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Stranraer finally beaten at Balmoor as Blue Toon rise to sixth

Sat 29 Oct 2016


By Glenn Moir


A song called The Fear, by Lily Allen, topped the music chart the last time Stranraer were beaten at Balmoor.

That was way back in February 2009.

But the Stair Park men were unable to put the frighteners on Peterhead today as their long unblemished record in the north east ended.

Ahead of Halloween, Stranraer were spooked by their own player, Willie Gibson, whose daft dismissal swung an even match in the Blue Toon's favour.

The former Kilmarnock and Dunfermline winger collected a cheap yellow card for mouthing off in the first half.

Failing to heed the warning, he booted the ball away in a show of petulance eight minutes after the interval.

Referee Colin Steven was not in the mood to keep cards in his pocket, although on this instance he did not have much option but to send off Gibson, who ironically had been one of the best performers on the pitch.

Peterhead made the most of the extra man and space, with Rory McAllister scoring the opener 11 minutes after Gibson's gaffe and Scott Brown putting the seal on a third straight victory in the closing stages.

The Blue Toon did pass up a couple of huge opportunities inside the first five minutes, Stefan McCluskey failing to beat the impressive Cammy Belford, who then dived to keep out McAllister's close-range effort.

Home manager Jim McInally later admitted he worried those chances might have come back to haunt his team.

Had Gibson kept his cool, they could well have proved costly.

But Peterhead capitalised on his bad-temper in the 64th minute, McCluskey superbly sending McAllister away with a sublime pass and the Blue Toon frontman rounded Belford and rolled the ball into an empty net.

Belford then foiled Jordon Brown, whose volley from another McCluskey pick-out was goalbound, but Scott Brown made sure of the points with four minutes remaining.

With his pace and power, the former St Johnstone midfielder ran half the length of the pitch before drilling the ball inside the far corner.

Another win and another clean sheet.