Peterhead Football Club.

Third from bottom, the team without an away win all season face three consecutive matches on the road, two of them against the teams directly below them. The outcome of these games will go a long way to deciding if the Blue Toon will be involved in the relegation play-offs.

The temptation is to say they have too many good players to go down but this match once again illustrated that certainly isn’t the case and, as has been the case so often this season, below par performances from so many is simply not good enough.

This was a must win game for Peterhead but after equalising, it was Dumbarton who raised their game and thoroughly deserved the victory that moved the side that looked favourites to go down not so long ago, into a mid-table position.

The ferocious wind and driving rain which were at the backs of the home side in the first half gave them an attacking advantage and the first 45 minutes was a tale of free kicks.

Several players took it in turns to pepper the Sons goal. Graeme Sharp and Martin Bavidge were the main culprits, shooting with varying degrees of accuracy but the solid frame of goalkeeper Stephen Grindlay never looked like being beaten, especially with shots that more often than not went straight at him.

Predictably Dumbarton took heart and took the lead with their first shot of note after 25 minutes. An Andy Geggan shot was deflected out for a corner kick on the right. This was taken by Jordan Halsman and in the ensuing mayhem Ryan McStay stabbed the loose ball home from close in.

Peterhead made an encouraging start to the second half levelling within four minutes. Again it was from a corner kick on the right of goal. Stirling Smith sent the ball over, Scott Ross headed on and Stuart Smith slid in to score.

Cue a siege on the visitor’s goal in search of a winner, or so we thought but in fact it was the Sons who created the chances that could have seen them score again.

Pat Walker sent a shot crashing off the crossbar then headed over when it seemed easier to score. Sandwiched in between those chances Halsman shot wide at the back post.

The pressure finally told twelve minutes from the end. Jon McShane received the ball with his back to goal at the edge of the penalty area and turned before sending a fine shot curling low into the right corner for his third goal in four games.

That was game over and as the visitors celebrated with the travelling band of supporters at the end, the Peterhead players trudged disconsolately towards the tunnel, heads bowed.

Timing is everything in football and Dumbarton now look to have a head of steam that may well propel them to an unlikely promotion play-off spot if they keep this run going.

The Blue Toon players had better have a long hard look at themselves and the League table and realise they will be heading in the opposite direction if they do not decide to show considerably more commitment than this latest pathetic display as damp as the torrential rain that did not help the spirits of their long suffering fans.

PETERHEAD: Bateman, Donald, Stirling Smith (Moore 70), Stuart Smith, Scott Ross, McVitie (Emslie 61), Sharp, Wyness (Clark 78), Bavidge, Strachan, David Ross. Subs (not used): Jarvie,

MacDonald.

ATTENDANCE: 388