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East Stirlingshire 0 Peterhead 2

Sat 20 Aug 2011

Peterhead finally kick-started their season with a deserved, if at times nervy, victory over East Stirlingshire.

Bryan Deasley and Rory McAllister were both on the scoresheet for the second successive game, as John Sheran's side recorded their first Division Three victory in six years, against the same opponents as their last win at this level.

Martin Bavidge was the only survivor from the May 2005 meeting, and he started in an attack-minded Blue Toon lineup, that included four strikers, and four changes from the side that had lost out to Annan last week.

Goalkeeper Neil Duffy, club captain Callum Macdonald and winger Aaron Conway all dropped to the bench, with midfielder Paul Watson dropping out completely as Raymond Jellema, Alan Rattray, Lewis Davidson and Dave Ross returned to the starting eleven.

John Coughlin's Shire side had be as drastically reshaped as the Peterhead side over the summer, but they were quickly on the attack, and Jordyn Sheerin saw his header come off the outside of the post, Jellema looking less concerned than perhaps he might have about the effort.

Predictably Peterhead looked dangerous going forward, and their first chance fell to Barry Sellars who saw his free-kick go wide of the target after a foul on Ross.

McAllister, as ever, was looking sharp with the ball at his feet, but the former Brechin man will admit he should have done better when he shot straight at Calum Antell just before the quarter-hour.

The hitman's work-rate and unselfish play are perhaps overshadowed by his scoring rate but his exchange of passes with Deasley saw the former Dundee forward, having cut in from the left, hit narrowly wide of the near post.

There was concern at the other end of the park, though, as Ally Love blocked a Sellars clearance and homed in on goal, only the intervention of Rattray denying the winger an effort at goal.

And Rattray earned his wages again when he provided the cover to block after Sheerin had turned Sellars.

Jamie Redman shot over after McAllister had knocked a Roy McBain pass into his path, but it would not be long before Peterhead opened the scoring.

Bavidge's ball picked our McAllister who sidestepped Antell, but as the ball threatened to roll out of the striker's reach, Deasley stepped in to fire home.

If there was any expectation the goal would open the floodgates, Shire dispelled those thoughts as they came out fired up after the restart, and David Cane saw his header come back off the bar just two minutes in.

But Peterhead were quickly back in the groove. Redman hit over from a McAllister pass, and a minute later the striker saw his header from Deasley's pass brilliantly turned over by Antell.

The hero could have quickly turned to villain as an Antell clearance was charged down by McAllister, but the goalkeeper recovered before Deasley could pounce.

Peterhead finally doubled their advantage after 68 minutes. A Deasley corner pinballed around the penalty area as the hosts failed to clear their lines, and after Redman was fouled by Scott Beveridge, McAllister stepped up to net from the spot.

Within a minute, Ross was denied by a block having been played in by McAllister, but it would be Shire who finished the game strongly, and were unlucky not to grab consolation when Cane saw another header strike the bar.

The Blue Toon held firm though, and recorded a first win in 90 minutes this term. More important as far as John Sheran will be concerned though, are the three points which belatedly get his side off the mark.

EAST STIRLING: Calum Antell, Iain Chisholm, Ryan Frances, David Cane, Stuart Beveridge, Michael Hunter, Scott Maxwell, Andy Stirling, Joe Savage (Kevin Turner, 72), Jordyn Sheerin (Alex Lurinsky, 72), Ally Love (Nico Gibson, 72). Subs not used: Fraser Team, Gavin Sorley (gk).

Booked: Chisholm, Hunter.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Barry Sellars, Alan Rattray, Lewis Davidson, Dave Ross,