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Clyde 0 Peterhead 1

Sat 21 Jan 2012

Peterhead’s upturn in fortunes continued as they took their recent good form on the road to collect a second away win of the season, and a fourth in their last five league games.

The Blue Toon’s last five games in all competitions had been at Balmoor, and with an improvement in form having seen them take nine points from their four league matches in that spell, manager Jim McInally was looking for his men to replicate that form at Broadwood.

Top scorer Rory McAllister returned to the starting eleven after suspension in place of Graeme Sharp, while Dennis Wyness retained his place in the starting eleven after netting the winner against East Stirling last week.

Dave Ross returned to the bench after injury, and on-loan midfielder Graham Webster was also among the substitutes, having joined from Dundee this week.

Conditions were far from ideal, but with a strong, swirling wind blowing through the Cumbernauld stadium, Peterhead must have felt more than at home.

They certainly didn’t waste any time in abusing the hospitality of their hosts, taking the lead after just three minutes.

Ryan Strachan took a quick free kick to Bryan Deasley and although his cross took a nick off a Clyde defender, Scott Ross was able to head across goal and Martin Bavidge nodded over the line.

But though Peterhead pressed forward with intent, they found it hard to put Clyde keeper David Crawford under any real pressure, before Roy McBain flashed a cross-cum-shot across goal ten minutes from the interval.

There was more action after the interval though, and Bavidge set the tone in the opening minutes, cutting in from the left to hit a shot from eight yards, Crawford turning the ball away with his legs for a corner.

Crawford was coming under pressure in the early stages of the second half, but he wouldn’t have expected to have to scramble backwards to deal with Brian McQueen’s passback ten minutes after the interval, the centre-back having misjudged his goalkeeper’s positioning.

A minute later, Strachan had the goalkeeper under threat again, as he sent a shot narrowly over the crossbar from 25-yards.

At the other end, Clyde’s recent loan signing from Dumbarton, Kieran Brannan, got the better of Callum Macdonald to get into the penalty area, but the Blue Toon captain recovered to block, and Brannan sent his second effort into the side-netting.

But still Peterhead drove forward in search of a second goal, and McAllister should have done better with his 20-yard free kick on the hour. Having won the set-piece himself, he blazed his shot into the empty stand behind the goal.

Substitute Dave Ross was next to have a crack at goal, his strike crashing off the crossbar after excellent work by Bavidge on the right flank had allowed him to cross.

Paul Jarvie, on his return to his former club, denied John Neil with a diving save low to his left, while McAllister turned brilliantly at the other end, only to see his shot saved by Crawford.

With the clock running down, the home side began to throw men forward in search of a late leveller and appealed strongly for handball when Steph McDonald’s shot was deflected wide, but there was no reaction from referee Brian Colvin.

It was a nervy climax without the buffer of that elusive second goal, but the Blue Toon held firm to close the gap to both Clyde and Montrose to just two points – with McInally’s men having a game in hand over both.

Each of Peterhead’s recent wins has been accompanied by a clean sheet, which provides some encouragement ahead of next Saturday’s home match against Queen’s Park.

CLYDE: David Crawford, Iain Gray (Michael Oliver, 46), Lee Sharp, Jason Marr, Brian McQueen, Paul Hay (Dale Fulton, 83), John Neil, John Sweeney, Kieran Brannan, Trialist, Pat Scullion (Steph McDonald, 63). Subs not used: Kris Irvine, Barry McCue (gk).

Booked: Scullion, Sweeney.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain (Lewis Davidson, 83), Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Dennis Wyness (Dave Ross, 61), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge, Bryan Deasley (Graeme Sharp, 61). Subs not used: Graham Webster, Raymond Jellema (gk).

Booked: Macdonald, McAllister.

Attendance: 456.