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Peterhead 1 Queen's Park 1

Fri 11 Nov 2011

Martin Bavidge Martin Bavidge

A resilient Blue Toon team came from a goal down to earn a point against Queen's Park at Balmoor.

Less than 24 hours after the club announced the departure of John Sheran, experienced striker Martin Bavidge teamed up with former Fraserburgh boss Charlie Duncan, now part of the Youth & Community department at Balmoor, to lead the team against the Spiders, who have been a bogey side for the Blue Toon over the years.

And their selection may have raised a few eyebrows, with five changes made. Perhaps the most surprising was the return of Paul Jarvie, making his first start of the season, in place of Raymond Jellema.

Striker Garry Wood dropped to the bench, while Roy McBain, Jamie Redman and Bryan Deasley all dropped out through injury.

There was a late change to the starting eleven as Alan Rattray, initially selected in place of McBain at left-back, pulled up in the warm-up, to be replaced by Lewis Davidson.

But despite the changes, Gardner Speirs' side had goalkeeper Neil Parry to thank for keeping the scores level after just eleven seconds. The Spiders kicked the match off and angled a ball out to the left wing, but Davie Donald nodded away.

Aaron Conway picked up the loose ball and sent a fine pass up the inside-right channel for Rory McAllister, who steadied himself only for Parry to block his effort.

It was to be an entertaining affair, and the Amateurs responded with a Martin McBride free kick which clipped the outside of the post after a Barry Sellars' foul.

Peterhead threatened again when a Conway corner was headed towards goal by Callum Macdonald, only for Ricky Little to clear. The ball came back to Macdonald who lifted a pass to Rory McAllister at the back post, but he was off target with his acrobatic effort.

Back came the visitors, and they even had the ball in the net as Peterhead finally got some of the luck they've been missing over the last eighteen months.

David Anderson's ball into the box seemed to be handled by Jamie Bishop, but drew no response from referee Mat Northcroft. The ball broke to Michael Daly who saw his ball across goal turned in by David Murray, only for the winger's effort to be ruled out by the linesman's flag.

Anderson himself was denied from the edge of the box as the Spiders worked the ball in from the right flank, but the midfielder saw Jarvie comfortably hold his effort.

Peterhead might have had a penalty of their own as McAllister was seemingly hauled to the ground by Little, and shortly afterward, Bavidge slipped in Scott Ross who saw his shot well saved by Parry.

As the home side continued to press, McAllister picked out Davidson in the area, but the young full-back blazed over.

Just before the interval, Murray chased down McBride's deflected shot, and shot from a narrow angle, but Jarvie reacted quickly to smother the effort.

But the goalkeeper was beaten seven minutes into the second half. McBride swung a superb ball in to the back post, where Ian Watt barely had to jump to nod through the legs of Jarvie and into the net.

Where Peterhead have so often crumbled this season, they instead pushed forward in search of a leveller.

Davidson's cross from the left just after the hour was met by Bavidge, but his header looped over the crossbar.

But the left flank was to provide the goal.  Bishop lofted a ball to Sharp, who cut inside onto his favoured right foot and picked out McAllister with a fine cross.

The striker saw his brave diving header saved, but Bavidge was well placed to force the ball over the line, despite the challenge of James Brough.

It could have been in vain as, within a minute, Jamie Longworth saw his snap-shot beat Jarvie but crashed back off the upright.

But Peterhead pushed forward again and a move started by Scott Ross, who grew into his midfield role, saw Sharp cross for Bavidge, but his header was comfortable for Parry.

The goalkeeper was tested again with 81 minutes on the clock. Sharp's diagonal pass found McAllister who cut back for a diving header by substitute Dave Ross, but Parry parried away the effort and Brough completed the clearance.

In the final minute, a long ball from Peter Bradley saw substitute Craig Smith seem to outpace Davidson, but as the striker took aim at Jarvie's goal, the defender got across well to clear for a corner.

It may not have been a win for the Blue Toon, but there were certainly positive signs as the hunt for a manager who can revive seemingly flagging promotion hopes begins.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Lewis Davidson, Callum Macdonald, Jamie Bishop, Scott Ross (Ryan Strachan, 79), Graeme Sharp, Barry Sellars, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness, 79), Aaron Conway (Dave Ross, 60). Subs not used: Garry Wood, Raymond Jellema (gk).

QUEEN'S PARK: Neil Parry, Paul McGinn, Peter Bradley, Ricky Little, James Brough, Martin McBride, Ian Watt (Craig Smith, 84), David Anderson, Michael Daly (Tony Quinn, 90), Jamie Longworth, David Murray (Sean Burns, 79). Subs no used: Paul Gallacher, Adam Strain (gk).

Attendance: 478.