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Peterhead 0 Dundee 0

Wed 01 Aug 2012

Robbie Winters challenges for the ball Robbie Winters challenges for the ball

Jim McInally’s men battled bravely until the end of their Scottish Communities League Cup match against SPL side Dundee, but were ultimately left frustrated by a harsh penalty shootout defeat.

Aiming to build on the positives from the weekend defeat to East Fife in the Ramsdens Cup, McInally handed Robbie Winters his first Blue Toon start against a Dark Blues side struggling for players.

The time taken to determine which division they’d be playing in this season meant Smith was still running with a tight squad, as his recruitment plans had been placed on hold.

Four players were out for a variety of reasons, meaning Smith himself registered as a player and was available as a substitute for this match.

Graham Webster, on loan at Balmoor for the latter half of last season, was handed a start on the right side of a five man midfield, and relished the opportunity to return to Balmoor.

But it was Smith’s men who threatened first as striker John Baird, one of two players who had joined the Dees over the summer from Raith Rovers, flashed a 25-yard strike over the crossbar.

Peterhead look particularly strong going forward, though, and with Winters partnered by Rory McAllister, it was always likely they would create chances.

Indeed it was McAllister, played in by Jamie Redman, who fired the first warning shot. His low strike fizzing across the face of former Celtic and Scotland keeper Rab Douglas’ goal.

The big goalie was forced into action after 25 minutes, diving to his right to palm away Scott McLaughlin’s free kick after Steven Noble’s strong run down the left had been ended illegally by Kyle Benedictus.

The Dees responded and at the other end, Paul Jarvie showed what a good shot-stopper he is, reacting quickly to push an acrobatic effort from Gary Irvine over the bar after Declan Gallagher’s knock-down.

Jarvie was in top form and five minutes from the break he denied lively winger Ryan Conroy after the ex-Celtic man had cut in from the right and shot left-footed.

The Blue Toon, now shooting towards their favoured Balmoor Terrace end, came out for the second half buoyed by matching their opponents in the first half, and were quickly out of the traps again.

A poor clearance from Douglas allowed Peterhead to build an attack from the right, Graeme Sharp crossing for Redman, but the midfielder was unable to find the target.

Sharp was involved again soon after playing in McAllister again. The former Brechin man bullied Neil McGregor before the danger was cleared as far as Winters who saw his first shot blocked and his follow-up ease just wide of the upright. With 20 minutes left, Peterhead threatened again, McAllister eventually shooting straight at Douglas when perhaps a pass to a team-mate would have been the better option. It looked like it would take something special to win the game and Baird came close to providing it with a 25-yard snap-shot which only just missed the target. The inevitable extra-time came to pass, and both sides had their chances to put the game to bed.

Webster, in the first period, caught the Peterhead defence napping as he got round the back to connect with captain Irvine’s superb angled pass, but the youngster saw his angled strike trundle wide of the far post.

And Peterhead, again playing towards the hill, had the better of the second period. Sub Roy McBain’s cross found McAllister at the near post, and his overhead kick picked out another replacement, Bryan Deasley, who headed over.

It was a fine chance, but there were more as McInally’s side looked to end the game before the dreaded penalty shoot-out. From the edge of the area, McAllister curled a shot close enough that some spectators thought he had found the net.

And as time ticked down, Deasley’s cross picked out the run of McLauglin, but the former Morton, Airdrie and Queen of the South man was unable to trouble Douglas.

And so to penalties, which took place at Peterhead’s favoured end.

Dundee were first up, Kevin McBride scoring and McAllister matching him. Baird netted the second for the visitors, but Peterhead captain Callum Macdonald saw Douglas dive to his right to save.

Irvine stepped up and made it 3-1, with McLaughlin’s penalty coming back off the crossbar to leave Conroy with the chance to win it. He duly netted to break Peterhead hearts, not for the first time in a penalty shoot-out.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Dean Cowie (Roy McBain 94), Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman (Stephen Maguire, 103), Rory McAllister, Robbie Winters (Bryan Deasley 69), Scott McLaughlin. Subs: Darren Kelly, Cameron Knowles (gk).

Booked: Sharp.

DUNDEE: Rab Douglas, Gary Irvine, Matt Lockwood, Kyle Benedictus, Neil McGregor, Declan Gallagher, Graham Webster (Jamie Reid 109), Kevin McBride, Leighton McIntosh, John Baird, Ryan Conroy. Subs: Jamie McCluskey, Daniel Cavanagh, Barry Smith, Alex Baird (gk)

Booked: Benedictus.

Attendance: 844