Battling Blue Toon go down to Montrose

Dec 23, 2021

Montrose           2

Peterhead          0

A depleted Peterhead side shone against in-form Montrose at Links Park however a goal in each half saw the Gable Endies triumph 2-0.

With David Wilson, Ryan Conroy, Alan Cook, Simon Ferry, Gary Fraser and Andrew McCarthy still all missing due to injuries manager Jim McInally was going to go with the same team that won 3-2 at Dumbarton on Saturday however skipper Scott Brown picked up a knock just before the game and dropped out.

Danny Strachan, who had played 90 minutes for parent club Dundee on Monday night, was handed a start in Brown’s absence with Ryan Duncan making a welcome appearance on the bench after his hamstring problem.

Red shirted Peterhead started brightly and Niah Payne and Grant Savoury won early fouls after being impeded as they looked to take the game to their hosts.

That positive opening took a knock on 6 minutes when the hosts took the lead when Liam Callaghan floated in a corner and Andrew Steeves met it with a header that flashed past Brett Long. The visiting defence were unhappy with some blocking that had gone on however referee Graham Grainger was uninterested and the goal was given.

The Blue Toon looked to shrug off that disappointment quickly and they raced to the other end and forced two corners of their own however no danger threatened.

Danger did threaten on 21 minutes when Grant Savoury got on the ball at the edge of the Montrose box and Aaron Lennox had to make a smart save at the expense of a corner to deny the former Celtic kid an equaliser.

From the resultant flag kick, it looked like, skipper for the night, Jason Brown had headed in a leveller however the ball struck a post. In the ensuing scramble Payne planted the ball into the net but referee Grainger had spotted an infringement and the goal was chalked off.

The hosts’ Cammy Ballantyne was booked shortly afterwards for a foul on Payne and as Peterhead kept putting pressure on the hosts Josh Mulligan drilled for goal however Lennox again stood firm.

On 41 minutes Mulligan tried again however his effort went wide and Peterhead’s misfortune continued shortly afterwards with Savoury having to come off before the break after picking up a knock with Duncan coming on in his place.

Montrose responded to Peterhead giving as good as they got by changing their tactics at the break and pressing the visitors high up the pitch however that did not prevent Andy McDonald having an early chance that ended up over the bar.

Graham Webster and Mark Whatley fired openings wide of the Peterhead goal before Long made a fine stop to deny Blair Lyons.

Derek Lyle replaced Payne midway through the second half in a bid to get an equaliser however when the second goal of the game arrived it came for Montrose on 75 minutes.

Lyons grabbed it when he converted a cross from Steeves however again the visitors refused to lie down and Lennox produced a great stop to keep out another header from Jason Brown.

In the closing stages Ballantyne fouled Lyall Cameron and picked up his second yellow, and his first red, card.

Peterhead

Long, McDonald, Jason Brown, Strachan (Jordon Brown 770, Duffy, Mulligan, Ritchie, Cameron, Savoury (Duncan 43‎),‎ McLean, Payne (Lyle 68‎’)

Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k)

Jim McInally after-match – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIBOHQRrGpQ&feature=youtu.be