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Peterhead go half a season unbeaten after Stranraer stalemate

Tue 15 Mar 2016

PETERHEAD 0-0 STRANRAER

By Glenn Moir

 

You get some goalless draws, which throw up drama, entertainment and action.

Sadly this was not one of them.

It was perhaps surprising that free-scoring Peterhead failed to breach the Stranraer goal and an even bigger shock they could not muster a single opportunity.

But the Blue Toon did show heart and fight to ensure if they could not win the game, they would not lose it either.

Therefore, it was a point gained, which stretched their unbeaten run to 18 matches in League 1, exactly half the season.

Pride and praiseworthy for Peterhead, who came into the match tucked in behind title favourites Dunfermline and near stick on certainties for the play-offs.

Having swept aside Stenhousemuir on Saturday, manager Jim McInally made three changes to freshen up the team.

Rory McAllister and Simon Ferry returned from suspension while Jordon Brown was promoted from the bench. The trio making way were Nicky Riley, Marc Lawrence and the injured Jamie Stevenson.

Scott Ross, who was named Man of the Match by the sponsors, made a key contribution in the 14th minute to prevent the visitors going in front. Willie Gibson's low cross was pushed out by Graeme Smith into the path of Andy Stirling and his eight yard shot was well blocked by Ross.

Stirling will feel he should have scored and Scott Robertson ought to have done better in the 36th minute as Brian Reid's team continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession. Kyle Turner pulled the ball back from the right flank but Robertson could not keep his 12 yard effort down.

Apart from a poked 18 yard Jordon Brown effort, which went wide, Peterhead failed to ask questions of the Stair Park men, although goalkeeper Cameron Belford almost gifted the Blue Toon a chance with a poor clearance.

The Petrofac Training Cup finalists did improve after the break and they saw much more of the ball but finding a way through a stubborn Stranraer rearguard continued to be a struggle.

Not that Smith was overworked down the other end. Far from it, although he was forced to turn behind Turner's 20 yard shot for a corner.

Leighton McIntosh, who scored a screamer at Ochilview at the weekend, was introduced alongwith Nathan Blockley and Riley but the game petered out and both teams were content to take a point apiece.

Neither of tonight's two Champions League matches could serve up a goal either so maybe this spectacle was not too bad after all.

 

PETERHEAD XI
                    Smith
   Strachan Ross Gilchrist Noble
Redman Ferry Dzierzawski Brown
         Sutherland McAllister