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Albion Rovers 1 Peterhead 2

Mon 30 Sep 2013

Peterhead secured an away win on their first visit to Cliftonhill since 2005, but had to rely on a controversial penalty to seal the points against Albion Rovers.

The Blue Toon deservedly led at the break thanks to a Scott Ross header, but were pegged back shortly after the interval when Darren Miller found the bottom corner with a 20-yard free-kick.

However Rory McAllister won, and then converted a penalty which had the home fans raging, to ensure it would be the Blue Toon heading up the road with all three points.

There were two changes to the side beaten by Montrose, Stephen O’Neill and Jordon Brown replaced by Dean Cowie and Bryan Gilfillan, and the Blue Toon quickly imposed themselves on the game.

Gilfillan was the provider for the first real chance, slipping a clever free-kick up the inside-right channel for Fraser McLaren, but his low shot was turned away by the legs of Neil Parry.

Jim McInally’s men were dominating the early play without really troubling their hosts, but had earned the opening goal when it came after 18 minutes.

McLaren was full of running, and earned his side another corner on the right hand side. David Cox hung the set-piece into the near post area, where it was met by Ross who turned home for his first goal of the season.

Seven minutes later, McLaren passed up a golden opportunity to double his side’s advantage after a neat move. Cowie flicked a ball to McAllister inside the area, and his back-heel left McLaren with just ex-Queen’s Park man Parry to beat.

McLaren did so in going for the top corner, but was unable to keep his effort down and it fizzed over the bar.

The former Berwick forward was heavily involved, and set up Cox on the edge of the area but Parry was equal to his effort.

Graeme Smith in the Peterhead goal had been largely untroubled during the first half, save a few crosses which were comfortably dealt with. However, the ex-Rangers man was beaten just four minutes into the second half.

Rovers midfielder Miller threatened to burst into the area only to be brought down inside the ‘D’ by Ryan McGeever. Miller lined up the set-piece himself, and curled a delightful strike round the wall and into the bottom-right corner.

Almost instantly, McGeever came within inches of restoring the Blue Toon’s lead. He was well placed to head towards goal after Jamie Redman had turned another Cox corner back across goal, but his effort cannoned back off the crossbar.

The Blue Toon were back in front, though, after an hour. McAllister latched onto a long ball out of defence and seemed to have passed up the opportunity when he tried to take the ball around goalkeeper Parry and centre-half Ross Dunlop.

He went down, though, as the Rovers pair tried to clear the danger, and after a pregnant pause, referee David Somers pointed to the spot. Parry was adjudged to be the guilty party, and went into the book before being sent the wrong way from the spot by the reliable McAllister.

The home side tried to bounce back again, with another Miller free-kick this time saved by Smith, and a penalty claim of their own when Graeme Sharp appeared to handle an awkwardly bouncing ball, however there was enough about Peterhead to see the game out and move back to within striking distance of a playoff spot.

ALBION ROVERS: Neil Parry, Alan Reid, Ross Dunlop, Darren Miller, Ciaran Donnelly, Scott Chaplain, Josh Flood (Pat Walker, 73), Liam Cusack, Mark McGuigan (Ryan Tiffney, 80), Chris Dallas (Martin Maguire, 84), Gary Phillips. Subs not used: David Crawford, Mick Dunlop, Scott Sally, Matthew McGinley (gk).

Booked: Reid, Parry.

PETERHEAD: Smith, Sharp, Noble, McGeever, Ross, Cowie, Cox (McGlinchey, 86), Redman, McAllister (McCann, 84), Gilfillan, McLaren (Rodgers, 66). Subs not used: Brown, Richardson, Buchan, Jarvie (gk).

Booked: McGeever, Noble, Rodgers.

Attendance: 394