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Battling Blue Toon pick up Pars point

Sat 23 Jan 2016

After scoring a barrel load of goals during their winning runs in League 1, it was typical that Peterhead and Dunfermline would play out a goalless draw.

But this contest was better than a stalemate suggested and while the Blue Toon could not manage a fifth straight win, they did extend their unbeaten record to 10 matches.
 
Jim McInally's men also remain undefeated against the Pars this season and look a good bet for a play-off berth, although the Balmoor manager was quick to rule out a title tilt when addressing the media at full time.
 
McInally stuck with the same line-up which ripped apart Stranraer last week, with the impressive Shane Sutherland continuing his fine form after a brace at Stair Park.
 
However, the first opening fell the way of the Fifers, Michael Moffat thwarted by Graeme Smith after Scott Ross got caught underneath a long ball forward from Brad McKay.
 
Smith then saved Fassal El Bakhtaoui's 14 yard shot from Josh Falkingham's cutback but it was by no means one-way traffic towards the home goal.
 
Sutherland's powerful running caused the league leaders problems and he tested Sean Murdoch with a shot on the turn midway through the half.
 
The former Inverness and Elgin attacker then set up Rory McAllister and Jamie Stevenson respectively but both players could not keep their efforts down.
 
The second half, playing against the wind, meant Peterhead had to be compact and dig in.  To their credit, they restricted the leaders to few sights at goal, although Andy Geggan went very close with a glancing header from Joe Cardle's cross, which went just wide.
 
Geggan was then denied by an outstanding Smith stop in the 64th minute from a set piece.  Michael Paton whipped in a free kick from the left and Geggan's goalbound header was superbly pushed behind for a corner by the Blue Toon number one.  
 
Not content to take a point, Peterhead pushed back the Pars in the closing stages but were unable to create a clear cut opening although Sutherland was unlucky to see his wicked inswinging corner evade his team-mates and go behind for a goalkick.
 
All in all, a plucky performance and a deserved draw.
 
PETERHEAD XI
                            Smith
 
        Strachan Ross Gilchrist Noble
 
Stevenson Ferry Dzierzawski Redman                   
 
                Sutherland McAllister