Peterhead 1 Forfar Athletic 2
Peterhead welcomed bottom of the table Forfar to Balmoor for what is the last home game of the season and it was a bitter-sweet afternoon for the Loons, who picked up the three points after two defensive calamities by the home side, only to find out they are relegated after Clyde defeated Dumbarton
Blue Toon manager Jim McInally freshened up his side following their 3-1 win at East Fife on Thursday with Joshua Rae returning to goalkeeping duties after a three game absence and Jason Brown is back after a suspension however midweek free-kick hero Andrew McDonald is banned. There are also changes in midfield with player/ coach Simon Ferry coming back in and Hamish Ritchie given another opportunity to impress with a new forward line also in place with Steven Boyd and Niah Payne starting.
Alan Cook made a welcome return to the substitutes’ bench after injury with Lenny Wilson, Derryn Kesson, Jordon Brown and Derek Lyle joining Cook after helping their side to victory in Fife.
Peterhead had the game’s first opening when Boyd and Andrew McCarthy exchanged passes at the edge of the Forfar box with Boyd cracking a low shot wide.
Two minutes later the hosts came close again when Kieran Freeman got down the left and fired a cross over that Payne dummied with Ritchie onto the ball on a flash however he hooked his effort past Marc McCallum’s post.
On nine minutes Forfar were almost gifted a goal when Jason Brown sent a pass-back to Joshua Rae from close to the half-way line. The shot-stopper allowed the ball to bounce in front of him before controlling it on his chest however the ball flashed past Rae but thankfully wide of goal.
The goalkeeper redeemed himself from the dead-ball with a fine leaping save to turn over Grant Anderson’s header.
Midway through the first half Boyd won the ball 40 yards from the Forfar goal and hared forward where he was supported by Payne and Ritchie. Boyd slipped the ball to Payne who in turn slipped Ritchie in on goal however he mis-controlled and the danger was over as the ball ran out for a shy.
The Blue Toon carved out another half-chance on 24 minutes when Scott Brown fed Boyd who spun away from his marker however McCallum got down to save the striker’s shot.
Forfar came close again on 29 minutes when Scott Shepherd wriggled clear of Kyle Bailey on the left hand side of the hosts’ box and sent a shot flashing past Rae however it came crashing box off a post.
The action moved back to the other end and Daniel Scally picked up a booking for pulling McCarthy back 30 yards from Forfar’s goal. Scott Brown took the free-kick and McCallum had to move sharpish to his right to push the ball away.
There was one more chance before the half-time whistle with Ritchie volleying goalward however McCallum dealt with it easily.
Peterhead 0 Forfar Athletic 0
The game moved from end to end without any real chances being created until McCarthy and Ritchie combined to send Scott Brown down the left. The Peterhead skipper skipped inside and darted past two defenders before cracking a shot at goal however the ball rose and cleared the bar.
Forfar, who benefitted from a bizarre own goal at Dumbarton recently, were gifted a goal again on 57 minutes from an opposing player. A long kick-out from McCallum was allowed to travel into the home half and Danny Strachan got his pass-back all wrong and lobbed the ball over the advancing Joshua Rae from 18 yards.
Four minutes later McCallum made a stunning stop to keep his goal intact when he kept out a close range Kieran Freeman effort however on 63 minutes Peterhead finally found a way past the shot-stopper.
Simon Ferry picked up a free-kick from the right and turned and slipped the ball to Scott Brown and he curled a first time effort high into the net from 20 yards.
Peterhead gave away another goal very easily with 12 minutes left when Scott Shepherd tapped in after Rae, under no pressure, had failed to gather a Jason Brown headed pass-back.
Forfar saw the game out without too many scares and whilst we are disappointed not to be facing our friends from Station Park when you consider how the three games have gone this season it may be good to have a break!
Rae, Strachan, Bailey (Cook 80), Jason Brown, Freeman, Ferry, Scott Brown, Ritchie Jordon Brown 65), McCarthy (Armour 76), Boyd (Kesson 65), Payne (McGrath 76)
Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k), Lyle
Peterhead got the job done in terms of securing their place in League 1 next season with the minimum of fuss and two games to spare when they came from behind to win 3-1 at East Fife.
The Blue Toon fell behind to an Aaron Dunsmore goal however Derek Lyle showed he has lost none of his goal-scoring ability by levelling with first goals for the club for Andrew McDonald and Danny Strachan saw the three points head north.
Lenny Wilson kept his place in goal however manager Jim McInally reshuffled his outfield line-up with McDonald starting in defence in place of the suspended Jason Brown with Brown’s sibling, Jordon, replacing Simon Ferry in midfield.
There were also starts form Ben Armour and Derek Lyle with Derryn Kesson given the opportunity to show what he can do straight from kick-off with Hamish Ritchie, Steven Boyd and Niah Payne making way.
The Fifers had a chance after 6 minutes when Aaron Dunsmore and Danny Swanson set up Greig Spence however he fired over and an offside flag would have come to Peterhead’s rescue had Spence found the net.
Six minutes later the hosts created another opening however Ross Davidson was off target with Peterhead’s first chance coming with quarter of an hour gone when Scott Brown fed Kesson with the youngster firing wide.
The opening goal came on 17 minutes and came for the hosts with Dunsmore picking up on a mistake in the visiting defence and slotting in from a tight angle.
Peterhead looked to hit back quickly and Jordon Brown was not far away with a header from a Danny Strachan cross on 20 minutes with Kesson warming the hands of Jordan Hart with a stinging shot shortly afterwards.
Andrew McCarthy was denied an equaliser on 32 minutes when he picked up on a Ross Dunlop error and bore down on goal however Hart scampered from his line to save.
Kyle Bailey headed a Davidson effort off the line on 41 minutes and Peterhead made the most of that reprieve by drawing level with the ‘fox in the box’ Derek Lyle scoring.
A nice passing move allowed Ben Armour to progress deep into enemy territory and his cut back was perfect for 40 year old Lyle to do what he has been doing in senior football since 1999 and stroke the ball into the net.
Within two minutes of the restart the game had turned around completely with the visitors going ahead after McCarthy robbed Scott Agnew of possession and was fouled at the edge of the box.
McDonald stepped up to take it and the defender sent a thumping shot flying into the net past a stunned Hart to claim his first goal since his move from Elgin City in January.
It was East Fife’s time to try and hit back with Swanson firing an effort at Wilson’s goal on 55 minutes however the ball rose and cleared the bar.
Manager McInally freshened things up with Armour and Lyle making way for Payne and Kieran McGrath and McGrath almost made an instant impact as he met a cross however his header failed to trouble Hart.
A third goal came for Peterhead on 77 minutes and it had a made in the north-east stamp all over it as local boy Strachan exchanged passes with on-loan Inverurie Locos player Hamish Ritchie and Strachan moved towards the home goal before slotting in an angled drive.
Peterhead – Wilson, Strachan, McDonald, Bailey, Freeman, Jordon Brown Ritchie 72), McCarthy, Scott Brown, Kesson (Boyd 72), Armour (Payne 64), Lyle (McGrath 64)
Unused substitutes – Rae, Ferry
Peterhead 3 Clyde 0
Peterhead picked up their best win of the season by seeing off Clyde 3-0 at Balmoor with skipper Scott Brown bagging a penalty and Hamish Ritchie helping himself to a brace.
The win puts League 1 safety within sight however a point is still required to ensure that everyone can sleep easy at night.
Manager Jim McInally gave Lenny Wilson the nod to start in goal with Kyle Bailey keeping his place in central defence after his display in the midweek win over Falkirk. Simon Ferry was giving a starting role in place of Jordon Brown who made the substitute’s bench.
The Blue Toon started sprightly and trickery from Steven Boyd saw the striker create an opening however he sent his shot over the bar.
Scott Brown curled a shot wide before Clyde threatened for the first time when David Goodwillie found Lewis Jamieson however Lenny Wilson was equal to his effort.
Hamish Ritchie looked to give the hosts the lead with a long-distance drive on 11 minutes however his shot flashed wide of David Mitchell’s goal.
Six minutes later Ritchie tried his luck from closer in however he was off-target again and as Peterhead continued to probe for an opening Boyd sent a free-kick over the bar before trying to catch Mitchell out from 40 yards however neither effort brought a breakthrough.
Former Peterhead defender Scott Rumsby met a Clyde corner on 31 minutes however his effort failed to trouble Wilson.
The teams trooped off goalless at the break however the opener came on 54 minutes from an unlikely source for Peterhead with Brown netting a spot-kick.
Andrew McCarthy earned it by working himself clear on the touchline and referee Reid pointed to the spot when Kevin Nicoll slid in late on the midfielder.
Captain Brown took responsibility and sent Mitchell one way and the ball the other to make it 1-0. The lead was doubled two minutes later when Jason Brown headed on a Kieran Freeman free-kick to Ritchie who took a touch before sliding the ball into the net.
Jason Brown was harshly booked on 61 minutes and that was to prove an expensive booking as just three minutes later the defender fouled Jamieson and was dismissed.
Manager McInally reshuffled his pack and took off McCarthy who had been booked earlier and brought on Andrew McDonald.
Ritchie ensured that Clyde could not build up a head of steam as they looked to get back into the game when he scored a delightful goal on 73 minutes. Craig Howie was short with a pass-back and Ritchie was onto the ball in a flash and he danced his way into the visitors box before firing in to seal the three points.
Peterhead – Wilson, Strachan, Jordon Brown, Bailey, Freeman, Ferry, Scott Brown, McCarthy (McDonald 65), Ritchie, Boyd (Jordon Brown 74), Payne (Lyle 80 )
Unused substitutes – Rae, Armour, Kesson, McGrath
Peterhead 1 Falkirk 0
Peterhead hosted a table-topping Falkirk in their last game of the reduced 18 game season and it was a fine night for the Blue Toon with Jason Brown’s late goal securing a 1-0 win.
Balmoor manager Jim McInally made several changes to the line-up that went down 2-1 at East Fife on Saturday with goalkeeper Lenny Wilson coming in for Joshua Rae, Kyle Bailey replacing the suspended Andrew MacDonald, Jordon Brown taking the place of player/ coach Simon Ferry in midfield with Niah Payne tasked with leading the attack instead of Derek Lyle.
With four minutes gone Hamish Ritchie sent a volley over from 8 yards after a quickly taken free-kick had released Payne and his cross had picked out the midfielder.
Falkirk raced to the other end and Morgaro Gomis sent an effort over Wilson’s bar.
On six minutes the visiting Scott Mercer broke into the home box and fired for goal and the hosts were glad to see the ball ripple into the side-netting.
Midway through the half a fine move started off by Andrew McCarthy gave Scott Brown a glimpse of goal from the edge of the box however his powerful effort was blocked at the expense of a corner.
On 27 minutes a scramble in the Falkirk box resulted in Jordon Brown getting a shot in on goal however Robbie Mutch was equal to his effort.
Eight minutes from the break Ritchie brought the ball down some 20 yards from the visitor’s goal however his lobbed effort was too straight at Mutch.
Mercer was booked for fouling Steven Boyd as he darted goalward with the Peterhead striker sending the resultant free-kick high over.
Peterhead had one more chance before the break when Scott Brown stepped up to hit a 25 yard free-kick however his effort crashed into the wall.
McInally’s side continued to impress in the second half with Ritchie firing wide after a corner and Jordon Brown having a shot blocked.
Kyle Bailey tried to help his striker’s out with a goal on 57 minutes however Mutch was more than equal to that effort.
On 65 minutes it looked like a deserved opener was on its way when a rapid counter-attack sent Scott Brown clear on the right hand side of the pitch however his shot hit the legs of Mutch.
Connor Sammon looked to sneak the visitors into the lead on 65 minutes with a raking low drive and Wilson, who was having a commanding night between the sticks, watched it carefully as it whistled past.
Peterhead refused to get frustrated at their lack of a breakthrough and their hopes of picking up a crucial three points increased 15 minutes from time when Gomis was dismissed. The Bairn had been booked for a foul on McCarthy early into the restart and when he took a deliberate tumble in the Peterhead half referee Duncan Williams produced a second yellow card for simulation.
The extra space generated by Gomis’ departure was used to great advantage by Peterhead with 10 minutes to go when local boy Danny Strachan picked up a free-kick some 40 yards from goal and sent a pass looping high towards the Falkirk goal which was perfect for Jason Brown to nip in and side-foot home to register his first goal of the season.
Despite what was at stake Peterhead refused to sit on their lead and Scott Brown had a drive at Mutch’s goal in the closing stages.
That went wide however the hosts saw things out to pick up a valuable three points to remain in seventh place some 12 points clear of bottom placed Forfar, four ahead of Dumbarton and three in front of Clyde.
Peterhead – Wilson, Strachan, Jason Brown, Freeman, Bailey, S Brown, Jordon Brown (Kesson 79), McCarthy, Ritchie, Boyd, Payne (McGrath 90)
Unused substitutes – Rae, Ferry, Armour, Lyle
Saturday 24th v Clyde (h)
Thursday 29th v East fife (a)
Saturday 1st v Forfar (h)
Tuesday 4th v Dumbarton (a)