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10 man Peterhead mount fabulous fightback

Sat 13 Feb 2016

What a turnaround this was.  

A man down and a goal down but confidence and belief very much up as promotion-chasing Peterhead fought back to claim a superb win.
 
The Blue Toon came from behind with 10 men to deservedly defeat Forfar, who stay in relegation trouble alongside their Angus rivals Brechin.
 
On Valentine's weekend, referee Gavin Ross seemed determined to dish out a card and he sent Steven Noble off for a perceived stamp on Andy Ryan.
 
It appeared soft but the Balmoor club reacted in an impressive manner.  Not only did they get back on level terms, they went on to completely dominate the second half and pick up another three points.
 
All this after Rory McAllister had netted his 100th league goal for Peterhead in the fourth minute.  The division's top scorer reacted quickest to a deflected Nicky Riley shot and found the net from the left side of the penalty area.
 
Forfar were back in it on the quarter hour mark.  Ryan ran unchallenged down the left and crossed for Steven Craig to slot home, albeit from a home perspective, it appeared all too easy.
 
The Loons scored again three minutes later.  Graeme Smith made heavy weather of dealing with Gavin Swankie's free-kick from 22 yards and Ryan pounced on the goalkeeper's error to slot home from a few yards.
 
Riley then ballooned a close range shot over the crossbar before Noble was dismissed in the 29th minute.  
 
On the far touchline, the Blue Toon skipper landed his foot on the floored Ryan and while it appeared accidental, assistant referee Ross Haswell instructed the whistler the incident was worthy of a red card.
 
However, from there on in, Peterhead showed plenty of fight, determination and quality to respond.
 
Shane Sutherland was rightly named the League 1 Player of the Month this week and he showed why by rifling a left foot shot into the corner of the net to haul the hosts level in the 42nd minute.
 
Despite their numerical advantage, Forfar could not get out their own half in the second period such was Peterhead's dominance.
 
Sutherland was twice denied by visiting goalkeeper Darren Hill while substitute Leighton McIntosh, whose pace was problematic for the Loons, lofted a shot over the crossbar when through on goal.
 
McAllister also flashed a header wide from Jamie Stevenson's corner but McIntosh made their possession tell with 15 minutes remaining, slotting in the rebound after Sutherland's shot was saved by Hill.  
 
Jubilation for Peterhead but frustration and fury for Forfar, whose boss Gary Bollan insisted the cameras stayed off during his post-match interview.  Anyway, the Blue Toon's long undefeated streak continues.  Due to a fantastic fightback, this was not unlucky 13.
 
PETERHEAD XI
 
                      Smith
 
Stevenson Strachan Gilchrist Noble
 
   Redman Dzierzawski Ferry Riley
 
           McAllister Sutherland