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Peterhead 3 Elgin City 0

Mon 02 Jan 2012

Peterhead got their attempts to put the nightmare that was 2011 behind them off to a good start, as they comfortably disposed of ten-man Elgin City in their first match of 2012.

Jim McInally made two changes to the side that had suffered Boxing Day defeat to Montrose, goalkeeper Raymond Jellema replaced by Paul Jarvie, and Martin Bavidge returning to the starting eleven in place of Bryan Deasley.

A tactical switch saw Dave Ross switch to the left flank, Graeme Sharp on the right, and both would put in fine performances.

Sharp was heavily involved in the early play, his cross just evading Rory McAllister before Jamie Redman struck over from just inside the area.

A neat interchange between Ross and McAllister on the left saw the former Brechin man fly past Elgin defender David Niven before crossing for Sharp after 12 minutes but, left-footed, Sharp hit high and wide.

The Blue Toon were playing well, and their cause was aided by the incident that led to the opener, and reduced the visitors to ten men.

Bavidge slipped a clever ball through to McAllister who drew City keeper Zander Clark off his line and into hauling the striker down.

That left referee Don Robertson no option but to produce the red card and, after some delay City withdrew giant striker Paul Miller and replaced him with sub keeper John Calder, McAllister stepped up to confidently stroke home from the spot.

City were up against it, but Peterhead struggled to press home their advantage in the immediate aftermath of the card, and it took almost 20 minutes for them to threaten once more.

Ryan Strachan won the ball in his own half and evaded three challenges before passing to Bavidge, who himself beat two men then fed Redman whose cross simply had to be put away by Sharp from close range.

The former Montrose winger completely missed his kick, though, slicing tamely back across the goal and allowing Elgin to clear.

But Sharp made up for that miss in some style, two minutes into injury time. Scott Ross headed away a Daniel Moore free-kick, and Dave Ross fed Sharp just inside the Elgin half.

Sharp raced towards goal, cutting inside McPhee before striking left-footed from 20 yards, a deflection off Graeme Beveridge wrong-footing Calder as the ball flew into the net.

Still in the thick of the action after the break, Sharp saw an early volley deflected wide of the post, then another 25-yard effort squirm wide of the post after McAllister’s clever flick.

Piling on the pressure, Bavidge went close when his shot from an acute angle struck both the upright and Calder just before the hour mark.

The visitors were still more than capable of hitting on the break though, and they too hit the woodwork just a minute later.

Stuart Leslie picked the ball up in midfield and fed former Blue Toon man Craig Gunn. Elgin’s top scorer had Jarvie beaten with an angled shot but the ball came back off the inside of the post and into the arms of the relieved keeper.

Gunn again threatened soon after, this time from a Moore delivery, however his tame header was comfortably held by Jarvie.

The points were sealed after 73 minutes though, as Scott Ross popped up in the penalty area to turn home a corner from substitute Deasley, the ball coming off the former Aberdeen man’s shoulder as he came under pressure from Calder and Jamie Duff.

Another sub, Aaron Conway, stung the palms of Calder in the dying stages, as the Blue Toon ensured a confidence-boosting win ahead of their televised Scottish Cup tie against Celtic on Sunday.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Dave Ross (Bryan Deasley, 65), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Aaron Conway, 75), Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness, 57), Graeme Sharp. Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Raymond Jellema (gk).

Booked: Bavidge.

ELGIN CITY: Zander Clark, David Niven, Archie McPhee, Stuart Leslie (Trialist, 68), Jamie Duff, Graeme Beveridge, Craig Gunn (Jason Crooks, 72), Ross O’Donoghue, Paul Miller (John Calder, 19), Mark Nicolson, Daniel Moore. Sub not used: Cieran Maclean.

Sent off: Clark.

Attendance: 626