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Elgin City 2 Peterhead 4

Sat 09 Nov 2013

Rodgers nets the opener Rodgers nets the opener

The Blue Toon finally ended a run of four games without a win to take full points from the Highland Derby, and they did so in some style.

Andy Rodgers got the ball rolling, and Rory McAllister hit a sixty-second double before Dean Cowie struck from 40-yards. The win was all but sealed, but Elgin notched a brace of late goals toput through Craig Gunn and Sam Urquhart to add an air of respectability to the scoreline.

Gunn was one of three one-time Balmoor men in the Elgin lineup, along with keeper Ray Jellema and fellow striker Dennis Wyness.

It was a much changed Peterhead side that lined up. Coach Craig Tully came into a defence that has not kept a clean sheet this term, and Jamie Redman was used as an auxiliary centre-back in a 3-5-2 formation.

McAllister (obscured) watches his first goalbeat Ray Jellema

Dean Richardson continued on the left after making his first Blue Toon start against Annan in midweek, while Rodgers was paired with McAllister in attack after serving a suspension for his bizarre red card against Clyde.

The first chance fell to McAllister, the striker lining up an effort after Rodgers had knocked down a Sharp cross, but blazing over the crossbar.

The pair reversed roles for the opening goal midway through the first half.

Redman’s header out of defence found Cowie on the halfway line, and his lofted pass released McAllister on the left. The Blue Toon’s top scorer unselfishly squared, and Rodgers gleefully turned home from eight yards.

Elgin’s attempts to draw level saw David Niven hold off the attentions of Jordon Brown before sliding a neat ball into the path of Wyness, only for Peterhead captain Steven Noble to block for a corner.

Paul Harkins’ delivery was met by Jamie Duff, but the central defender’s effort was well over the crossbar.

The Blue Toon remained 1-0 up at the interval, but doubled their lead after 47 minutes, and how simple it was.

It started with a chance for Harkins, whose low shot was mopped up easily by Graeme Smith in the Peterhead goal. The goalkeeper’s long clearance bounced and allowed McAllister to race inside Mark Nicolson and lob Jellema from an awkward angle.

A minute later, it was 3-0 and McAllister had claimed his double. From the restart, the ball was played back to Nicolson, who made a real hash of his touch, and with three touches, the ball was in the net.

Rodgers stroked into the path of McAllister, who took a touch before drilling a low 20-yard shot beyond his former team-mate Jellema, and to surely end the game as a contest.

If the third goal had seen Elgin cause their own problems, the fourth was nothing but suicide. Richardson’s cross from the left was beyond the reach of McAllister, and seemed to pose no great danger to the home defence.

Jellema had other ideas though, racing out of his area to fly headlong into a clearing header. All well and good, but the ball fell perfectly for Cowie, 40 yards from goal, who sent a first-time volley into the net.

It was a beautifully-struck effort, and with just 52 minutes on the clock there was every chance Peterhead could run riot.

Indeed, McAllister was denied his hat-trick by the crossbar. After racing onto Cowie’s pass down the right channel, he cut inside but saw his clipped effort come back off the woodwork.

The home side grabbed what seemed a consolation with five minutes left when Nicolson swept the ball into the area following a corner, and Gunn brought the ball down before turning and firing low into the net from six yards.

They notched again in injury time, Urquhart rising to head in a route-one free-kick from substitute Ross McKinnon, but it was too little too late for Ross Jack’s men, and the Blue Toon headed back east with three points.

ELGIN CITY: Ray Jellema, David Niven, Paul McMullan, Graeme Beveridge (Sam Urquhart, 59), Jamie Duff, Paul Harkins, Craig Gunn, Mark Nicolson, Dennis Wyness (Ross McKinnon, 80), Shane Sutherland, Ally McKenzie (Daryl McHardy, 69). Subs not used: Dachi Kutsishvili, Antonio Vastano, Stuart Black (gk).

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Dean Richardson (Conner McGlinchey, 68), Steven Noble, Craig Tully, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers (Ryan McCann, 66), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Jordon Brown, Bryan Gilfillan (Kevin Buchan, 84). Subs not used: Ryan McGeever, Jack Tait, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Tully, Gilfillan.

Attendance: 622.