Toon’s bright start to pre-season continues

PETERHEAD maintained their bright start to pre-season with a third straight win - but were made to work for it by an impressive Cove Rangers side.

Only three players survived from the starting eleven which had faced Falkirk on Saturday, with Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald and Paul Watson retaining their places, albeit Donald lined up at left-back rather than his customary role on the right.

The Blue Toon were quickly in their stride, with Dave Ross spurning an early opportunity following Paul Young’s fine pass down the inside-right channel, and Ryan Strachan flashing an early free kick across the face of goal.

Ross turned provider when he plucked a Donald pass out of the area and laid in Dennis Wyness, but the former Caley Thistle man saw his shot comfortably held by Cove keeper Stuart McKenzie.

There was a chance for the visitors when young striker Martin Taylor got between centre backs Alan Rattray and Scott Ross to flick a Dean Lawrie throw into the path of former Blue Toon man Martin Johnston, but the veteran dragged his left-foot effort wide of the post.

But Peterhead were handed a fine chance to open the scoring on the half-hour when a clipped ball from Lewis Davidson was touched into the path of Dave Ross by Dennis Wyness. The striker looked set to pull the trigger when he was barged over by Blair Yule – son of Raymond – and referee Bryan Braidwood had no choice but to point at the spot.

Ross picked himself up, but his spot kick was disappointing and McKenzie was able to push the effort away as he dived to his left.

Still the Blue Toon continued to attack, and after being released by Donald, Sharp played a neat one-two with Wyness as he drove into the area, but shot weakly at the legs of McKenzie.

The breakthrough finally came eight minutes after the re-start when Scott Ross, who had made hard work of the first half, redeemed himself by peeling away from his man to meet Ryan Strachan’s free kick, and nod home from six yards.

A number of substitutes came on through the second half, and the impact of Roy McBain was almost immediate. Just seconds after coming on, he was influential in a move which ended with Wyness hitting narrowly wide.

And the impact of the substitutes was highlighted when John Sheran’s side netted their second goal, as four subs were involved in the five-man move which led to the goal.

McBain won the ball in midfield and drove down the left before slipping the ball to Sharp, who played a first-time pass to Rory McAllister. He beat his man and slipped in Jamie Redman whose one touch found Martin Bavidge, and the wily hitman thundered his shot into the net from 12 yards.

The impressive McBain came close to putting the icing on the cake in the dying stages when, set free by McAllister, he lined up an exquisite chip from 20 yards, which only narrowly cleared the crossbar.

PETERHEAD: Jellema, Davidson, Donald, Strachan, Rattray, S. Ross, Young, Watson, D. Ross, Wyness, Sharp. Subs: McAllister, Redman, Deasley,

Macdonald, Bavidge, McBain.

Att: 225