Peterhead v Stenhousemuir
Irn-Bru League Division Two
Peterhead 2 [McVitie 30, Bavidge 48]
Stenhousemuir 2 [Thom 8, Diack 85]
Prior to this match Stenhousemuir had a horrific record against the Blue Toon having failed to win even once in the eight meetings between the clubs. The record has now extended to nine but on the basis of this performance it will not be too long until the hoodoo is broken.
Manager John Coughlin reverted back to the starting eleven of the league game against East Fife and this was to pay dividends in the early stages of the game where the Warriors looked to be fairly confident on a surface that was soft underneath which was not surprising as the ground had been flooded the previous day.
One of the key aspects in the growing confidence apart from the unbeaten league record and having competed well with their Second Division competitors is that the Warriors have looked threatening throughout at set pieces and yet again that was the route to the first goal of the game. The breakthrough came in the 8th minute when Kevin Motion delivered a corner to the back post that was met by Gary Thom who took advantage of the space he was given to head a powerful downwards header into the net.
There was a scare for the Warriors in the 18th minute at a Peterhead freekick. Stenhousemuir were expecting a trademark blast by Bobby Mann but the experienced defender instead played the ball to the overlapping Graeme Sharp and his pass into the middle caused consternation in the defence who were grateful to eventually scramble the ball clear.
In the 20th minute Stenhousemuir almost scored a second when Craig Molloy took a quick freekick just in the Peterhead half that picked out Craig O’Reilly whose powerful effort was well saved by John Bateman. The Warriors should have had a penalty in the 27th minute when Mann appeared to bring down Motion but the referee was unsure and looked to his assistant who was better placed for guidance but none was forthcoming so the referee failed to give the award.
Three minutes later Peterhead drew level after the Warriors failed to clear their lines and when the ball was played back into Neil McVitie he had all the time in the world to pick his spot for the equaliser. That goal lifted the home side and Martin Bavidge almost caught out Chris McCluskey with a backwards header and the keeper was grateful to push the ball out for a corner.
It only took Peterhead three minutes after the resumption to take the lead when Martin Bavidge slipped the ball home from close range after being picked out by Bobby Mann whilst Mann was on the ground. The Warriors came close to equalising in the 51st minute when Pat Scullion saw an effort cleared off the line after Bateman could only punch a Motion corner to the edge of the box. As the game progressed Peterhead looked as if they would possibly get a third with Sharp and Bavidge testing McCluskey.
Stenhousemuir were given a lifeline when Sharp was sent off after clattering Craig Molloy for his second caution and almost drew level straight away when a Pat Scullion freekick was just fingertipped round the post by Bateman. The Warriors who had made positive changes to get back into the game were rewarded for their efforts when Iain Diack headed home a Scullion freekick in the 85th minute. After that Stenhousemuir pushed forwards in search for the winner but despite coming close on several occasions just run out of time in their quest.
Peterhead – Bateman, Donald, S.Smith, Mann, McDonald, McVitie [b11], Sharp [b51][so 77], Strachan [J.Smith 57] , Bavidge, Cameron [Bruce 66] and Ross. Subs not used – Michie, Young and Jarvie
Stenhousemuir – McCluskey, Lyle [b65], S.Thomson, Thom, Smith, McLeod [Love 76], Molloy [b87], Scullion, Dalziel, O’Reilly [Diack 63] and Motion. Subs not used – Brand, I.Thomson and Bennett
Referee – Alan Muir
Assistants – Jim Lyon and Craig Sim
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