Queen’s Park 3 Peterhead 2

Sep 26, 2021

Despite a performance that began in an insipid style Peterhead almost snatched a point from league leaders Queen’s Park before going down 3-2.

The first half at Firhill saw Jim McInally’s side make a slow start and they were thankful to goalkeeper Brett Long for restricting the hosts to just a one goal lead. Changes made at half-time revitalised Peterhead and 10 minutes into the restart they led 2-1 however Queen’s Park hit back twice only for the bar to prevent a last gasp equaliser from Derek Lyle.

Manager McInally, who was serving a one match touchline ban, made one change to the starting line-up with Andy McDonald dropping to the bench and Jason Brown returning in his place.

With just a minute of the game played it looked like Queen’s would take the lead when Grant Gillespie cracked in a shot from 19 yards however Long leap high to his left to push the ball past for a corner. From the flag-kick Simon Murray found space in amongst a nervous looking visiting rearguard however he sent his header over.

Two minutes later a backheel from Murray sent Michael Doyle clear and again Peterhead were grateful to Long who stuck out a hand to deny the marauding full back.

Five minutes in a goal for the home side arrived when left back Tommy Robson charged forward and exchanged passes with Murray before coolly slotting low past Long.

Liam Brown was the next player to charge through Peterhead’s defence however his shot on 17 minutes came crashing back off a post.

Hamish Ritchie and Scott Brown did thier best to get the visitors moving forward and Ritchie’s 25 yard shot was tipped over by home goalkeeper Willie Muir. Despite having been dominated for so long the Blue Toon should have had the chance to level the scoring midway through the half when Muir blocked Russell McLean as the duo chased a loose ball however referee Chris Fordyce thought otherwise and gave a foul to the home side.

Peterhead were soon on the defensive again with Connor Smith firing just over and Murray doing likewise.

Just as the first half was about to end it looked like the second goal the hosts were due had arrived when Murray burst clear, rounded Long and shot for goal however Simon Ferry popped up on the line to clear.

The Balmoor management team responded to the first half showing by withdrawing Andrew McCarthy and Russell McLean and bringing on new signing David Wilson and Lyle.

Striker Lyle showed the urgency required to get Peterhead into the game immediately by winning an aerial joust with Charlie Fox and the rest of the blue shirted players responded.

Six minutes into the restart parity was restored when Josh Mulligan picked out Scott Brown and his 18 yard shot was deflected into the path of Ritchie. The former Inverurie Locos man, who seemed to have the wrong footwear on as he slipped throughout the first half, stayed on his feet long enough to squeeze a shot past Muir.

Three minutes later Peterhead led and again Mulligan was involved with a cut-back from the right that was perfect for Lyle to sweep into the net from six yards.

Queen’s Park responded to the double set-back by bringing on one loan player from Celtic, Luca Connell, and one loan player from Liverpool, Luis Longstaff, and the changes worked.

Connell grabbed an equaliser from the edge of the box with a piercing low drive on 75 minutes and four minutes later Peterhead’s third substitute Lyall Cameron lost possession and Bob McHugh rolled a pass into the path of Jack Thomson who shot past Long.

Despite the turnaround in fortune Peterhead came again and it looked like a point had been saved in the final seconds when a Ryan Conroy free-kick found Lyle at the back post. The striker connected with the ball perfectly however he could only watch on in agony as it struck the bar and bounced to safety.