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Peterhead 2 Montrose 3

Mon 26 Dec 2011

Peterhead’s hopes of using their first home league win of the season as a springboard were dashed when the Blue Toon followed that win over Berwick Rangers with defeat against third-bottom Montrose.

Jim McInally’s men were looking to close the gap on Montrose to just one point and the manager stuck by the same starting eleven that head earned the points against the Wee Rangers, the only change coming on the bench where Aaron Conway replaced Shaun Robertson.

But it was a nervy start for the Blue Toon, not aided by the windy conditions at Balmoor. Indeed, Montrose right-back Sean Crichton used the wind to his advantage to send a 25-yard strike fizzing over the crossbar.

At the other end, Jamie Redman and Davie Donald combined on the right to work an opportunity for Dave Ross, but his cross was headed away by Montrose defender Jonathan Smart with Bryan Deasley waiting to pounce.

Montrose took the lead on the quarter-hour. Keeper Raymond Jellema made a meal of Jamie Winter’s low free kick, the goalkeeper managing only to palm the ball off the helpless Ryan Strachan and into the net.

Smart was in attendance and took the plaudits, but Strachan’s name went down on the scoresheet.

Peterhead came back at their hosts though and, after a Deasley free kick had been beaten away by Wood, Strachan shot disappointingly over the bar.

The ambitious Crichton had another go from distance which was held at the second attempt by Jellema, but Peterhead had started to get a grip in the match and saw Rory McAllister flash a header wide from Graeme Sharp’s cross.

McAllister was involved in his side’s best chance so far, on the hour mark. He scampered away down the left after being released by Ross, and it seemed Redman had to score from his low pass, only for a combination of Wood and Dougie Cameron to avert the danger.

McInally threw on Martin Bavidge for Ross, but the Toon would find themselves 2-0 down when Masson released winger David McGowan, who eased past the challenge of Callum Macdonald before slotting past Jellema from 15 yards.

To their credit, Peterhead pushed forward and when Wood spilled a Strachan cross, Redman knocked back but neither Bavidge nor Dennis Wyness could get a shot away.

But Strachan hauled them back into the game with 16 minutes remaining. Wood opted to punch a dangerous Deasley corner, and the ball to the former Celtic man who lashed home a left-foot effort.

But despite pressing for a leveller, Montrose made the points safe in injury time. Strachan’s attempted clearance in the full-back area was blocked and that allowed Martin Boyle to pull back for Lloyd Young.

He in turn picked out ex-Peterhead man Jonathon Crawford, who found the net from eight yards.

But there was still time for Bavidge to fire home a consolation strike in the fourth minute of time added on. Again it came from a Deasley corner, the striker winning the ball at the near post before firing high into the net on the turn.

The goal might have masked the ease of Montrose’s win, but it did little to ease the hurt of a painful 12 months for Peterhead FC, who must surely now look to the Elgin match on January 2, their first of 2012, as a new beginning.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Roy McBain (Aaron Conway 82), Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Dave Ross (Martin Bavidge 60), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Bryan Deasley, Graeme Sharp (Dennis Wyness 67). Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: McAllister, Deasley.

MONTROSE: Sandy Wood, Sean Crichton, Dougie Cameron, Alan Campbell, Jonathan Smart, Terry Masson, Lloyd Young, Jamie Winter, Martin Boyle, Scott Johnston, David McGowan (Jonathon Crawford 81). Subs not used: Sean Pierce, David Dimilta, Steven McPhee, Michael Andrews (gk).

Booked: Cameron, McGowan, Crawford.

Attendance: 566