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Peterhead 1 Elgin City 1

Tue 11 Dec 2012

Peterhead’s local derby with Elgin beat the snap freezing conditions as the Buchan area was covered in a blanket of snow, the determined efforts of ground staff, directors, volunteers and even player’s family’s ensured that Balmoor was declared playable. A small band of 225 hardy supporters braved the freezing temperatures where champions league football on the telly might have been more appealing to others.

The midweek game came courtesy of Elgin’s Scottish Cup match versus Rangers at Ibrox, so Elgin returned to league business hard on the heels of that fruitless trip to Glasgow but with hopes of jumping over Rangers into top spot in the table, if they could overcome Peterhead’s unbeaten home record this season. Rory McAllister returned to the Peterhead starting line up in after his bout of illness in an otherwise unchanged side, Graeme Smith making his home debut as the Toon looked to bounce back from defeat to Montrose.

It was Rory McAllister that was to make the game’s first impact, a long ball from Ross Smith, fell inside the Elgin full back and Rory used his strength to ease him off the ball and sprint to the edge of the box, where his curved shot went just past the far post. Elgin then were the next to threaten when Daniel Moore beat two Peterhead defenders to swing a dangerous cross into the Peterhead box, however there were no takers as the ball slipped by for a goal kick.

On the twenty minute mark Peterhead took the game by the scruff of the neck, with superb linking play between David Cox and Jamie Redman exchanging a series of passes on the right hand side, before creating space to slip the ball to McLaughlin and his rasping shot was turned round the post by Elgin’s Gibson, on-loan from Dundee. Peterhead were not to be denied and on 23 minutes Robbie Winters picked up a loose ball from Elgin’s defence, he played in David Cox, who turned the ball back to Noble who charged into the box, but fooled everyone with a disguised pass to David Cox, who curved his shot past Gibson from 12 yards, for his first goal for the toon.

This stung Elgin into action, however the Blue Toon restricted them to set pieces and long range shots, however there was a glorious chance right on the half time whistle when Scott Ross lose the ball in mid-flight and the ball fell to the feet of former Peterhead Player Craig Gunn, he fired in a crisp effort that was well saved by the feet of Graeme Smith.

The second half started in a similar fashion with Elgin pressing and it was on 60 minutes, a soft free kick that was to be Peterhead’s undoing, lack marking at the Daniel Moore floated ball to the back post saw Stuart Leslie unmarked and his half volley gave Graeme Smith no chance. It was Peterhead’s turn to react and again the long ball caught out Elgin, this time from Strachan, finding McAllister, however this time his shot was across the keeper and past the post.

Martin Bavidge came on to strengthen the Toon upfront and he linked well with Noble, who fired a dangerous cross that McAlister met full on with the header well saved by Gibson. The best chances to win the game however fell to Elgin’s Leslie, first a penetrating ball from Nicolson spilt the Peterhead defence and put Leslie clean through, the effort well saved by Smith and again the Peterhead Keeper denied Leslie from close range as he wriggled through three defenders challenges.  

Peterhead – G Smith, Cowie, Noble, R.Smith, Strachan, Ross, Redman, Cox (Deasley 78), McAllister, Winters (Bavidge 61), McLaughlin. Subs not used – Jarvie, Alexander, Tully.

Elgin City – Gibson, Niven, McMullan (Millar 87), Crighton, Duff, Cameron (Harkins 80), Gunn (Wyness 75), O'Donoghue, Leslie, Nicolson, Moore. Subs not used – Black, Beveridge.