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Berwick Rangers 1 Peterhead 3

Mon 30 Dec 2013

A Supporters Trust-led initiative saw Berwick Rangers offer free entry to the last match of 2013, and the hospitality didn’t end there as Peterhead ran out 3-1 winners to open up a two-point gap over Clyde at the top of League Two.

Fresh from his hat-trick against Stirling Albion, Rory McAllister was again among the goals, netting a further two here to take his tally to five in a week, and 15 overall. Dean Cowie also netted for the Blue Toon.

Graeme Sharp missed out through injury and Jordon Brown dropped to the bench, meaning Ryan McCann started at right wing-back, with Bryan Gilfillan returning to the starting lineup in midfield.

McAllister had netted early against the Binos, and did the same here. Captain Steven Noble saw his corner from the right headed back in his direction, and his second cross was headed home by the Blue Toon’s top scorer.

The striker could have had a second when he worked his way in behind the home defence, only to lift his effort over the crossbar.

However Graeme Smith would be kept busy in the Peterhead goal, and he did well to deny Scott Dalziel from a Devon Jacobs cross.

The goalkeeper denied Darren Lavery and then Dalziel again before Andy Rodgers forced home goalkeeper Billy Bald into a point-blank save with his feet.

But the Berwick pressure paid off a minute before the interval, when they drew level. Dalziel flicked on a Jacobs throw, and Steven Notman took full advantage to rifle his side level.

Smith had to beat away Lee Currie’s driven free-kick shortly after the interval, but Peterhead were back in front just after the hour mark.

Again it was McAllister who found the net, curling a superb 25-yard free-kick beyond the helpless Bald and into the corner of the net.

The home side perhaps should have levelled as Ross Gray somehow managed to divert Kenny O’Brien’s cross onto the crossbar rather than into the net, but the outcome was put beyond doubt as the tireless Cowie seized on a poor back-header and drilled home the third.

McAllister was on the hunt for a second consecutive hat-trick, but he was denied by the goalkeeper in the dying stages as the Blue Toon took advantage of Clyde only drawing to move two points clear at the top of the table.

BERWICK RANGERS: Billy Bald, Devon Jacobs, Damon Gielty, Mick Dunlop, Dean Hoskins, Darren Currie, Kenny O’Brien, Steven Notman, Scott Dalziel, Darren Lavery (Dean Carse, 88), Ross Gray (Josh Morris, 80). Subs no used: Jonathan Fairburn, Ben Miller, Owen Ronald, Paul Grant (gk).

Booked: Gielty

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Ryan McCann, Steven Noble, Reece Donaldson, Scott Ross, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers (Fraser McLaren, 64), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Bryan Gilfillan (Jordon Brown, 77), Ryan Strachan. Subs not used: Conner McGlinchey, Kevin Buchan, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Ross, Cowie.

Attendance: 778