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East Stirling 2 Peterhead 1

Sat 20 Oct 2012

Peterhead's recent run of miserable away form continued as the ten-man Blue Toon went down to East Stirlingshire, despite Rory McAllister's penalty giving them an early lead.

The former Brechin City striker found the net after just 77 seconds, but a double from Shire captain Kevin Turner put the home side in front, before Scott Ross was somewhat harshly sent off for the second time this season.

The Blue Toon were without captain Callum Macdonald and midfielder Dean Cowie through injury, but Martin Bavidge was fit enough to return to the bench after missing the win over Berwick. Bryan Deasley and Graeme Sharp came into the starting eleven.

And they couldn't have got off to a better start. Sharp's ball down the right channel found McAllister, who was wrestled to the ground by Steven Jackson right in front of the linesman.

Referee Gavin Ross, who took change of the infamous defeat to Elgin City earlier in the season, pointed to the spot after his linesman flagged for the foul, and McAllister typically made no mistake from 12 yards.

Peterhead had scored a similarly early goal on their last visit to Ochilview and went on to lose 6-3, though, so there was more work to be done.

It was the home side, though, who bounced back quickly and hauled their way back into the match.

Turner looked a genuine threat, and was twice denied by Paul Jarvie in the Peterhead goal, while another effort was narrowly wide of the post during a lively opening half-hour.

The striker finally got his reward after 32 minutes. Ryan Harding's clearance from a corner was sent back with interest by Ricky Miller, and Turner took the ball into his feet beautifully, before turning and dispatching beyond Jarvie.

The home side were well on top by now, and Peterhead's hopes were dented when the energetic Jamie Redman was forced off with an injury sustained in a wild challenge from Shire midfielder Sean Kelly which saw the home man go into the book.

Martin Bavidge replaced Redman, but it was McAllister who had the next chance for the Toon, his angled shot beaten away by Hay.

The scores remained level at the interval, but Shire were in front just six minutes into the second half. Turner got the better of Harding 20 yards out, before unleashing a curling left-foot strike that was beyond the grasp of the full-stretch Jarvie.

Six minutes later, Peterhead were reduced to ten men as referee Gavin Ross deemed a tackle from namesake Scott worthy of a straight red card, although Shire boss John Coughlin would later admit he felt the challenge was worthy only of a booking.

Stephen Maguire was sacrificed to allow Ross Smith to come on in defence, and the on-loan Dundee United man showed the kind of hunger that was sadly lacking from his team-mates, demanding the ball and trying to take it forward at any opportunity.

The Blue Toon did improve, and Sharp was unlucky to see his left-foot shot come back off the crossbar, Bavidge seeing his follow-up cleared off the line by Miller.

Bavidge came close again with just over 10 minutes remaining, his low volley deflected away for a corner following a Ryan Strachan knock-back.

And the striker turned provider for fellow sub Darren Kelly with four minutes remaining, the ex-Shire man denied only by a fantastic reflex save from goalkeeper Grant Hay.

In the end, though, the Blue Toon were beaten by the better team, and will be looking for a much improved performance when they host Stirling Albion on Saturday.

EAST SIRLING: Grant Hay, Craig Hume, Nathan Shepherd, Ricky Miller, Steven Jackson, Sean Kelly, Jamie McKernon, Michael Hunter, Kevin Turner (Mark Begg, 89), Paul Quinn (David Greenhill, 76), Scott Maxwell. Subs not used: Kyle Gillespie, Jamie Glasgow, Craig Gordon (gk).

Booked: Kelly, Hunter.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Ryan Harding, Scott Ross, Bryan Deasley, Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman (Martin Bavidge, 38), Rory McAllister (Darren Kelly, 72), Stephen Maguire (Ross Smith, 59), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Robbie Winters, Marc McCallum (gk).

Booked: Strachan, Deasley, Noble. Sent off: Ross.

Attendance: 296