Toon’s fighting spirit praised by boss Cooper

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PETERHEAD got back to winning ways in dramatic fashion on Saturday as they swept aside Alloa Athletic to keep their chances of a promotion play-off spot alive.

Boss Neale Cooper was a happy man as he saw his team battle back from going a goal behind to take all three points in fighting fashion.

“To be honest, we could have been 2-0 down in no time as they had two good chances early on and Jon Bateman had a nightmare for the first goal which he later admitted,” said Cooper.

“We never started well then the next thing I landed up having to get my shouting head on again, which is never good but I had to do something to get a response from the lads, and respond they did.

“After that we did get better and obviously getting two goals to go ahead changed the game and then a penalty save from our keeper just kept up the spirits,” he said.

“From there on, we go up the park and score again, with the icing on the cake being the fourth goal from Conor .

“We played some good stuff and Martin Bavidge and Denis Wyness linked up well and Sterling Smith was superb.

“Scott Ross had to come off at half time as he was feeling dizzy, while Graeme Sharp played really well yet again.

“It was a massive three points for us on Saturday and the lads showed great character in fighting back from a goal down and I’m really pleased with the outcome.”

Cooper says players are now fighting for a place in the team - something which has added extra spirit to his side.

“Denis had played really well today and worked hard and Conor had played the other night and I spoke to him before the game and said that it had been a hard decision between the two,” he said.

“I felt it right to give Conor a run out on Saturday and he came on and scored the fourth goal.

“But we haven’t seen the best of Conor yet. He’s a sharp wee player and it was a great finish on Saturday - there’s definitely more to come from him,” he said.

“I’ve now said to one or two players that are not in the team right now that it’s a competition and they have to fight for a place.

“If you’re in the team and playing well then you’ll stay in the team, but there are a lot of lads waiting on the wings so everyone is going to have to work hard to earn their place,” he added.

Peterhead have a couple of days to recover from Saturday’s match before taking on old rivals Fraserburgh in the first round of the Aberdeenshire Shield at Bellslea on Wednesday with a 7.45pm kick-off.

They then face a trip to New Broomfield where they take on Airdrie United in the league on Saturday. Airdrie lie just two points behind Peterhead but have two games in hand so a victory is crucial if the Blue Toon is to keep on track for a promotion place.