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Defensive lapses as Blue Toon suffer damaging defeat

Sat 17 Mar 2018

Jordon Brown, who scored the opener at Links Park, holds off former team-mate Jamie Redman Jordon Brown, who scored the opener at Links Park, holds off former team-mate Jamie Redman

MONTROSE 3-2 PETERHEAD

 

If Peterhead end up in a play-off battle rather than a League 2 title party, they will look back at this table-topping clash with huge regret.

The Blue Toon deservedly led twice after controlling much of the match, yet Montrose still had the last laugh.

It was self-inflicted stuff from Jim McInally’s men, who should certainly have left Links Park with at least a point.

Defensive lapses proved costly and the Gable Endies took full advantage to pull three points clear and still with a game in hand.

Peterhead bossed the first half and Willie Gibson swung in a free-kick, which deceived Allan Fleming and the ball cracked off the crossbar.

Chris Johnston was then unlucky not to score with an angled shot, which flashed inches wide after Rory McAllister neatly knocked down Gibson’s pick-out. 

The wind was a factor in Peterhead’s dominance and they deservedly went in front in the 37th minute.  Jamie Stevenson cut inside and delivered a cross to the back post for Jordon Brown, who stooped to guide a fine 10 yard header inside the opposite corner.

Montrose were probably glad they got in at half time just one down and they were back level on the hour mark.

Terry Masson profited on a dreadful mix-up by Stevenson and Mason Robertson and he was able to slot the ball past Greg Fleming.

But it was an equally poor piece of defending that allowed Peterhead to go back in front just three minutes later.  Paul Watson dithered on the ball and Allan Smith pounced to break through on goal and neatly stroke past Allan Fleming.

Montrose got, what appeared to be, a softly-awarded free-kick in the 71st minute but the visitors ought to have defended it better as Lewis Milne’s delivery to the back post found Chris Templeman, who was able to take a touch and then tap in from close range.

With the scores level, a point would not have been the worst outcome for Peterhead but when Milne nodded in with nine minutes left, they were staring down the barrel of a damaging defeat.  

Gary Fraser looped over a cross from the left and Milne got in between two Peterhead defenders to send a six yard header underneath Fleming.

The Balmoor team piled on late pressure and were unlucky not to get a penalty when Stevenson went down under a reckless challenge from Watson and then Robertson saw a bullet header superbly saved by Fleming as Montrose clung on to become firm favourites in the race for the title.

 

By Glenn Moir

 

                            Fleming

Stevenson Robertson Jas.Brown McIlduff

                       Gibson    Leitch

Smith                 Jo.Brown          Johnston

                           McAllister