Gibson relishes wonder free kick

Willie Gibson after scoring his ultra-long range free kick (picture by Duncan Brown).
Willie Gibson after scoring his ultra-long range free kick (picture by Duncan Brown).

Peterhead’s Willie Gibson said his 40-yards-plus free kick, which concluded the scoring at Central Park on Saturday, was entirely intentional.

The 67th-minute effort sealed a 4-2 victory for the Blue Toon, who had trailed 2-1 at half time.

Having established it would be a direct free kick, Gibson said referee Grant Irvine had expressed surprise that he was considering a shot.

But the Peterhead player had noticed Cowdenbeath ‘keeper David McGurn was standing off his line and did not appear to be marshalling the defence.

“When I saw where he was standing, I thought why not have a pot?” he said.

“It’s probably the furthest I have scored from and it set us up nicely for the run-in in the last 20 minutes, because that gave us the cushion.

“After that, I think Cowdenbeath chased shadows for a bit.”

The 34-year-old said he thought Peterhead were unlucky to be behind at half time and admitted he was at fault for Cowdenbeath’s opening goal, so the free kick had hopefully made up for it.

Peterhead were delighted to have taken so many chances, while four different scorers highlighted their goal potential.

“For a League Two team to have the likes of Derek (Lyle) and Rory (McAllister) and bring in Ryan (Dow) from Ross County – we have lots of firepower,” said Gibson. “We always said if we keep it tight at the back and don’t make mistakes, we will win games and, although there were a couple of mistakes today, we still had the firepower to win.”

Victory on the road would give the Blue Toon confidence for this weekend’s return to Balmoor to play Berwick Rangers, who lost 3-0 at home to Elgin City on Saturday.

“The manager said before game it was important to get back to winning ways,” explained Gibson.

“We lost to Edinburgh City, then to Bohemians. That was a cup game, a one-off, something different. But it counts as a loss nonetheless and, if that sets in, it can be difficult.

“But we showed character today, and confidence – it’s a buzzing changing room. There’s no lack of confidence in there.

“Cowdenbeath are a lot better than they were last year – Gary Bollan has done good things here. They make it difficult, it’s a tight park, they want to battle, they want to win the physical side of things.

“I think they wanted in the first half to kind of intimidate us and get in our faces but, when we got that early goal in the second half, we knew we were going to win the game.”

Manager Jim McInally said the free kick effort would almost certainly boost Gibson’s confidence and added: “Willie has got that in his locker.”