Valuable three points

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The good news from this match was the three points and an impressive spell of passing football and chance creation in the first half.

The more disappointing aspect was the lacklustre second period where it was the Shire who ruled for long spells with only their less-than-a -goal-a game away record giving a glimmer of hope that a single goal lead might be enough for a home victory.

It was always going to be an “after the Lord Mayors Show” situation following the Scottish Cup tie with Celtic six days before with the local constabulary still looking for the 4,000 or so “missing” fans.

Their whereabouts may be known but it certainly wasn’t Balmoor as a disappointing but predictable crowd of less than 500 turned up to see the two basement strugglers in Scottish senior football do battle.

Despite missing the suspended Rory McAllister, this game was surely there for the Blue Toon to show what they are made of and on the evidence of the second half, it isn’t a side that will be close to a promotion play-off spot.

With Dennis Wyness partnering Martin Bavidge up front, and Brian Deasley and Graeme Sharp theoretically providing the ammo against a team that had conceded 30 goals in ten away games, chances and a few goals were surely on the menu.

The first quarter of an hour was disappointingly actionless and the first piece of excitement came from a Deasley shot deflected into the arms of Callum Antell. The visitor’s keeper was kept busy over the ninety minutes and looked a real prospect.

After 19 minutes, the Blue Toon had a wonderful chance, Sharp putting the ball on a plate for Jamie Redman who should have netted but shot straight at Antell.

A minute later Wyness sent a diving header goalward but his effort was saved at the expense of a corner and soon after Bavidge headed over from a Deasley corner.

At this stage Peterhead were passing the ball around with impressive confidence and purpose so an opening goal was surely only a matter of time although the time was a lengthy 34 minutes in arriving.

A Ryan Strachan corner from the left found Scott Ross and his header was saved by Antell with an excellent dive to his left. Unfortunately for him the ball bounced up and Wyness pounced to nod in from six yards and it was advantage Blue Toon.

The Shire looked to pass the ball around when they could but that lack of a goal threat was always there and a header wide and a wayward shot was all they could muster.

A long range drive from Sharp tipped over by Antell augured well for more of the same after the break.

Things certainly started well with Strachan sending a dangerous ball to Bavidge inside the penalty area and his turn and shot pulled out another fine save from Antell.

Sadly that chance was one of the few occasions Peterhead were out of their own half in a threatening way as East Stirlingshire retained possession and probed for an equaliser.

They should have grabbed one when striker Kevin Turner played keepy-upy with his back to goal before turning and shooting straight at Paul Jarvie, like so many chances on the day.

A brief respite to the home rearguard was provided by substitute Lewis Davidson in the 78th minute when his 20 yard strike smashed off the face of the crossbar.

A win and three valuable points but that spell, and a long one at that, when they went missing in action, will simply not do if progress up the table is to be achieved.

PETERHEAD: Jarvie, Donald, McBain, Scott Ross (Davidson 60), MacDonald, Strachan, Sharp, Redman, Bavidge, Wyness (Conway 76), Deasley. Subs (not used): Jellema, Robertson, Watson.

Attendance -451