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Peterhead 2 Ross County 0

Sun 14 Jul 2013

Peterhead captain Steven Noble recieves the Les Taylor Memorial Trophy Peterhead captain Steven Noble recieves the Les Taylor Memorial Trophy

Peterhead kicked off their pre-season preparations with a fine win over an uncharacteristically below-par Ross County at Balmoor.

The match was played for the inaugural Les Taylor Memorial Trophy, on the day that the Balmoor sponsors' lounges was dedicated in honour of the late former Vice-Chairman and sponsor.

Striker Andy Rodgers opened the scoring late in the first half, and substitute Bryan Gilfillan rattled home a penalty in the closing stages of the second to earn a morale-boosting victory for the Blue Toon.

Having retained much the same squad that narrowly missed out on promotion in last season’s playoffs, boss Jim McInally had almost a full complement available to him although striker Rory McAllister missed out due to a prior engagement.

Rodgers celebrates his fine chip over Mark Brown

There was a starting place for ex-Aberdeen midfielder Jordon Brown as both player and club take a look at each other. Three further trialists, Garry McStay, Dean Richardson and Ross Still were named on the bench.

The match was played very much at a pre-season pace and though County looked comfortable enough knocking the ball about, there was little in the way of incisive play from the SPL side.

Indeed, the first chance fell to Peterhead midfielder Dean Cowie after 20 minutes, his driven effort from 20 yards stinging the palms of County number one Mark Brown.

Just after the half-hour, a Mihael Kovacevic challenge brought an angry reaction from Peterhead winger David Cox, but a quiet word in the ear from referee Tom Shaw soon took the sting out of the situation.

Shortly afterwards, the deadlock was broken in some style. Veteran defender Grant Munro cut out Graeme Sharp’s pass on the right, but lost possession to Jamie Redman. He fed Rodgers, who lifted a delightful lob over Brown, and into the far corner of the net.

County came close to levelling three minutes from the break when Munro fed summer signing Darren Maatsen, only for goalkeeper Graeme Smith to block well.

The home side made a slew of changes at the interval and as the new-look side settled into the game, Richardson was caught on the ball by Alex Cooper – son of former Blue Toon gaffer Neale - after 52 minutes, the winger drawing a fine save from Smith.

Midway through the second half, Gilfillan came close for the home side as he followed his own clearance up the park, to meet a Cox cross and head narrowly over.

With ten minutes left, Kovacevic got forward from his right-back berth to send an angled shot narrowly over the crossbar.

And in the dying minutes, Peterhead were handed a penalty after Jake Fitzgerald was brought down in the area. Bryan Gilfillan stepped up to send Brown the wrong way from the spot.

Peterhead: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble (Conner McGlinchey, 46), Ryan Strachan, Scott Ross, Dean Cowie (Trialist – Ryan McStay, 46), David Cox (Greg Alexander, 86), Redman (Trialist – Dean Richardson, 46), Rodgers (Callum Macdonald, 46), Trialist – Jordon Brown (Bryan Gilfillan, 46), Ryan McCann (Jake Fitzgerald, 86). Subs not used: Trialist – Ross Still, Ewan McDonald (gk).

Ross County: Mark Brown, Mihael Kovacevic, Ben Gordon, Stuart Kettlewell (Marc Klok, 68), Steven Saunders, Munro (Scott Boyd, 68), Darren Maatsen (Kevin Luckassen, 68), Richie Brittain, Steven Ross (Gary Glen, 68), Rocco Quinn, Alex Cooper (Ivan Sproule, 68). Sub not used: Michael Fraser (gk).

Attendance: 414