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Peterhead make cup progress in dramatic fashion

Sat 30 Jul 2016

DUMBARTON 3-3 PETERHEAD
(PETERHEAD WIN 6-5 ON PENS)
By Glenn Moir

Peterhead advanced to the last 16 of the Betfred League Cup - but only after a marathon penalty shoot-out win against Dumbarton, following a pulsating draw in the central belt.

Nicky Riley netted the decisive spot kick to hand the Blue Toon the necessary bonus point, which lifted them above East Fife on goal difference in Group A.

It was a bizarre shoot-out, with Dumbarton missing their first three penalties and Peterhead scoring their first couple.

It was anything but straightforward though.

On three occasions, Jim McInally's men had the chance to score from 12 yards and go through. They missed the lot.

Graeme Smith was among the unsuccesful takers but full credit to the big goalkeeper for his performance with the gloves rather than the boot.

He saved several spot kicks and turned in a fine display prior to the penalties.

And if you thought the shoot-out was dramatic, the 90 minutes which preceded were just as eventful.

Kevin Dzierzawski gave Peterhead a 16th minute lead but the Sons had the advantage by the interval thanks to goals from Robert Thomson and David Smith.

Peterhead's progression prospects looked bleak when Ryan Stevenson made it 3-1 early in the second half but back came the visitors.

Leighton McIntosh pulled one back in the 57th minute before Rory McAllister tucked away a 69th minute penalty to level the scores.

That's how it finished.

Cue the shoot-out, which both teams did their best to lose.

Had the Championship team come out on top, East Fife would have advanced to the knock-out stage as group winners.

But thanks to the boot of McAllister, Jamie Stevenson, Dzierzawski, Nathan Blockley, Steven Noble and Riley, Peterhead eventually prevailed 6-5 to go through themselves.

A hammer blow for East Fife, who didn't even manage a best runners-up spot.