Queen’s Park 1
Peterhead came from behind to defeat Queen’s Park 2-1 with substitute strikers Russell McLean and Derek Lyle helping turn the game around.
The title chasing Spiders led early through a Luca Connell strike however a second half penalty from skipper Scott Brown and a McLean goal kept the points in the north-east.
The Blue Toon’s injury problems eased slightly before kick-off with Andrew McDonald and Niah Payne able to start however they were still seven players down with Simon Ferry, Ryan Conroy, Alan Cook, Ryan Duncan, Hamish Ritchie and Gary Fraser injured and Andy McCarthy suspended.
Manager Jim McInally gave on-loan Dundee players Danny Strachan and Lyall Cameron starts with the Balmoor boss pushing Josh Mulligan into midfield with recent signing, striker Grant Savoury, dropping in beside the third on-loan Dens Parker.
It was Savoury that had Peterhead’s first chance on 4 minutes when he capitalised on good pressure from Payne that resulted in Grant Gillespie losing the ball and worked his way into the visitors’ box however Calum Ferrie got down to save Savoury’s shot.
Two minutes later a lightning break from Queen’s saw Simon Murray release Liam Brown clean through on goal however Brett Long rescued his side by blocking Brown’s shot.
Long was however beaten on 10 minutes when Louis Longridge slipped a pass to Connell on the right-hand side of the Peterhead box and the former Bolton Wanderers midfielder drilled a shot low into the net.
Longridge fired over shortly afterwards however the new look hosts began to settle and midway through the opening half Cameron teed up Savoury however his parting shot was blocked.
On 26 minutes Payne wriggled clear and fired for goal however Ferrie was equal to his low effort with Long keeping out a close-range Connell effort two minutes later.
The woodwork then denied Connell on 33 minutes with his 20-yard dipping effort hitting the top of the bar before going behind.
Queen’s threatened once more before the break when Tommy Robson had an opening however Long was able to see the ball flash wide of his goal.
The visitors forced a corner within the first 30 seconds of the restart with Connell, yet again, going close with a volley after the flag-kick had been cleared to the edge of the box.
With his side still very much in the game manager McInally opted to make a double change on 52 minutes with McLean and Lyle coming on for Cameron and Payne.
McLean’s strength and Lyle’s enthusiasm soon paid dividends with an equaliser arriving via the penalty spot just three minutes later.
Strachan forced a corner on the right and when McLean looked to get onto Savoury’s out-swinging ball he was fouled by Lee Kilday. Captain Brown took responsibility from 12 yards and sent the ball into one corner as Ferrie dived into the other.
McLean looked all set to add a goal of his own just before the hour mark when he was picked out by Flynn Duffy however the striker sent a low effort into the side-netting.
A McDonald free-kick hit the wall and went out for a corner on 71 minutes and it looked like a second home goal was coming when David Wilson was free at the back post to turn in the resultant cross however from a couple of yards out the defender fired wide.
The hosts however were not to be denied and edged themselves in front five minutes later with Mulligan’s 60 yard run the catalyst. This week’s Birthday Boy won a challenge 30 yards from his own goal and charged forward to ten yards outside the Queen’s 18-yard box where he sent a low shot towards Ferrie.
The visiting goalkeeper could only push Mulligan’s effort out and McLean was on hand to turn the ball home.
On 81 minutes Connell was fouled by Lyle on the left wing and Long calmed home nerves by coming and collecting the ball on the six-yard line.
With 90 seconds left the visitors were awarded another free-kick in a dangerous position however Simon Murray whipped the ball over Long’s goal and Peterhead saw things out to grab a terrific win.
Peterhead – Long, Wilson, Jason Brown, McDonald, Strachan, Mulligan, Scott Brown, Duffy, Cameron (McLean 52), Savoury (Jordon Brown 90+2), Payne (Lyle 51)
Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k)