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Pressure on Peterhead after Warriors win basement battle

Sat 22 Apr 2017

By Glenn Moir

If Peterhead surrender their League 1 status at the end of the season then a key reason will be their wretched results against bottom of the table Stenhousemuir.

They have taken just one point off the Warriors from their four battles, their latest a disappointing and potentially crucial 1-0 defeat at Balmoor.

The solitary goal, which was a deflected 10th minute effort, was in keeping with the rest of the game - very untidy.

Post-match, Blue Toon boss Jim McInally spoke of his frustration at losing to a team that offered nothing.

Mind you, Stenny were never going to go hammer and tongs, particularly after their early opener. It was a perfect game plan for them. Score, sit in, restrict the space and frustrate.

Sadly, Peterhead could not come up with the answers.

The home team started well enough and Scott Brown forced Graham Bowman into a smart save before Simon Ferry drove a shot just over the crossbar.

But after falling behind, they faded and never really looked as though they could turn things around.

On loan Hibs rookie Oliver Shaw took aim from outside the box. His shot, aided by a big deflection off Craig Reid, wrong-footed Fraser Hobday and the ball nestled into the net.

The teenager's enthusiasm was evident and he nearly scored again as half time approached with a shot from the right side of the penalty area, which flew wide.

Prior to that chance, Rory McAllister, isolated for much of the match, failed to hit the target with a 12 yard shot after Aaron Comrie's shot-come-cross fell into the path of the striker.

It was only when the hosts brought on their three substitutes in the second period that an urgency was shown.

One of the replacements, Jordon Brown, saw a sidefooted effort clawed away by Bowman and another, Allan Smith, did his best to unsettle the Stenny defence with his pace and movement.

But by no means were the visitors hanging on and they safely saw the match out to crank up the pressure on Peterhead and cut the gap to just a couple of points with two games remaining.

A home defeat lessened the need to look out for the result of eighth-placed Stranraer. But, for anyone interested, they played out a goalless draw at Brechin.