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Elgin City 1 Peterhead 2

Sat 10 Mar 2012

Jim McInally must be sick to the back teeth of watching his men fall behind early in matches.

The Peterhead boss saw his side lose yet another early goal - a Mark Nicolson header - against Elgin at Borough Briggs, but will have been more pleased to see his side bounce back to win the game.

Martin Bavidge levelled matters with a close-range finish, and Jamie Redman headed home a second to give the Blue Toon all three points.

Bavidge was skippering the side in the absence of the suspended Callum Macdonald, and his presence in the team after missing the 6-3 defeat to East Stirling last week was one of four changes.

Also out went Graham Webster, Dennis Wyness and Ray Jellema, the trio all dropping to the bench, while Macdonald looked on from the stand following his late red card against the Shire.

In came Bavidge, Paul Jarvie, Bryan Deasley and new signing Russell Duncan, the former Inverness Caley Thistle midfielder having joined the Blue Toon on loan from Ross County in the lead-up to the game.

But the game had barely started when Peterhead found themselves behind. Daniel Moore's corner from the Elgin right found Nicholson unmarked at the back post, and he headed home the simplest of goals.

The majority of the crowd went wild, and could have been forgiven for thinking a comfortable home win was on the cards - especially just weeks after Elgin had defeated the Blue Toon 6-1 at the same venue.

But Peterhead don't give up easily and Deasley's jinking run showed the threat they can pose, the former Forfar winger playing in Bavidge who shot just wide.

Unbeaten in their last eight games, though, Elgin looked capable of adding more goals, and Craig Gunn really should have done better after being slipped in by Brian Cameron after 20 minutes.

The main threat for the hosts was the delivery of set-pieces from Daniel Moore, the former Peterhead winger. That threat was underlined when, from a seemingly innocuous free kick in the midfield, his delivery bounced awkwardly in front of Jarvie and forced the keeper to push over.

That sparked a period of pressure culminating in the goalkeeper diving to his left to push away a header from Elgin captain David Niven.

Another Moore deliver, this time a corner from the left, had Jarvie scrambling again on the half-hour, the delivery coming back off the crossbar before Craig Tully cleared the danger.

But Peterhead were back level seven minutes before the interval, and Elgin keeper Zander Clark won't look back fondly on the goal.

The on-loan St Johnstone keeper dived to his left to parry Rory McAllister's free kick after Deasley had been fouled, but Redman reacted first to play the ball back across goal, and Bavidge gleefully turned the ball over the line.

Elgin could have been back in front a minute later as Nicholson picked up on a Moore corner fumbled by Jarvie, but the goalkeeper reacted to save from the midfielder.

The half ended on a sour note, McAllister and Elgin full-back Archie McPhee clashing after a typically strong battle for possession. Both players were booked for their troubles, while there were also yellows for Elgin defender Jamie Duff and Peterhead midfielder Redman for their part in the ensuing melee.

But Redman's next contribution would be much more welcome, as he put McInally's men ahead eight minutes after the interval.

Again it was a simple finish, the midfielder rising above Niven to head Deasley's corner home at the far post.
Elgin would go on to spend the majority of the second period camped in the Peterhead half, but for all they tried to get the ball forward, they lacked the guile and creativity to trouble a resolute Peterhead defence.

Indeed, the closest they came saw Gunn turn to find space on the edge of the box, before shooting meekly beyond the upright.

If anything, despite the scarcity of their chances, Peterhead looked the more likely to find the net again, with Deasley forcing a smart save from Clark with 15 minutes to go.

And in injury time, after Clark had earned himself a booking for bringing down substitute Wyness, Russell Duncan's low free kick drew another save from the young goalkeeper.

ELGIN CITY: Zander Clark, David Niven, Archie McPhee, Mark Durnan, Jamie Duff, Stuart Leslie (Barry Wilson, 86), Craig Gunn, Brian Cameron (Graham Beveridge, 62), Jason Crooks (Paul Millar, 62), Mark Nicholson, Daniel Moore. Subs not used: Paul McMullan, John Calder (gk).

Booked: Clark, Niven, McPhee, Durnan, Duff.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Russell Duncan, Craig Tully, Ryan Strachan, Graeme Sharp, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Dennis Wyness, 77), Martin Bavidge (Lewis Davidson, 86), Bryan Deasley. Subs not used: Shaun Robertson, Graham Webster, Ray Jellema (gk).

Booked: Tully, Strachan, McAllister, Redman.

Attendance: 1,072