Peterhead 0 Falkirk 0
Peterhead goalkeeper Brett Long shone as the Blue Toon played out a goalless draw with Falkirk at blustery Balmoor.
The shot-stopper made a number of fine stops to keep his goal intact as Jim McInally’s side ended the 90 minutes with a blank score-line for the first time in nearly two years.
Peterhead lined up with Flynn Duffy on the left-hand side in place of the injured Ryan Conroy with a tactical change seeing striker Russell McLean starting in place of defender Andy McDonald.
Falkirk with a strong wind at their backs took the game to their hosts and on-loan Aberdeen striker Michael Ruth was picked out with a cross on 11 minutes however his header drifted over Long’s goal.
Two minutes later the Peterhead goalkeeper did well again when he pushed away a drive from Declan McDaid.
Manager McInally was forced into making a change to his line-up with only 15 minutes gone as player/ coach Simon Ferry limped off injured with recent signing Grant Savoury coming on earlier than he may have expected.
Shortly afterwards Ruth skipped past Jason Brown but his cross floated wide and as the Bairns kept up the pressure Charlie Telfer fired wide and Long denied Aidan Nesbitt.
As Falkirk looked to make a breakthrough just before the half-time whistle McDaid tried his luck from the edge of the box however Long stretched high to palm the ball over.
Peterhead’s plans to use the attacking threat of Niah Payne with the wind in their favour took a knock just before the second 45 minutes started when the former Bradford City youth player indicated that he could not continue due to an ankle injury.
Lyall Cameron came on with little preparation time to take his place and to add to Peterhead’s bad luck the wind machine was beginning to slow down!
Falkirk were soon on the attack again and McDaid thought he had made the breakthrough from close range after Nesbitt trickery however Long was equal to the challenge again.
Scott Brown fired Peterhead’s best chance of the afternoon, so far, wide on 52 minutes with a goal at the other end looking certain five minutes later when Ruth burst clear on goal however again Long saved.
Midway through the second half David Wilson almost put Peterhead in front with a wicked effort. With everyone expecting a cross from the right wing the defender sent an effort curling towards Paddy Martin’s goal with the ball just fizzing past the post.
With five minutes left the hosts carved out a great chance when McLean was played through however Martin copied Long’s heroics by blocking the striker’s drive.
With 90 seconds remaining Falkirk forced a corner on the right and again it looked like they would score when Ruth thumped a volley towards goal from close-range however Long had kept his best to last by diving to his right and turning the ball away.
Long, Mulligan, Wilson, Jason Brown, Duffy, Ferry (Savoury 15), McCarthy (McDonald 54), Ritchie, Scott Brown, Payne (Cameron 45), McLean
Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k), Strachan, Lyle