Brown’s late goal secures point for Blue Toon

Brechin City's Paul McLean strikes a shot which secured a goal for the home team
Brechin City's Paul McLean strikes a shot which secured a goal for the home team

Some late drama, this time in favour of Peterhead, saw them fight back to grab a point from the jaws of defeat.

Without several key players, the Blue Toon looked to be heading for another defeat after suffering heartbreak in the dying moment against Morton the previous week, but a devastating attack that saw a pin point cross and a brave header gained them a battling point.

On their previous visit, Peterhead had won by 2 nil to reach the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup but a tougher task was expected and indeed proved to be the case.

The visitors were missing the injured Ryan McCann and Fraser McLaren whilst Dean Cowie made it onto the bench and Reece Donaldson was fit to start.

Rory McAllister was banned after his red card late in the Morton game and predictably his presence was missed.

David Cox worked hard without looking at his best and the returning Mark Millar was a disappointment, rarely in the game and looking far from match fit.

Two stand out performers though were Keeper Graeme Smith and midfielder Jamie Stevenson.

Smith pulled off several crucial saves, none more so than from a penalty whilst Stevenson looks a shrewd acquisition by Jim McInally, always capable of producing the unexpected and deadly from a free kick.

A free flowing first half produced chances but surprisingly no goals.

It was the visitors who were fastest out of the blocks, Andy Rodgers laying the ball into the path of Stevenson in the 3rd minute and his 25 yard rocket was tipped over by the other Graeme Smith in the Brechin goal.

The Blue Toon were playing with confidence and Rodgers should have done better with a header from a Graeme Sharp cross before he could have had a penalty as half time approached when he went down in the box but failed to impress referee Des Roache who possibly felt his fall to the turf was a bit on the theatrical side.

The official was more impressed ten minutes before the break when City were awarded a penalty when Sharp caught Callum Tapping but Smith pulled off a magnificent save, diving far to his right to save Andy Jackson’s well struck shot.

Tapping, on loan from Hearts, looked a class act when on the ball but it was Bobby Barr who could have given Brechin the lead in the 16th minute but Smith saved well with his foot.

The second half was only four minutes old when the home side did take the lead and it was a personal disaster for the normally reliable former City player Jamie Redman.

He completely missed his clearance from a Tapping free kick and the ball fell to Paul McLean fired home the opener.

Barr hit the bar as Brechin threatened to extend their lead but Peterhead fought back lead by Stevenson who just failed to pick out Ross Smith from a well drilled free kick before he forced a superb save from Smith with a 30 yard free kick in the 72nd minute.

McInally threw on all three substitutes and one of them, Jordan Brown, was to net the crucial equaliser four minutes from the end.

It was from a perfectly delivered cross from the right wing by Sharp and Brown showed his bravery by flinging himself through a ruck of City defenders to bullet a header past Smith for a hard fought and well deserved point.

On Saturday Cup fever hits Balmoor as the Blue Toon host Livingston in the quarter finals of the Petrofac Training Challenge Cup.

Peterhead : Smith, Sharp, Noble, Smith (Cowie 60), Ross, Donaldson, Cox (Brown 77), Redman, Rodgers, Stevenson, Millar (Gilfillan 84). Subs (unused): Jarvie, Richardson, Strachan.

Attendance: 465