Stranraer come from behind to beat Peterhead


A disappointing seven days saw Peterhead lose to bogey side Stranraer for the fourth time this season.

Two defeats and a two-goal lead pegged back at Brechin saw the Blue Toon’s chances of a play-off place severely dented.

Manager Jim McInally said after the game he feels four wins are required out of their remaining five matches and while that isn’t beyond them, it may prove to be a tall order with Brechin favourites to retain the fourth spot they currently occupy.

To use the old footballing cliché, this was a game of two halves with the home side looking good in the first 45 minutes and the league-leading visitors showing their quality after the break.

An entertaining first half saw the ball moved around by both sides with the Blue Toon the more likely looking to score.

Rory McAllister was missing with the back injury that saw him leave the pitch at Brechin in midweek and Gary McDonald was on the bench after other commitments meant a late arrival at Balmoor.

Before the opener did arrive, Peterhead could have been in front. With 15 minutes gone Jamie Redman leapt to challenge visiting keeper David Mitchell who dropped the ball which fell to Andy Rodgers six yards out with the goal at his mercy but he fired the ball over to the dismay of the home fans.

Two minutes later David Cox shot a half volley flying just over the crossbar.

Stranraer didn’t look like the best team in the division for most of the half and the nearest they came to a goal was a shot from Sean Winter that initially looked like it would carry some menace but was deflected wide.

The Blue Toon went in front after 34 minutes thanks largely to a piece of class from Jamie Stevenson. His free kick from over 30 yards flew low and hard like a missile through the defensive wall and proved too hot to handle for Mitchell who spilled the ball into the path of Rodgers who gratefully rifled a shot high into the net from 6 yards.

The lead could have been doubled by the break after Rodgers had the ball in the net only for the referee and far side assistant to adjudge that the striker had fouled keeper Mitchell.

Into the second half and the on-fire Rodgers showed a sublime piece of skill in the minute to chip the ball over the advancing Mitchell only to see it bounce off the top of the crossbar.

That proved a pivotal moment as Stranraer were level five minutes later. Chris Aitken squared the ball into the path of Willie Gibson after cutting through the home defence just a little bit too easily.

That goal gave the visitors a real boost and they proceeded to turn on the style with Jamie Longworth and Grant Gallagher going close to scoring as they dominated proceedings.

At that stage Peterhead would probably have taken a point with Stranraer on the ascendancy but that was snatched from them eight minutes from the end as substitute Danny Storey slipped in Longworth who clipped a shot past Graeme Smith and into the corner.