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Peterhead and Albion share four goals at Balmoor

Sat 20 Aug 2016

PETERHEAD 2-2 ALBION ROVERS
By Glenn Moir


Usually throwing away a two-goal lead would be looked upon as a couple of points dropped.

But considering the amount of oportunities Albion Rovers created at Balmoor, Peterhead should be grateful they came away with something.

This match should have been all over by half time with Blue Toon goalkeeper Fraser Hobday, in for the injured Graeme Smith, quite rightly voted the sponsors' man of the match.

Had it not been for the on loan Huntly youngster's saves and some slack Rovers finishing, Peterhead would have been dead and buried.

It annoyed visiting boss Darren Young that his team could not convert but he was even more angry that they trailed at the interval thanks to a well-taken free-kick from Ryan Baptie, who impressed at full-back.

From the off, it was all very shaky from the hosts, who despite stringing five defenders along the back, could not stem the flow.

Paul Willis drove a 16 yard shot over in the first few minutes before Ross Stewart sent a free header off target at the far post.

Hobday did well to push behind a 24th minute Scott McBride free-kick for a corner, from which Baptie cleared a Willis header off the line. The rookie goalkeeper then made a flying save to keep out Stewart's rising shot from outside the box.

However, against the run of play, Peterhead went ahead after Rory McAllister drew a free-kick 20 yards from goal. Baptie took responsibility and his low effort crept inside the far post.  It was one of several dead balls that Baptie executed well, with his corners and deliveries a constant threat.

Hobday was required again before half time when the ball, after a long punt forward, somehow found its way to Stewart but despite having plenty of time, he shot straight at the home goalkeeper.

Another opportunity came the way of the Coatbridge club early in the second half but once more Hobday was up to the task, pushing behind a Willis effort for a corner.

Despite their latest scare, Peterhead were far more dangerous in the second period and they doubled their lead on the hour. McAllister peeled off his marker at the front post to send a neat volley past the helpless Albion goalkeeper from 12 yards.

Going forward, the Blue Toon started to look confident again but they were still unconvincing at the other end and Albion quickly pulled a goal back.

Michael Dunlop's 22 yard shot was blocked by Scott Rumsby but the ball fortuitously broke the way of Stewart, who made a tidy job of slotting into the net.

Peterhead could not be accused of sitting back on their lead. Instead, they chased a third and new signing Stefan McCluskey took the place of Rumsby for his debut.

But while Jim McInally's men continued to bomb forward, they got caught with too many players up the park in the 74th minute as Willis crossed for Stewart to score his and Albion's second.

It finished honours even but at least Peterhead are off the mark and up and running.

               

                       Hobday
Strachan Ross Kelleher Rumsby Baptie
              Ferry Dzierzawski
       McIntosh. McAllister. Brown