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Peterhead 2 Annan Athletic 3

Sat 13 Aug 2011

The Blue Toon remain pointless after two league games, but there were positive signs for John Sheran's men despite a second defeat to Annan Athletic in a matter of days.

The Borderers came out on top in the midweek Ramsdens Cup meeting, but both sides made changes ahead of the first Third Division match at Balmoor since 2005.

Barry Sellars returned to the Peterhead lineup in place of Lewis Davidson, while the visitors made six changes to the side that had won 4-2 in midweek. One of those missing out was former Peterhead man Bryan Gilfillan, who was suspended.

In a tactical change, Roy McBain started in midfield for Peterhead, with Paul Watson reverting to left-back.

And it seemed so promising for Peterhead when they took the lead after just eight minutes. Craig Summersgill, the Annan goalkeeper, came charging off his line but failed to claim the ball, and Bryan Deasley was on hand to turn and chip home from the edge of the area.

Martin Bavidge could have made it 2-0 six minutes later, but he saw his near-post header turned round the post by the former Gretna goalkeeper.

But for all Peterhead's good work in the opening stages, defensive frailties cost them an equaliser. Peter Watson's throw-in was poorly defended, and Annan's teenage midfielder Jordan McKechnie fired in from the edge of the area, claiming his first senior goal.

Peterhead could have been back in front when Bavidge worked space and found strike partner Rory McAllister but the former Brechin man, still adapting to life at Balmoor saw his effort loop up and Summersgill gratefully claimed.

But the Blue Toon were back in front five minutes before the interval. The returning Sellars found former Forfar team-mate Deasley with a ball out of defence, and the goalscorer turned provider for McAllister, who swept home from six yards.

So far so good, but poor defending again led to an equaliser five minutes after the break. David Cox was given far too much room to cross from the left, and McKechnie got in at the front post to turn home his second of the afternoon.

Watson came close to putting Harry Cairney's side in front when he headed a Steven Sloan cross over from close range, but Peterhead broke and only a fine save from Summersgill denied McAllister.

But it was the visitors who were to go in front, with 18 minutes left. Roy McBain brought down the lively Sloan and Ian Harty, who had bagged a hat-trick in midweek, found the top corner from the penalty spot.

That seemed to spark life back into the home side, who looked like they were capable of drawing level. Indeed, another Sellars ball out of defence set McAllister free, and the hitman was unlucky to see his effort come back off the upright.

Sellars himself saw a long range strike saved in injury-time, but the visitors held on to secure a win which sees them top the table at this early stage, as the only side to have won both league games.

PETERHEAD: Neil Duffy, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Barry Sellars, Callum Macdonald, Jamie Redman, Aaron Conway (Graeme Sharp, 74), Paul Watson (Dave Ross, 81), Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness, 77), Bryan Deasley. Subs not used: Scott Ross, Lewis Davidson.

Booked: McAllister.

ANNAN ATHLETIC: Craig Summersgill, Peter Watson, Michael McGowan, Scott Gibson, Andy Aitken, Jordan McKechnie, Steven Sloan, Chris Jardine, Ian Harty, Sean O'Connor (Graeme Bell, 37), David Cox. Subs not used: Jack Steele, Andrew Forsyth, Jordy Atkinson, Alex Mitchell (gk).

Booked: McKechnie.

Attendance: 448