Peterhead 0 East Fife 1
Peterhead were knocked out of the SPFL Trust Trophy at the hands of visitors East Fife 1-0 with a strong fightback from the Blue Toon not enough to get them back into the game after a slow start.
The Fifers netted after only 10 minutes with the Balmoor side again losing an avoidable goal and after a rocky period Jim McInally’s side grew into the game however they could not force an equaliser and it was Darren Young’s side who marched through.
The sides had met on League duty last weekend and the Fifers had won 3-0 with McInally ringing the changes for this meeting.
Lenny Wilson donned the goalkeeper’s gloves from the start in place of Brett Long who was on the bench with Jadel Musanhu, Ryan Conroy, Jordon Brown, Derek Lyle and Derryn Kesson also starting.
The cup-tied Danny Strachan, Josh Mulligan and Lyall Cameron dropped out totally with Hamish Ritchie and Niah Payne joining Long as possible replacements.
Simon Ferry was not involved in a playing capacity due to the ankle injury that has been troubling him for several weeks with Jason Brown moving from centre back to right back to help complete the changes.
The Blue Toon got off to a nervous start and after four minutes Musanhu was grateful to goalkeeper Lenny Wilson for rushing from his line to clear after the defender allowed the ball to be nipped off his toes.
Unfortunately the Blue Toon duo were involved in another defensive fankle six minutes later that resulted in a goal for the visitors. Musanhu lost the ball on the right of the Peterhead box to Jamie Semple and as Wilson ran across his box to try and retrieve the situation Semple lobbed into the six yard area where Danny Denholm rose above Andy McDonald to head home.
As Peterhead tried to regroup they almost lost a second with Denholm firing wide after more pressure on the home goal resulted in a chance being created.
On 17 minutes the hosts broke forward with Derek Lyle showing a sublime touch to find Jordon Brown who released Russell McLean however Jude Smith in the East Fife goal got down to save.
Peterhead were trying to play themselves back into the game and Lyle teamed up with McLean to create danger down the right wing on 28 minutes however Aaron Dunsmore got back to stop McLean’s cross from reaching Lyle, who to paraphrase Gary Fraser, had worked hard to get into the box from converting it.
East Fife were determined to add to their lead as opposed to losing it and they came close to a second again on 30 minutes when Semple fired for goal and Denholm applied a subtle touch to take the ball away from Wilson however his effort came back off the post.
Parity should have been restored on 36 minutes when a Jordon Brown cross caused panic in the visiting box. Smith failed to gather the ball and it landed at the feet of Andrew McCarthy 10 yards out however the midfielder blazed high over.
Kieran Millar looked set to make Peterhead pay dearly for that miss three minutes from the half-time whistle as he ran clear on goal to accept a Semple pass however his parting shot went will wide of goal.
The first half ended with Peterhead on the attack with Kesson creating space for himself at the edge of the box only to fire wide.
Peterhead were again sluggish on the resumption and Wilson had to make saves from Aaron Dunsmore and Liam Watt but after those escapes it became one-way traffic for a long time.
A turn and shot from McLean looked to have brought the scores level however Smith dived low to produce a fine save.Shortly afterwards Jordon Brown had a shot blocked and from the resultant corner Andy McDonald was only inches away from nodding in.
McDonald had a shot charged down and when the ball fell to Lyle the striker tried a curling effort that just dropped over the bar.
Payne and Ritchie were introduced just before the hour mark and after the former had been fouled the latter curled in a dead ball that picked out Jason Brown however he could not get enough on his effort on goal.
Midway through the second period Lyle teed up McLean with a back-heel however the striker was left disappointed as his shot was deflected past.
Sean Brown gave the hosts a reminder of East Fife’s attacking intent on 71 minutes when he broke into the box before firing wide with McCarthy rescuing his side six minutes later with a last ditch tackle as East Fife looked to pick Peterhead off on the break.
With eight minutes left a Payne snap-shot was helped wide by a visiting defender with fellow replacement Alan Cook sending a right footer wide.
Brown slipped a shot past a home post before Lyle cracked an effort against the bar only to discover he had ben flagged for offside.
Despite pushing and probing a goal could not be found and Peterhead are out with their only consolation being how well they played after a disappointing start.
Peterhead – Wilson, Mushanhu, Conroy (Payne 59), McDonald, Jason Brown, Jordon Brown (Cook 78), McCarthy, Scott Brown, McLean, Lyle, Kesson (Ritchie 59)
Unused substitutes – Long (G/k)