Forfar come flying out of traps but Toon stick in

Action from the Peterhead game against Forfar
Action from the Peterhead game against Forfar
  • Peterhead 3-2 Forfar
  • Gavin Swankie puts visitors ahead early on
  • Stevenson and Rodgers score before break
  • Denholm levels late on for ten man Forfar
  • Gary McDonald scores winner 5 minutes from end

Despite going behind to an early Gavin Swankie goal, Peterhead fought hard to claim a 3-2 home win, preventing Forfar going top and keeping themselves in the play-off race.

Boss Jim McInally was understandably disappointed to go behind as early as the 2nd minute but it was the nature of the goal that was most annoying for the Peterhead boss.

Forfar won a free kick just inside the Peterhead half and rather than whip the ball into the back post for their two towering centre backs, Derek Young played a low through ball to Swankie at the front of the box who was unmarked.

The former Dundee man then turned and curled an excellent right foot shot past Graeme Smith and into the far corner of the net.

Five minutes later and Swankie was at it again, shooting a carbon copy of the first goal but this time he couldn’t find the corner and fired the ball down the neck of Smith making it easy for the Toon stopper.

The two teams traded possession for the next 20 minutes with only Gavin Malin for Forfar having any real attempt, shooting over the bar from the edge of the area.

We got our two goals deservedly in the first half, then we lost another goal to a set piece and our heads could have easily gone down but we came back again and that’s all credit to the players.

Jim McInally

Peterhead had an excellent chance to level the match 25 minutes in when after keeping the pressure on the Forfar box, Jamie Stevenson beat two players on the edge of the area to brake towards the six yard line.

Stevenson then cut a pass across the face of goal but nobody on either team could get a touch and the ball rolled out on the other side of the park.

Peterhead’s attacking players didn’t look on the same wave length for most of the first half and this showed after good initial play between Andy Rodgers and David Cox played Cox through on goal.

The Toon winger then cut inside of experienced Forfar keeper Rab Douglas before rounding the ex-Scotland international but this gave the visiting defenders time to work back and instead of shooting Cox rolled the ball to Rodgers on the edge of the box whose shot went sailing wide of the near post.

With the half winding down Forfar looked good to take their lead into the break but 38 minutes in the tables turned.

Steven Noble had a free kick from 25 yards out which caused problems in the Forfar defence, the visitors could only clear the ball as far as Jamie Redman who took it down to his feet before firing past Douglas and into the net from a tight angle.

Then only two minutes later Peterhead had the lead. Jamie Stevenson provided the cross from the left channel and Andy Rodgers clanging header left Douglas with no chance as his side would go into the break trailing.

Both teams made changes early in the second half and on the hour mark it was one of Peterhead’s subs, Rory McAllister who took the first opportunity when he got on the end of a curled Gary McDonald cross but could only find the side netting with his close range, narrow angle shot.

Tempers began to flair soon after and when Stuart Malcolm slid in dangerously on Andy Rodgers the ref went for yellow. The colour of the card would change however, after words between Rodgers and Malcolm lead to the Forfar centre back striking Rodgers in the face. A Clear case of Violent conduct and a straight red card.

This caused problems for Forfar as the introduction of the lively Rory McAllister continued to cause them problems and 75 minutes in it was Jamie Redman who cut the ball back to McAllister who then played it to Gary McDonald as the former Aberdeen midfielder lashed a shot over the bar from 18 yards.

Then came the sucker punch for Peterhead 80 minutes in. An Ian Campbell free kick was met inside the box by substitute Danny Denholm as the players powerful header left Smith with no chance.

10 man Forfar looked to have salvaged a draw but Peterhead refused to accept this and with 5 minutes of time left they hit the back of the net to claim all three points.

A Steven Noble corner was floated high and towards the back post where Jamie Redman would meet it and head it back across goal for Gary McDonald to pick up and smash into the net from close range.

Toon boss Jim McInally was pleased with how his side recovered after looking so poor in the early stages: “We had a horrific start to the game, especially the first 10 minutes when we were really poor.

“I was particularly angry at the goal because we keep going on about set pieces and I had told them how good a player Gavin Swankie was before the game and how he loves to cut onto his right foot.

“We were too busy organising for the bigger guys at the back post and we switched off to their best player.

“Then we were all over the place for a while, but the one thing we have got is a lot of guts and after the first twenty minutes we went on to control a lot of the game.

“We got our two goals deservedly in the first half, then we lost another goal to a set piece and our heads could have easily gone down but we came back again and that’s all credit to the players.”

Forfar boss Dick Campbell however, felt that his side did not deserve to be behind at half time.

“For the first 20 minutes we had a lot of chances but then we just stopped playing, and we’ve been guilty of that.

“I couldn’t believe how we lost the two goals defensively, you wouldn’t have thought they would be leading 2-1 at half time after the way we started the game.

“The sending off almost finished the game for us and then we got back into it with a fantastic goal but we were guilty again.

“The balls came to the back post and we’ve not dealt with it.

“At the end of the day it’s a sore one to take but I think Peterhead deserved to win the game and we don’t have any excuses, all credit to them they’ve won the game and got themselves back in with a chance of making the play-offs.”