Toon triumph in the battle of Cliftonhill

Goals from McAllister (right) and Ross (left) sealed the victory.
Goals from McAllister (right) and Ross (left) sealed the victory.

Both the Peterhead players and manager described Saturday’s 2-1 league victory at Albion Rover’s as a ‘battle.’

The Wee Rovers’ Cliftonhill ground, which was hit by a fire only days before the match, is notoriously poor quality.

Visitors to the Coatbridge ground are greeted by an ironic sign which reads ‘Welcome to the San Siro,’ named after the stadium in Milan viewed as one of the finest in the world.

Peterhead FC captain Steven Noble said: “It’s probably the worst pitch in Scotland and it’s very hard to get the ball down and play any football.

“The pitch is poor, the dressing rooms are tiny, the stadium is poor and to be honest it’s not a day out for football.”

Stalwart midfielders Dean Cowie and Bryan Gilfillan - veterans of last season’s excellent run - were brought in to replace the more creatively minded Jordon Brown and loanee Stephen O’Neill.

The changes paid off and the Blue Toon triumphed in the physical contest.

Noble said: “That was the manager’s idea, to get back to the team we had last year, to players who have been in this situation and know how to battle.

“I thought bothDeano and Bryan did well coming in. They controlled the midfield and stopped Rovers playing.”

Fiesty winger David Cox, one of Peterhead’s more consistent performers this season, added: “It’s always good to have Deano because he works like mad. Gilly too.

“They can change games by chasing the ball and putting teams under pressure like they did on Saturday. It worked.”

The hard-fought victory has left Peterhead outside the League 2 playoff places only on goal difference and one point above Albion Rovers who came down last season.

Peterhead manager Jim McInally said: “I felt going to a tight ground and poor pitch we needed our workers, boys who know what’s required.

“That’s not to the detriment of Jordon on Stephen, it was just that for Saturday I eflt we required a bit of toughness and plenty of aggression.

McInally is eager to field the same team against Berwick but will wait to check Cowie’s fitness after a holiday.