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Blue Toon's Boxing Day body blow

Mon 26 Dec 2016

PETERHEAD 0-2 STENHOUSEMUIR

A Boxing Day body blow for Peterhead as Stenhousemuir won the battle of the strugglers to climb off bottom spot.

Rory McAllister scored an own goal in the 71st minute and the Warriors doubled their lead soon after to wrap up the victory.

The outcome saw Stenny leapfrog Stranraer in the table and move to within a point of the Blue Toon, whose miserable Balmoor record continued.

Jim Mcinally's men have won just twice at home in League 1 all season, which has now reached the half way stage.

It's unlikely you would want to watch a re-run of this contest, which was anything but a Christmas cracker.

It was spoiled by the ferocious swirling wind, although the overhead conditions were as tricky for one team as the other.

The frustration for Peterhead was that, in failing to find a breakthrough, they could not keep their opponents out at the other end.

In a game of such importance, if you can't win then make sure you don't lose.

There were no real signs that Peterhead would end up on the receiving end here though.

They were, however, given an 11th minute scare when Fraser Hobday pushed out Alan Cook's shot and the rebound from Furtado Willis was superbly blocked by the outstretched Fiacre Kelleher.

Peterhead carved out a couple of good opportunities as half time approached. Firstly, McAllister shrugged off the challenge of David Marsh to tee up Jamie Redman but the midfielder delayed getting his shot away and Colin McCabe made a comfortable save.

That was followed by a curling 18 yard Scott Brown effort, which flew just wide of the target.

The big moment of the match came and went in the 53rd minute, Nicky Riley fluffing his lines with the goal gaping. The former Dundee man ran on to Redman's pass but after taking the ball round the Stenny goalkeeper, he failed to slot into an empty net.

The miss looked even more crucial when the visitors broke the deadlock in the 71st minute. Cook's inswinging corner had pace and bend as the ball skimmed off McAllister's head and flew into the far corner of the net.

Immediately, Jordon Brown replaced Ryan Baptie and the former Aberdeen youngster nearly scored with his first touch but McCabe saved well to keep out his near post effort.

Any chance Peterhead had of salvaging something vanished 11 minutes from time. Cook's free-kick from distance was parried by Hobday and the ball broke out for Jamie McCormack to stroke home the rebound.

For long spells, it looked like the weather would be the winner in this match. In the end it was Stenhousemuir.

 

By Glenn Moir