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Queens Park 0 Peterhead 0

Mon 28 Jan 2013

The Blue Toon brought a valuable point back from the National Stadium, but had goalkeeper Graeme Smith to thank as a string of fine saves kept them level against an impressive Queen’s Park side. The home side had the better chances throughout, with their right-flank combination of Paul McGinn and Aidan Connolly particularly effective.

The Toon welcomed Scott Ross back after suspension and Jamie Redman came back into the starting eleven after the head injury he picked up against Elgin City saw him restricted to a seat on the bench last Saturday. Robbie Winters also started, with Rory McAllister and Graeme Sharp dropping to the bench. David Cox also dropped to the role of substitute as his permanent move to Balmoor was only confirmed after Jim McInally had picked his team. Martin Bavidge was tasked with dropping deep to help nullify the threat of the Spiders right-flank duo Paul McGinn and Aidan Connolly but all too often Blue Toon left-back Steven Noble was left exposed.

The first chance came after just two minutes, McGinn providing the cross from the right which Tony Quinn headed wide of the upright, and a few minutes later, David Anderson ran onto a loose ball in the area, only to send his effort fizzing past the post. Peterhead had offered little going forward in the opening stages, but the vision of Ryan Strachan saw him take a quick free-kick to Winters after 18 minutes. The striker was challenged and the ball broke towards Noble, only for Ricky Little to avert the danger.

Within a minute, the Spiders should have been ahead, and Peterhead had keeper Smith to thank for keeping the scores level. Again it was McGinn who sent in a cross from the right, this time met by Michael Keenan, only for Smith to get a strong hand to the ball and turn it clear.

McInally was constantly tinkering with his side to find a way into the game and, as the first half wore on, they began to get a foothold in the game. Encouraged, they made a strong start to the second half. Scott Ross had two headers in the space of three minutes, the first going wide from a Ryan Strachan corner and the second seeing him turn Scott McLaughlin’s right-wing delivery over the bar.

The former Aberdeen man showed his prowess at the other end, as he read a dangerous Sean Burns cross and dived full length to head behind. McAllister was introduced with 25 minutes to go, and within two minutes he had played in Winters with a neat pass, only for the veteran striker to be crowded out.

At the other end, Connolly and Quinn combined to set Keenan up with a fine chance, which Smith did well to save. Connolly though he had put his side in front as he turned home from the rebound, but Quinn was penalised for a foul as he battled to win the loose ball.

And the home side came close again, twice, in injury time with substitute Lawrence Shankland sending the best of the efforts into the side-netting when he really should have done better. After struggling to get a grip on the game in the first half, the share of the points will be welcome, but McInally will be looking for improvement in this Sunday’s match against Rangers at Balmoor.

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Dean Cowie (Graeme Sharp, 72), Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Ross Smith, Ryan Strachan, Ryan McCann, Jamie Redman, Robbie Winters (David Cox, 72), Martin Bavidge (Rory McAllister, 64), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Tully, Jarvie (gk)

Booked: G. Smith, Sharp, R. Smith, McCann, McLaughlin.

Att: 584