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Peterhead 1 East Fife 2

Sat 28 Jul 2012

Steven Noble makes a challenge Steven Noble makes a challenge

Despite impressive spells at either end of the match, Peterhead lost out to Second Division side East Fife in the First Round of the Ramsdens Cup.

The Blue Toon had started brightly but fell behind after ten minutes to a Scott McBride penalty, before trialist striker Collin Samuel doubled the Fifers' advantage.

Rory McAllister fired home from close range to give Jim McInally's men a way back into the game, but despite sustained pressure, they couldn't force what would have been a deserved leveller.

Steven Noble and Scott McLaughlin made their competitive debuts for the club, while Dean Cowie was making his second debut after returning to the club on a one-year deal.

McAllister seemed isolated as the sole front man in a 4-5-1 formation, but the Blue Toon looked good in the opening stages, taking the play to Gordon Durie's side.

Scott Ross headed a Ryan Strachan corner wide as early as the third minute, but although the Blue Toon continued to attack, it was the visitors who took the lead.

Rory mcAllister celebrates his goal

Callum Macdonald challenged Gareth Wardlaw as the former Ayr United and St Mirren man shaped to shoot and, perhaps a little harshly, referee Greg Aitken pointed to the spot. McBride stepped up and although Paul Jarvie guessed the correct way, the ball was just above his reach.

There was almost an immediate response as Jamie Redman worked hard to win the ball wide on the right before slipping a pass to Graeme Sharp who cut onto his left foot and crashed a shot off the upright.

Midway through the half, Sharp's ball out of defence found McAllister in space on the right. He set himself to fizz a ball across goal, but there were no takers.

A minute later, goalscorer McBride set up Sean Jamieson for an angled effort which flashed just wide of Jarvie's left hand post.

Sharp, playing at right-back, was involved in much of the noteworthy first half action, and as the game became more even, he was well positioned to block Samuel's header on the line following a Craig Johnstone corner.

The pair combined again when the Fifers doubled their lead. Johnstone embarked on a fine run down the left and his pinpoint cross was met by Samuel, who peeled off his man and threw himself at the ball to make it 2-0.

It looked like game over, but after the introduction of Robbie Winters and Martin Bavidge suddenly gave the Blue Toon fresh impetus, although only a superb tackle from Noble denied Samuel what was surely going to be his second goal of the afternoon.

With 20 minutes left, Bavidge held the ball up well and presented Strachan with a chance, but the usually reliable midfielder had a rush of blood to the head and blazed over the bar.

Five minutes later, though, Peterhead were back in it. Strachan's corner from the left was met by Ross, and though visiting keeper Michael Brown was on hand to block, he couldn't hold the effort and McAllister powered home from close range.

The scores could have been level just sixty seconds later. The veteran Winters angled a ball out to McAllister on the left, and he tried a cheeky cross-cum-shot which curled narrowly wide of the far post.

Energetic midfielder McLaughlin was running in, and any touch from the ex-Queen of the South man would have diverted the ball into the net.

McLaughlin did have a shot at goal with ten minutes remaining as more excellent link-up play between Bavidge and Winters presented him with a chance, only for the effort to be blocked.

Strachan was next up with a 25-yard snap-shot which looked like it was flying into the top corner, but came up narrowly wide of the upright.

The Fifers now looked at sixes and sevens, and another clever pass from Winters sent McAllister through with just the goalkeeper to beat. He did everything right, but Brown stuck out an arm to beat away the former Brechin man's strike.

That was to prove the final chance of the game, leaving the Blue Toon disappointed to have lost out in a game that was there for the taking.

They have a quick chance to pick themselves up as they are in action again on Tuesday night, facing SPL side Dundee in the first round of the Scottish Communities League Cup at Balmoor.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Dean Cowie, Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman (Martin Bavidge, 58), Rory McAllister, Bryan Deasley (Robbie Winters, 58), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Darren Kelly, Roy McBain, Marc McCallum (gk).

EAST FIFE: Michael Brown, Scott Durie, Craig Johnstone, Steve Campbell, Darren McCormick, Darren Smith, Trialist A (Trialist B, 84), David Muir, Gareth Wardlaw (Ross Brown, 28), Sean Jamieson, Scott McBride. Subs not used: Ross Brewster, James Martin.