Savoury (15, 63)
Peterhead picked up their best away win of the season with a 3-0 success over Clyde at Broadwood thanks to a double from Grant Savoury and a stunning strike from Hamish Ritchie.
It was a very deserved win and it was also an essential win as ninth placed Dumbarton also won to set up a vital match between the clubs next Saturday with the Blue Toon going into the contest with a four-point lead over the Sons, and an eleven-point advantage over East Fife who sit at the foot of table.
Jim McInally’s side headed to Cumbernauld on the back of a 1-0 success over Falkirk and the Balmoor manager made two changes to his starting line-up with Andrew McCarthy returning after suspension and Flynn Duffy coming in at left back for the injured Andrew McDonald.
Simon Ferry provided extra cover for the visiting defence with Niah Payne providing the focal point in attack in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
McCarthy conceded an early foul for a challenge on Ally Love 25 yards from Brett Long’s goal however Peterhead were able to breathe a sigh of relief when the Bully Wee’s attempt to replicate the famous confusion act between Aberdeen’s Gordon Strachan and John McMaster failed to get a cross into the box.
The first chance for the ‘Boys who play in Blue’ came on eight minutes when McCarthy picked out Savoury on the left and the former Celtic youth darted towards the Clyde goal before forcing Joshua Bradley-Hurst into a low save.
Three minutes later Sam Jamieson wriggled clear in the Peterhead box however his shot was scooped up by Long.
Savoury opened the scoring on 15 minutes when he exchanged passes with Payne before sending a shot bouncing past Bradley-Hurst and into the net.
Bradley-Hurst kept out another attempt from the energetic Savoury before Clyde almost got back into the game in a very unusual way.
The visitors were almost pegged back bizarrely on 28 minutes when a tackle from Clyde’s Sam Jamieson 18 yards out sent the ball looping over Long. The Blue Toon shot-stopper rose as high as he could to claw the ball off his line from just under the bar however it dropped to the unmarked Jamieson who fired it towards goal where Long stuck out a foot to complete the recovery act.
Three minutes later Peterhead had the chance to make the most of that reprieve when Ritchie broke into the Clyde box where his progress was halted with a pass-back that Bradley-Hurst tried to control with his foot before falling to the ground to save it as the ball threatened to cross the line.
Savoury tapped the resultant indirect free-kick from six yards into the path of Scott Brown however his low drive was blocked by a wall of Clyde players.
Nine minutes from the break it was McCarthy’s turn to drive towards the home goal however his parting shot was saved.
McCarthy’s next involvement was to be fouled by Kevin Nicoll who picked up a yellow card for his troubles.
Early into the second half Scott Brown, who has a commendable goal record against Clyde, created space for himself 25 yards from goal and the home fans were pleased to see his effort just whistle past.
On 55 minutes Peterhead grabbed their second goal in fine style when McCarthy slipped a pass to Ritchie on the right-hand side of the pitch. The attack-minded midfielder cut in from the wing and let fly with his left foot and his shot crashed high into the far corner of the net.
Clyde looked to hit back and only a superb block from Jason Brown on the six-yard line kept them at bay before a third goal arrived on 63 minutes.
Substitute Owen Cairns, who had not long replaced the booked Rico Quitongo, sent over a cross from the right and as the home defence remained static Savoury beat Bradley-Hurst to the ball and sent a header looping into the net from 12 yards.
Having grabbed his first ever double in a game Savoury went looking for a hat-trick and it almost arrived on 74 minutes with a low shot that crashed into the side-netting.
A minute later Ferry shook off his defensive shackles and surged forward before cracking in a swerving shot that Bradley-Hurst had to leap to his left to save.
Manager McInally made four further substitutions as his team saw the game out with a clean sheet secured as well.
Long, Quitongo (Cairns 59), Want, Jason Brown, Duffy, Ferry (Jack Brown 78), Ritchie (Jordon Brown 86), Scott Brown, McCarthy, Savoury (Duncan 86), Payne (Cook 78)
Unused substitutes – Cullen (G/k), Strachan, Conroy, Lyle