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Late leveller stuns dominant Peterhead

Sat 09 Sep 2017

Jack Leitch's stunner was not enough for Peterhead to see off unbeaten Montrose Jack Leitch's stunner was not enough for Peterhead to see off unbeaten Montrose

 

PETERHEAD 1-1 MONTROSE
By Glenn Moir

 

Peterhead outplayed Montrose but their lack of height and strength in comparison with their opponents proved pivotal.

After Jack Leitch had given the Balmoor team a fully deserved lead with a glorious goal, the visitors levelled deep in stoppage time from a set-piece.

Chris Templeman peeled off Willie Gibson, Peterhead's top performer, to score with a header from Martyn Fotheringham's corner.

There was only ever going to be one winner in the Templeman v Gibson contest from a dead ball delivery but in fairness to Jim McInally's men, there were powerhouses aplenty to pick up.

The Blue Toon's giant striker Russell McLean was designated to mark Templeman but he came off injured early in the second half.

It was still a good delivery and a fine header but that did not make it any easier for Peterhead, particularly as they never looked like conceding from open play.

The home team impressed, especially in the first half, and Montrose were fortunate not to trail by a couple of goals early on.

Rory McAllister rattled the crossbar with a cracking left foot shot from the edge of the penalty area in the sixth minute, just before McLean sent a free header wide from Gibson's cross.

Jason Brown then looped a header just over, before McLean forced Allan Fleming into a smart save from another Gibson centre.

Montrose did very well to get to half time level pegging and they continued to ride their luck in the second period as McAllister prodded wide from substitute Nicky Riley's pass.

Peterhead were finally rewarded for their play and pressure in the 71st minute through a stunning Leitch strike.

Gibson's free-kick was only partially cleared by the visitors and when the ball broke out to the former Airdrie midfielder, he hit a first-time shot from 20 yards into the top corner of the net.

Given that the Gable Endies had offered next to nothing, Peterhead would have felt confident of finishing off the job.

McInally later admitted he faced a dilemma, sacrifice forward-thinking creative players in order to bulk up his backline or go with the flow and seek a second?

He opted for the latter, not that he had too many options from the bench in terms of physicality.

Anyway, Montrose got their goal, which maintained their unbeaten start, but it was very tough on the Blue Toon.

                   

                            Fleming
S.Brown Jas.Brown Robertson McIlduff
                  Gibson Ferry Leitch
             McLean McAllister Smith