Late penalty sees Stenny leave with all three points


A see-saw encounter between third place Peterhead and fourth spot Stenhousemuir ended with the visitors taking full points and joining the Blue Toon on 22 points behind Montrose and leaders Stirling Albion.

The omens didn’t auger well for the home side having only taken a single point from their five previous meetings and despite chances and a good shout for a penalty not going their way, the Warriors were worth their win as Peterhead’s indifferent home performances continued.

On the back of four consecutive victories, Peterhead welcomed back central defender David McCracken from injury and he was involved as the visitors took the game to their hosts in the early stages.

However, it was Peterhead who had the first pop at goal in the seventh minute, a fierce Jack Leitch shot from 16 yards bravely blocked.

But Stenhousemuir broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. Blue Toon full back Jason Brown should have stopped Eddie Ferns as he went past him but the expected challenge never materialised and Ferns sped clear before sitting up a perfect cross to the back post where McGuigan hung in the air before heading in the opener.

The home side responded with a solo run by Rory McAllister, looking to add to his nine goals in the last four games but he elected to shoot rather than pass and his 20-yard effort went wide.

After 22 minutes the Blue Toon had another decent chance, a Russell McLean side-footed shot well saved by Chris Smith diving to his right.

Three minutes later McAllister took a free kick 25 yards out and Smith was a relieved man to see it crash off the underside of the crossbar before the ball hit the keeper on the back and went out for a corner.

The second half began with Peterhead on the attack and Jack Leitch was very unlucky in the 53rd minute when his low, precise shot from an angle struck the right hand post and clear.

Four minutes later though Leitch levelled for the home side with a ferocious shot from the edge of the area that flew low into the net, although keeper Smith should have saved as the ball went under his diving body.

Stenny got their noses in front again though after 71 minutes and again it was via the aerial route. Another cross from out wide, this time Jamie Longworth on the right and full back Michael Dunlop rose to nod in once more at the back post.

But back came Peterhead and in the 78th minute a Willie Gibson free kick picked out Jason Brown and another header, this one a powerful effort from close in to square things up again.

Two minutes later Stenny were awarded a penalty, David McCracken barging into the back of McGuigan who then coolly slotted in the spot kick low into the right corner.

The award was particularly hard to take as the home side should have had one of their own when McAllister appeared to have been tripped by Harry Paton.

Next up it’s a break from league business as Raith Rovers are the visitors to Balmoor on Scottish Cup business.