Cove Rangers 3
Peterhead failed to sparkle in the Granite City as they went down 3-0 to Cove Rangers at the Balmoral Stadium.
The Blue Toon were wearing their new red style away kit for the first time and hopes that they prosper in the second half after reaching the break goalless, despite plenty of home pressure, faded as Ryan Strachan opened the scoring and Mitch Megginson netted a double.
Manager Jim McInally made two changes to his starting line-up with player/ coach Simon Ferry coming in for the injured Hamish Ritchie and Niah Payne returning from injury in place of Grant Savoury who was on the bench alongside the fit-again Jordon Brown.
A minutes’ silence for Remembrance Day was observed before the game got going and, in its infancy, Peterhead were forced into a change with Ferry aggravating an ankle injury that saw him replaced by Ryan Conroy.
Cove looked to advantage quickly of Peterhead having to reorganise with Megginson going close and Jamie Masson striking the post.
Blair Yule was next to threaten the visitors’ goal with his long-range effort creeping over the bar before Cove hit the woodwork again with Megginson rattling the bar.
As the one-way traffic continued Rory McAllister got the better of Jason Brown before bearing down on Brett Long’s goal with the shot-stopper producing a fine stop.
David Wilson was the next to help Peterhead stay level as he cleared a Megginson effort off the line with McInally’s men surviving one more scare before the half-time whistle sounded when Cove shouted for a penalty however referee Calum Scott was not interested.
The Blue Toon were unable to get a foothold in the second half as with just three minutes in Megginson got past Long with Flynn Duffy producing a block every bit as good as Wilson’s.
The breakthrough finally came from the resultant corner when Strachan turned into Iain Vigurs’ flag-kick.
Megginson clipped the woodwork with 20 minutes left however the former Aberdeen man was not to be denied and on 79 minutes he found the net from a Masson pass.
Substitutes Derek Lyle and Grant Savoury tried their best to lift Peterhead in the closing stages with Lyle forcing Stuart McKenzie into a save from a header and Savoury finding a way past the Cove goalkeeper only for Scott Ross to pop up and clear.
In injury time Long was judged to have fouled Leighton McIntosh and Megginson completed the scoring from the resultant penalty.
Peterhead – Long, D Wilson, Jason Brown (Savoury 57), McDonald, Mulligan, McCarthy, Ferry (Conroy 3), Scott Brown, Duffy, McLean (Lyle 56), Payne
Unused substitutes – Cameron, Strachan, Jordon Brown, L Wilson (G/k)