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Peterhead escape automatic relegation after comeback victory

Sat 06 May 2017


By Glenn Moir

R for Redemption rather than Relegation?

It's possible after a plucky Peterhead fightback, which saw Jim McInally's team defeat Alloa and narrowly escape the automatic drop from League 1.

The Blue Toon had to better the result of Stenhousemuir to clamber off bottom spot.

Credit to the players for digging deep to come from behind on two occasions and get the win they required. Stenny, on the other hand, could not beat Brechin.

This was never going to be straightforward. It was a bumpy rollercoaster ride but it was worth it in the end.

Yes, Alloa did not bother playing their shining lights Greig Spence and Jordan Kirkpatrick, with their promotion play-off just around the corner, but they still made life very tough for Peterhead.

Twice they took the lead, with their opener coming in the 29th minute. Steven Hetherington's drive from outside the box was well-saved by the diving Graeme Smith and Iain Flannigan was on hand to tap in the rebound.

The Blue Toon nearly got back level five minutes before half time when Rory McAllister's free-kick was pushed out by Craig McDowall but Jamie Redman could not direct his follow-up effort on target.

However, McAllister led a rally from the hosts in the second period and he came up with the equaliser in the 53rd minute. Jim Goodwin's men failed to deal with Jamie Stevenson's long throw and McAllister smashed a 12 yard shot into the net.

When Alloa re-took the lead six minutes later through Adam Martin's close range finish from a Flannigan assist, Peterhead had it all to do, particularly with Stenny drawing level at Ochilview.

They needed two goals and they duly delivered.

Grant Anderson, moments after coming on as a substitute, found space at the far post to slot past McDowall in the 68th minute and then with nine minutes remaining, Jordon Brown provided the decisive moment.

It came from a free-kick that never was, but McDowall should have done an awful lot better.

The visiting goalkeeper made heavy weather of dealing with Stevenson's set-piece from 25 yards and Brown bundled in the rebound.

Then there was almost the ultimate sting from the Wasps with seconds left.

Martin turned his marker in the box but Smith, who made a fine return to the team, pulled off a great stop to effectively save Peterhead from relegation and set up a play-off semi final against Montrose.

Deep breaths...until Wednesday.

          Reid Ross Strachan Noble
Stevenson S.Brown J.Brown Redman
               McIntosh McAllister