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Andy's winner confirms play-off spot

Sat 19 Mar 2016

PETERHEAD 1-0 AIRDRIE

By Glenn Moir

 

The last time Peterhead forward Andy Rodgers scored at Balmoor, he took personal satisfaction in denting Dunfermline's promotion push from League 1.

That was 11 months ago.

But his goal against Airdrie was all about helping his own team's bid to move up to the Championship.

Rodgers struck in the 76th minute to give the Blue Toon a narrow but deserved win and the significance of it was confirmation of Peterhead's place at the end of season play-offs.

It was near enough confirmed anyway, but certain is better than probable and to achieve it with five games remaining is commendable.

Rodgers latched on to a pass from fellow substitute Jordon Brown to roll in the winner.

This time he didn't bother running the length of the pitch celebrating because the Pars fans, who love to hate him, obviously weren't there and Airdrie's army give him less grief.

But he still more than enjoyed his moment. It was his first goal this season so why shouldn't he?

For long spells, Peterhead looked like they were heading for another goalless draw after their Stranraer stalemate.

But this was better than Tuesday and while Airdrie goalkeeper Neil Parry did not have too much to do, the hosts were on top and did enough to merit the three points.

First half opportunities fell the way of Nicky Riley and Scott Ross, from Ryan Strachan corners.

Steven Noble then cracked a right footed shot off the crossbar at the start of the second half, with Rory McAllister unable to direct the rebound on target.

McAllister spurned another chance as the clock ticked down and he eventually drifted out to the left so that Rodgers could take centre stage. Literally.

The 32 year old's finish was cool and composed as he tucked away his effort on his left foot.  

Impressive as well, given the fact his game time has been very limited this season due to the form of McAllister, Shane Sutherland and Leighton McIntosh, who have all won League 1 Player of the Month Awards this season.

Airdrie could not respond although Graeme Smith did make an important save to keep out Nicky Cadden's long-ranger.

So the Diamonds' scramble for the play-offs continues. No such worries for Peterhead, who are there already.

PETERHEAD XI
                 Smith
Blockley Strachan Ross Noble
    Lawrence Ferry Redman
  Sutherland McAllister Riley