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Peterhead 2 Queen's Park 1

Sat 28 Jan 2012

Peterhead's run of form continues ad they picked up a fourth straight win, and a fifth in six league games, despite falling behind to Queen's Park.

The visitors had dominated the first half, so deserved the lead handed to them by Sean Burns after 33 minutes. But a tactical reshuffle saw Peterhead take control after the interval, and Rory McAllister netted a double to earn the points.

With Scott Ross suspended, Peterhead handed a second debut to veteran defender Craig Tully, now registered for a second spell on the Balmoor playing staff alongside his coaching duties.

Also making his debut, at the other end of the age scale, was midfielder Graham Webster, the recent loan signing from Dundee.

Both players slotted into a 3-5-2 formation designed to provide as much cover for Tully as possible, the defender having last played for Clyde in July.

But the Spiders took the game to Peterhead early on, and Paul Jarvie had to be alert to save Jamie Longworth's header from a Martin McBride corner early on, and again to deny Daryl Meggatt from another McBride delivery.

It was almost 20 minutes into the game before Peterhead's first chance saw Queen's keeper Neil Parry comfortably hold Bryan Deasley's 20-yard strike.

But McBride provided another moment of danger at the other end as, after a short corner, he curled a dangerous cross towards the back post, Jamie Redman having to head the danger away.

Martin Bavidge saw a header saved from a Deasley cross after 33 minutes, but twenty seconds later the visitors were deservedly ahead.

Parry quickly played the ball out to captain Ricky Little, who found Craig Smith with a ball down the right channel. Tully was unable to cut out the low cross Smith fired across goal, and Burns had the easiest of tasks to tap home.

They could have been two up by half-time as Ian Watt charged down Tully's attempted clearance and was through one-on-one with Jarvie, only for a heavy touch to allow the goalkeeper to mop up the danger.

But it was an entirely different game after the restart. Peterhead switched to a 4-4-2 formation and the improvement was immediate.

Just four minutes after the restart Ryan Strachan, pushed forward into a midfield role, found Bavidge with a cross from the left. He knocked down for Webster who missed his kick but still forced a save from Parry, with Davie Donald seeing his follow-up come back off the post.

Parry had to get down at his near post shortly after, by which time Peterhead had brought on Dave Ross and Graeme Sharp to bolster their attacking options.

Ross' first real involvement saw him take advantage of a Paul McGinn slip to cross for McAllister from the left, only for the former Brechin man to fluff his lines and blaze high and wide.

But you can't keep a good man down, and McAllister would net the leveller after 62 minutes. Bavidge played in Sharp down the right and his early cross found the striker unmarked to head a superb header into the top corner of the net.

The momentum was definitely with Peterhead now, and they took the lead from the penalty spot five minutes later.

Bavidge beat McGinn as he cut in from the left flank but drew Little into a foul, and McAllister stepped up to coolly beat Parry from 12 yards.

Ross was unlucky to see his shot deflect wide as he looked to put some distance between the sides, but as has so often been the case lately, it was a nervy finish with the narrowest of margins.

Perhaps evidence that the Blue Toon are starting to get the rub of the green, Smith was millimetres away from earning the Spiders a point as he beat Jarvie from 20 yards with an injury-time strike, only to see his effort come back off the upright.

It was heart-in-mouth stuff for the home support, but their side held on for a vital three points that lift them to seventh in the league ahead of tough trips to league leaders Alloa and then sixth-placed Berwick Rangers.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Craig Tully, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Graham Webster (Graeme Sharp 51), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness 90), Bryan Deasley (Dave Ross 51). Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Ray Jellema (gk)

Booked: McBain, McAllister.

QUEEN'S PARK: Neil Parry, Paul McGinn, Daryl Meggatt, Ricky Little, Paul Gallacher, David Anderson, Ian Watt (Tony Quinn 83), Martin McBride, Craig Smith, Jamie Longworth, Sean Burns (Michael Daly 72). Subs not used: Peter Bradley, Owen Ronald, Blair Lochhead (gk).

Booked: McGinn.

Referee: Brian Winter

Attendance: 505