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Peterhead 1 East Stirling 0

Sun 15 Jan 2012

Peterhead extended their recent league form to three wins from their last four games, but made heavy weather of it against East Stirling at Balmoor.

The Blue Toon were still on a high after the William Hill Scottish Cup tie against Celtic six days earlier, and their first half performance was one of promise, capped eleven minutes from the interval by Dennis Wyness’ opener.

But East Stirling emerged for the second half the livelier of the teams, and could count themselves unlucky not to take something from the match.

Missing top scorer Rory McAllister through injury, Jim McInally drafted Wyness into the starting eleven, while Bryan Deasley replaced the injured Davie Ross.

And though the game took a while to warm up on a bitterly cold day, it would be Peterhead who dominated the first half action.

Deasley had the first opportunity of the game, but his effort was comfortably held by Callum Antell in the Shire goal.

It was the nineteenth minutes before the game really burst into life, though. Graeme Sharp worked space on the right and pulled back for Jamie Redman, who saw Antell push his low effort away.

When the ball broke back out, Roy McBain slipped in former Inverness Caley Thistle team-mate Wyness who curled narrowly over.

A minute later Bavidge latched on to Paul Jarvie's clearance and, though he was forced wide, crossed for Wyness at the near post, his diving header just wide of the target.

As Peterhead maintained the pressure, both Sharp and Bavidge passed up further opportunities.

The willing attitude of Bavidge almost paid off when he charged down an Antell clearance, the on-load Hibs man relieved to see the ball spin away from the goal.

And Bavidge was involved again when Peterhead finally broke the deadlock after 34 minutes.

His shot was deflected wide for a corner, from which Ryan Strachan picked out Scott Ross. It took a fine diving save to prevent the former Aberdeen man from netting a second goal in consecutive league games, but Wyness was on hand to turn home from close range.

The visitors were keen to hit on the counter, though, and hitman Lewis Horner saw his curling effort sail just inches wide of the upright, but Peterhead would also threaten again before the interval with Antell turning over a long-range effort from Sharp.

It looked at the interval as though it was more a question of when rather than if the Blue Toon would score again, but the visitors came out determined to prove themselves worthy adversaries.

Though Antell denied Bavidge again early in the second half, the visitors would enjoy a fine spell of possession and put the Blue Toon under severe pressure.

That said, when Jarvie got down to deny Turner at the near post on the hour mark, it was the only real save the goalkeeper had to make in the game.

But Peterhead were bolstered when Lewis Davidson replaced the injured Scott Ross, and the local lad came close to making the points safe, with just over ten minutes remaining, his 20-yard strike coming back off the crossbar.

And Jamie Redman will be disappointed he didn't find the back of the net late on, when he headed Donald's cross straight at the impressive Antell.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross (Lewis Davidson 60), Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Graeme Sharp (Aaron Conway 76), Jamie Redman, Dennis Wyness, Martin Bavidge, Bryan Deasley. Subs not used: Shaun Robertson, Paul Watson, Ray Jellema (gk).

Booked: Ross, Strachan, Sharp.

EAST STIRLING: Callum Antell, Iain Chisholm, Joe Dingwall (Fraser Team 86), David Cane, Steven Jackson, Mikey Hunter, Alex Lurinsky (Jamie Benton 83), Andrew Stirling, Kevin Turner (Jordyn Sheerin 70), Lewis Horner, Scott Maxwell. Subs not used: Craig Scott, Grant Hay (gk)

Attendance: 541